Faith; December 10, 2017

Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.”

I find I quote this statement by Gabriel fairly often, but it’s still an open question how much I really believe it. I really think God chose a medically impossible method of sending His Son to the earth specifically to demonstrate the reality of this statement. The Bible is filled with the record of many of God’s marvelous works, but Jesus’ immaculate conception takes a back seat to none of them. Mary herself probably didn’t realize just how huge a deal this was, even though she knew full well it would turn her world upside down. For her, as it is for all of us, the joy to receiving the impossible was trusting that for God it was possible. The world is in a major mess, and sometimes we despair of things ever turning out right, but nothing is impossible for God. That applies on the world scene, with such things as a nuclear-armed North Korea, on the social scene, with such things as the breakdown of morality and the family, and in our personal, daily lives, regardless of what challenges we face. Remembering that nothing is impossible for God will get us through the unthinkable, and even give us peace in the process. Faith is a strange thing. The most famous Biblical definition, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,” (Hebrews 11:1) strikes me as more of a description of the effects of faith than an actual definition. In my own experience, I like the word, trust. Faith in the abstract is easy to confuse with acceptance of a set of propositions. That usage is why we describe a religion as a “faith.” However, Biblical faith is much more personal than that. Biblical faith trusts God to be God and do what He has said, regardless of what our senses or anything else tell us. That is what Mary had, and what we need to receive as a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I have been in a training school of faith all my life. I have known the facts of the Gospel as long as I’ve known anything, but for all the years of my life God has been teaching me to trust Him, and I’m very aware of the difference between that and simply being aware of the facts. Sometimes that difference can be a huge step! Right now that training school has entered a period of intense practicum. It becomes a question of whether I will trust God or trust a mountain of other voices. That makes it clear that choice is an inescapable part of faith, just as it is of obedience and of love. Some people try to insist that we have no real choices, that our actions are predetermined. Some express that in atheistic terms, insisting we are no more than a product of biology, and some express it in religious terms, twisting Paul’s words about being “predestined” to eliminate human input. In either case, it’s all an attempt to avoid accountability. Practically nothing we have originates with us, but we do have the ability to choose, and for that we are accountable to our Creator. I’ve got to keep choosing to trust Him, to express my love for Him through obedience, (John 14:15, 23) so that His plans for me may be fulfilled on His schedule for His glory.

Father, thank You for this strong reminder. Thank You that indeed, nothing is impossible for You. I ask that Your perfect will be done, not only in and for me, but in and for each of the people to whom I minister, that the works of the devil may be destroyed (1 John 3:8) and many set free, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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