In our self-determining society, we place great emphasis on our own will-power. We believe we can do anything we put our mind to—until we collide with the impossible. Our “impossible” does not have to be Mount Everest; it can be as simple as raising a strong-willed child. Your “impossible” could be a loved one addicted to drugs or alcohol. Maybe you’re facing a dire financial situation, a medical calamity, or an unjust trial.
The odds are stacked against you; no amount of will-power is enough…
What do you cling to when the outcome feels impossible?
Who do you run to?
How do you survive “the impossible” with your faith intact?
Begin by cultivating two habits even before the impossible strikes:
- Give thanks for God’s deliverances
- Pray God’s promises
Remember the Impossibles made Possible by God
Following the Israelite’s exodus, God repeatedly uses the phrase, “I am the Lord, your God who has brought you ought of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” They were supposed to remember His deliverance from bondage, His deliverance through the Red Sea, His deliverance from starvation and thirst, His deliverance from their enemies.
Why did He set up so many memorials? Why did He encourage this?
God knew how many “impossibles” they would continue to face. Even my nine-year old sighs with exasperation when we read about the Israelites’ refrain, “Why did you bring us out here to DIE?!?!?!” She says, “Didn’t they remember the plagues? The Red Sea? The manna?!?!”
When we run into our impossibles, do we have the same reaction as the Israelites or as my nine-year old? I blush to admit there are times when I am more like the Israelites, and it is a humbling realization. The Israelites are a concrete reminder not to forget all the Lord has done in my life. Make “memorials” of God’s deliverances to hang on your walls or as stones in your garden or even notes in your bible.
In all your memorials, do not forget the impossible love with which God loved us and delivered us from eternal death through His Son Jesus Christ.
Cultivate trust though deliberate reminders of His power in your life.
Pray His Promises
God makes many promises throughout scripture. He also makes statements about His nature, which, in themselves, are comforting reminders of His faithfulness and consistency.
Below are five suggested passages to pray when you are discouraged.
[Take some time and read through the context of these passages. In Matthew, for example, Jesus is talking about the difficulty of a rich man entering the kingdom of heaven. Even with its context, this passage is an outstanding reminder that God can do what is impossible!]
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
What then shall we say to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Here is an example prayer using some of the above passages:
Father in Heaven,
Thank you for your care throughout my life. There are countless times in which you have delivered me from the impossible. [List some of those times]
Lord, I am facing the impossible again [or, I continue to face the impossible, even after all these years]. I am afraid, discouraged, and disheartened. You promise in Your word that you will never leave me or forsake me. I cling to your promise; please, be near me in this dark time and strengthen me according to your great love.
Father, you assure us in your word that nothing is impossible with you. I do not see a way through this situation and I have done and continue to do the next thing. Help me not to grow weary in doing good, but to do what is right in your sight. More than anything, I need your hand to guide me. I trust in you to do what is best for my soul above all else, no matter what happens in this world.
Through Jesus, you have overcome the world and promise to give me peace. As I face this trial each day, fill me with your peace so others may see your power working in my life and glorify you. Father, in everything may your will be done that I may be a conqueror with you.
In you, O Lord, I put my trust. Be with me now and always and bring me safely to your home. Let your will be done and help me to accept the outcome.
In Jesus name,
What passages do you return to during the dark valleys of life?
Please share them below so we can encourage one another!