It seems that so many of the people I talk with lately are overwhelmed with feelings of frustration and discouragement. They feel like they’ve been praying for months or longer and their waiting never seems to end. And that’s just addressing the current year’s problems.
Many of us have things we’ve prayed about for years and years wondering when or if we will ever receive a positive answer to our pleas.
Typically, I can persistently pray with an “it is what it is” attitude . . . which is my way to trying to cope as I tell myself I’m trying to be patient. But other times, my waiting overwhelms me and I wonder if I should just give up and quit bombarding the gates of heaven with this particular petition.
Maybe you’ve been there . . . or maybe you’re there right now.
Recently, I read the following words…
“Is anything too hard for the Lord.”Genesis 18:14
God spoke them to Abraham.
Because for Abraham the wait had been long and he had begun to wonder … to quit hoping.
Can you blame him? I sure can’t.
He was almost one hundred years old and Sarah was almost ninety when the Lord visited them and told them they were about to finally have the son they had been promised decades earlier.
Can you imagine?! It’s no wonder really that Abraham questioned and Sarah laughed. You and I probably would have done the same.
And that’s when the Lord replied, “Is anything too hard for the Lord.”
But that’s not the only example of God doing the impossible . . . look at Jeremiah…
God told Jeremiah to buy a field just north of Jerusalem and Jeremiah obeyed but he also questioned…
O Sovereign Lord, You have told me to buy the field—paying good money for it before these witnesses—even though the city will soon be handed over to the Babylonians.Jeremiah 32:25
God told Jeremiah to buy a field near Jerusalem as a promise that He would bring the people home . . . 70 years later.
Imagine God asking you to buy a home in an area that He has also told you is about to be captured and almost all of the people including you are going to be taken captive and hauled away to another country.
You might be wondering . . . WHY?
Seriously, even if some of the people do come back there’s no guarantee that the property deed will even be acknowledged.
So, once again, God patiently and lovingly replied to doubt with the words…
“I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?“Jeremiah 32:27
Sarah, Abraham, and Jeremiah all learned that the answer to the question is always…
No! NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR GOD!
With God . . . ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!
Abraham and Sarah had a son and God’s people returned home.
But throughout those decades of waiting, I would imagine there were many times they wondered if they’d heard God correctly, times when they began to doubt, and even times when their hope began to fade.
Maybe you can relate, I know I can.
When you and I have something or several somethings that we’ve prayed about for years … even decades. The wait is long and hard and possibly even painful. We can get discouraged and even start questioning if we misunderstood and we should just give up hope and stop our persistent praying.
Today, I want to remind you, and me too, of two very important truths.
1. Anything is Possible
Nothing! Absolutely nothing is too hard for God!
Not your broken relationship.
Not your illness.
Not your loneliness.
Not your broken heart.
Not your doubts.
Not the state of the world.
Not the desires of your heart.
Not fires, or climates, or chaos, or anything else this broken world has to offer.
With God, anything and everything is possible.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”Matthew 19:26
I do believe even Abraham, Sarah, Jeremiah, and others would all admit that waiting is hard. Which leads to point number two. I’m grabbing hold of verses to hold close when the wait is hard, when my heart is heavy and doubt creeps in because God’s Word tells us exactly what to do in those moments.
2. Never Stop Praying
Having a prayerful attitude acknowledges our total dependence on God. Persistent prayer is an expression of child-like faith.
Never stop praying.1 Thessalonians 5:17
Luke 18 begins like this…
One day Jesus told His disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.Luke 18:1
He went on to tell them about a widow who went to a judge day and night pleading with him to rule in her favor over a dispute she was having with her enemy. And the judge finally does…
Finally, he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”Luke 18:4–5
Jesus not only invites but encourages us to be persistent when we pray.
The Life Application Bible Notes describe persistent prayer the following way…
Constant prayer means keeping our requests continually before God as we live for Him day by day believing He will answer. Then live by faith and don’t give up. God may delay answering but His delays always have good reasons. And as we persist in prayer, we grow in character, faith, and hope. (LAB notes for Luke 18:1)
All things are possible with God!Mark 10:27
I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.Luke 11:9
And Paul, the one who was persecuted, stoned, beaten, whipped, and imprisoned wrote…
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! AmenEphesians 3:20–21
He also wrote…
Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations.Romans 4:18
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.Romans 12:12
Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.Romans 15:4
And the writer of Hebrews wrote…
This High Priest [Jesus] of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.Hebrews 4:15-16
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.Hebrews 10:23
Friend, when you and I have to wait. When we feel discouraged and want to give up . . . God is faithful. He has promised to always give us what we need.
And I don’t know about you, but what I need most is…
Faith to trust that God is doing what is best even when it doesn’t feel like it.
Forgiveness when I fall short of His will for me.
Hope to trust Him and never give up.
Peace to calm me when life overwhelms me.
Patience to remain persistent in prayer.
Strength to keep doing what He calls me to do each day.
Wisdom to know His will and make godly decisions.
Comfort to get me out of bed when my heart hurts.
Guidance to know His will and the ability to obey Him.
Courage to face the day when I want to hide in bed.
Love to give Him and others.
And Jesus, who is all you and I need today and eternally.
You, Lord, are all I have, and You give me all I need; my future is in Your hands.Psalm 16:5
And Paul wrote…
For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for His glory.2 Corinthians 1:20
I know waiting is hard and sometimes waiting with hope seems impossible. It’s understandable that you and I can take our eyes off Jesus and stare straight at our unchanged circumstances. Yes, even wonder if we should just give up and stop bothering God with the same repetitive need.
But then … when we stop and reread Jesus’ words about God’s “anything is possible” love and our persistent prayer . . . we remember that He sometimes allows us to wait because He is working on our hearts.
So, will you join me as I continue to pray the words of Jeremiah…
“O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by Your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for You!”Jeremiah 32:17
Whatever you’re waiting on today . . . never stop praying because with God, anything is possible!
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