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Once when Jesus’ disciples had expressed concern over the difficulty of a particular aspect of faithfulness to God, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'” (Mt. 19:26). It’s always a mistake to assume that a thing can’t be done simply because we ourselves can think of no way to do it. When it comes to our work as the people of God, God can do things that are greater than we think are possible. Jeremiah prayed, “Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you” (Jer. 32:17).
God has never required any person to do the impossible. It is a consistent principle in both the Old Testament and the New that if God requires a thing, then He will supply the ability for it to be done. That is the meaning of Paul’s wonderful statement in Phil. 4:13: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” That does not mean God will help us to achieve any worldly goal we set for ourselves — it means He will supply the wherewithal for us to accomplish His will and do the things He sets before us as responsibilities. We need never fear being in the position of having to do something for God but not being able to do what is required.
The Bible is full of examples of men and women who placed their faith in God, did whatever they were capable of doing, and then found out — sometimes to their great amazement — that God can bring great results out of unpromising situations. We need only think of the story of David and Goliath to remember that God is stronger than we are, and that it is the person who fights and works in the confidence of God’s help who sees problems solved that were thought to be insoluble.
Actually it is an insult to God for us to become discouraged and pessimistic about the work of the gospel. Is it our work? Does it depend on our power? Of course not. And if, as we believe, God has called us to participate in His work, then He will supply the solutions to whatever problems may arise. Paul wrote, “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:4,5). This week, let’s meditate on the difference that God’s help makes.
Monday: 1 Samuel 17:38-51
Key Idea: No problem is too big for God to solve.
Questions for Family Growth: Why were all the soldiers of Israel afraid of Goliath? Judging from v.45, why was David not afraid? Should it not make a great difference for us to know that “the battle is the Lord’s” (v.47)? What kind of “Goliaths” might we face today?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 15:31-33.
Tuesday: Joshua 6:1-21
Key Idea: God sometimes accomplishes things in ways that we would not expect.
Questions for Family Growth: What was unusual about the way Israel was given success in conquering the city of Jericho? When our work for God looks too large, what are some things we should remember about God’s way of accomplishing His purposes?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:1.
Wednesday: John 6:1-15
Key Idea: God can do great things, even when He has very little to work with.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Jesus use to provide food for the great crowd of people? What should we do when we think that what we have is not sufficient? Does this mean we should not provide as abundantly as we can for the Lord’s work?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:2.
Thursday: Matthew 9:35-38
Key Idea: The work of spreading the gospel is a big work, but God will help us.
Questions for Family Growth: What is the harvest that Jesus spoke of? Who are the laborers? What did Jesus say we should pray for? Is our work for God bigger than we can manage? What should be our attitude toward the work of evangelism?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:3.
Friday: 1 Corinthians 16:5-9
Key Idea: God can open up great opportunities for us to teach His word to others.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Paul mean when he said, “A great and effective door has opened to me” (NKJV)? Who can open such a door for us in the work of the gospel? Consider Col. 4:2-4. If we trust in God, should we expect only “little” opportunities?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:4.