The God of Impossible

I can’t. I’ve tried a million times and I just can’t. I’ll never get it right. I’ve prayed, I’ve struggled, I’ve done everything I know how to do and here I am again. No matter what, I’ll just always be this way. I guess this is just me… 

As I begin writing this, it’s interesting that all those “I can’t” statements that flood my mind are from a deeper, darker, more sinister source than I really want to admit. Every “I can’t” is born from the lies of the one Scripture says only comes to “kill, steal, and destroy” (John 10:10). Although most of the time every doubt and fear seems to develop naturally with-in me, the truth is most of these lies have been spoken and repeated throughout my life by the forces of darkness, these thoughts are not from God.

Imagine for a moment if I could see through the powerful delusion that tells me these lies are truth. If I could see the enemy saying: “you can’t”. “You’ve tried a million times, you just can’t”. “You’ll never get this right”. “You’ve prayed, you’ve struggled, you’ve done everything you can and you still failed”. “No matter what, you’ll always be this way”. “This is who you are now…”

The Word of God is clear about the “impossible” moments in our lives. In fact, Jesus is the God of impossible. Time after time Jesus does the unthinkable and we are left in awe of the power of the God of the universe. What mountains are you facing in your life? What addictions have you tried to lay down but you just can’t seem to break free from? What strongholds of pain and despair are firmly planted in the middle of your life that seem like you can’t tear down? Even now, my prayer is the Holy Spirit is revealing that place in your heart.

In the Scripture we see a historical recounting of a conversation between Jesus and a desperate dad. This dad had a son whom he loved but who was mercilessly being tormented by a demon. This dad watched over and over as this spiritual darkness tried to destroy his son. He had tried everything he could, he even asked the disciples of Jesus to drive this demon out of his son. Everything and everyone had failed. Here in his deepest desperation after everything and everyone has failed him, this broken dad comes before Jesus and pleads for His help.

In a moment the dad begs Jesus: “if you can do anything… please help my son”. The reply of Jesus should be burned forever on our hearts: “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:23 NLT). When it comes to the God of the impossible, there is no “if” He can. It isn’t “if” you can be free from the endless cycle of abuse, despair, and destruction, in Christ every promise of God is yes and amen! You can be free, truly free (John 8:36). Alone we fail to keep every promise to do better, in our own power the impossible remains impossible. Through faith in Christ, nothing is impossible.

So here is the question… what do we do with the impossible moments of our life? Just as the dad did for his son, we “come”. Jesus is calling out to you today to come to Him. In order to truly be free you must face the truth: you aren’t free. You are a slave to your sin and shame and without Jesus, we have no hope. Because of Jesus, we can be forgiven, free, restored, and redeemed. Today the God of impossibility is calling to you: “come everyone one of you who are weary and burdened, I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). 

To those who are looking to learn more about Jesus or how to “come”, please visit myemanuel.com/i-am-ready/. To those who have surrendered to Christ but are looking to start over, please visit myemanuel.com/recommit/

When a Million Thoughts Collide

Today as I was speaking to a friend, we both agreed that the current climate in the world makes it difficult to stay focused. As questions come flooding in about the future, about COVID-19, about the impacts to the world, the economy, and life in general, it can be a bit overwhelming. How will I pay the mortgage? Can I afford groceries this week? What happens if I get sick? The thoughts seem endless.

One thing I think we often forget as followers of Jesus is that the events in our world don’t catch God off guard. When the Coronavirus exploded around the world, God was not caught unaware playing golf somewhere in the cosmos. If we are truly being honest, COVID-19 is really just the latest in a series of seemingly endless tragedy and destruction in the world.

It is in moments like these that even the most devoted follower of Jesus can become weary and overwhelmed with burden. I’m thankful that God I serve is not angry or dismissive in the midst of my struggles. As a follower of Jesus I have the promises, hope, and faithful truth of God’s Word to inspire me to keep moving.

I wanted to share some of these promises with you as a reminder: God is not unaware or apathetic about your struggle. Why is the world so full of evil and corruption? Sin. In spite of that sin, God has faithfully promised us so many wonderful things as we trust in Him.

  • Come to Jesus, He will give you rest: Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT)
  • In the time of our greatest need, we can come to God for help: 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 4:16 NLT)
  • When we are worried and afraid, we can cast those cares on Jesus: Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)
  • Even in our deepest weakness, the grace of Jesus is sufficient for us: Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT)
  • God is able to do more than all we could ever ask or imagine: Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20 NLT)

If I could offer you one word of encouragement and a prayer for your life it would be this: DO NOT GIVE UP. I know the struggles of this life can be more than overwhelming but God is faithful to us. If you are struggling with hopelessness, despair, frustration, impatience, disappointment, or feelings of betrayal, honestly and humbly seek God’s face. He is bigger than your questions or your doubt. Through faith in Christ He can and will sustain us.

Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12 NLT).

Is this the Beginning of the End?

As the virus known as COVID-19 or Coronavirus continues to ravage its way across the world, this question has come to my mind on more than one occasion: is this the beginning of the end? The purpose of this blog post is not to discuss eschatology, the study of end times prophecy and events. The purpose of this message is to share a very important truth: regardless of when Jesus returns, we should be actively sharing the Gospel with the world. We should continually be discipling other followers of Jesus.

Anyone who has known me since I gave my life to Jesus in September of 2011 has likely experienced the passion and excitement I once had as I studied prophecy and end times events. There was a time where I spent countless hours reading prophetic news events from around the world, visited end times prophecy websites and forums, and studied the Scriptures thinking Jesus would return at any moment. Then, something happened along the way… I became almost consumed with “looking up” for Jesus that I became paralyzed with inaction serving Him here.

Lest you misunderstand me, the study of Scripture is of critical importance for every follower of Jesus and should be a daily discipline. So we are clear, Jesus thought His second coming was important enough to speak about the end of days on more than one occasion. Plainly said, I encourage every person to take a honest look at Matthew 24 and Luke 21 to understand an important truth: Jesus is coming again. The events that He said would happen are beginning to happen; and just as the “birth pains” increase until a child is born, so the events Jesus told us would increase in measure and intensity will continue to do so until His coming.

So back to my question, is this the beginning of the end? The answer is “I don’t know”. Only the Father does… (Matthew 24:36) When Jesus told us to “look up” because our redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28), what Jesus was not saying was to become so mesmerized  by these events that we stopped serving Him. Is Jesus coming again? Without a doubt. Should that excite us? Most certainly! Should that change how we act or serve Him? Most definitely! It should increase our urgency, passion, and resolve.

The purpose of this message is to share from the painful lesson I’ve learned. To my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, let the Master find us at work when He returns. If that’s this week or 100 years from now, let us be faithful in taking the Gospel to the nations. Don’t get so caught up on being “caught up” (raptured) that you forget the world that God so loved He gave His only Son (John 3:16) not wanting any to perish (2 Peter 3:9).