Possible: able to be accomplished. That’s such a simple word and simple definition but man, believing something is possible can be one of the hardest things in the world to do. In most situations, we are able to come up with a long list of all the reasons why something isn’t possible. Once we’ve done that, we typically toss the situation out and label it “impossible”. Then sadness, doubt and hopelessness set in and we completely forget that God has already told us nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37).
Now let’s be super clear, just because all things are possible for God does not mean He is a genie in a lamp granting wishes. In most situations when your 5 year old child asks for candy right before bed you say no. Are you able to give them candy? Sure. Is it in their best interest for you to give them candy right befor bed? Not really. God is able but He is discerning and loving and will always put what’s best for us first.
On the flip side, and this is where we will spend some time today, God saying “yes” to what appears an impossible situation will always beat our list of why something can’t happen. God isn’t bound by time, science or nature; God is miraculous. Hebrews 11:11 reminds us of an amazing impossibility that became a miracle for Sarah and Abraham.
In Genesis 17, Abraham is promised a son, Isaac. Abraham’s response was classic: laughter and disbelief. He immediately looked at the “facts” and laughed God off. He was old and Sarah was old and up to this point she had bore no children so to receive a word directly from God that Isaac was on his way was absurd. How many times have you laughed off or dismissed something you felt God was telling you because you stayed in the natural realm instead of changing your focus to heaven?
In Genesis 18, Sarah overheard a conversation between Abraham and some guests. These guests weren’t your ordinary guests and they prophesied to Abraham that in a year’s time, Sarah would have a son. A confirmation of what Abraham had already heard. Again comes laughter! Sarah, busy making dinner, laughs off this message because of the absurdity. I love her response in Genese 18:12, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” Can you hear your own sarcastic responses to God in Sarah’s words? I sure can.
What happens next in Genesis 18 is the moment of truth. The guest, hearing Sarah laugh, say, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Ouch! Yikes! There is such profound weight in this question. If you are going to live by faith, this is a central question to your life. Are you able to believe Jesus when He told His followers (this includes us) that all things with God are actually possible? Are you able to push aside the list of why things won’t work and focus on the One who is able to make all things work? God can handle your doubt, just don’t let your doubt stop you from having faith.
Hebrews 11:11 ends with some beautiful words that truly do define living by faith, “she considered faithful who had promised”. Look, God is absolutely going to put you in situations that seem hopeless and impossible. Living by faith means facing those situations knowing that God is faithful and that He already has a way ready for you, you just have to keep believing and keep moving. We so often miss our miracles because we lose our faith. We quit before we allow God to unfold his beautiful plan to its fullest extent. And typically, instead of taking responsibility for our choice to quit, we blame God and we lose faith.
Here is God’s invitation: it’s possible, will you trust Me? When you know you are following where God is leading, can you disengage your earthly thinking and engage your heavenly vision and like Sarah, consider God faithful to His word? Living by faith actually means living by faith. Faith that it doesn’t have to make sense when it’s God’s call. He has it mapped, you just need to keep moving. God will never fail you and that makes you free to live by faith.