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).

When Life Comes Crashing Down

There are some moments in life where life can come crashing down on us. Where our picture perfect lives and the daily routines come to a screeching halt. Where the unthinkable sneaks up on us from behind and changes our lives in an instant. For me this moment was March 11th 2017.

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of a car wreck that literally had my life crashing down around me. Through the screeching sounds of breaks, breaking glass, air bags being deployed (all sounds I don’t remember), every illusion I had was shattered that day. In an instant, my little girl Brynleigh left this life for the next and my wife, my son, and I stepped in to a nightmare we never expected.

Even three years later the pain is fresh. As I look at images and videos from the wreck, I still struggle to believe this is all real. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the wreck, I encourage you to watch a video I prepared called Cupcakes and Rainbows or you can read a seven day devotion I wrote called Cupcakes and Rainbows: Life After Tragedy.

On this anniversary of the wreck I feel like it would be a betrayal not to honor the memory of my late wife Cassie and my beloved daughter Brynleigh not to remember that day, to celebrate their life, and to use their tragic death as an opportunity to share these truths: life is short. Life is unexpected. Life is fragile. Sometimes our routine lives can lay shattered in ruins around us and no matter how loud we scream, how desperately we beg, or how broken our hearts, we don’t get a redo. 

Today as I write this blog post, I am comforted by the fact that God is still good. I have confidence I will see my daughter again, and hope that I will see my late wife Cassie again. Jesus tells us in Scripture that in this life we will have tribulation (John 16:33) but tells us to rejoice because He has overcome this world. I am thankful that this life is not the end of my story. It isn’t the end of Brynleigh or Cassie’s story either.

I would give anything to rewind the clock to March 10th 2017 and spend one more day with them both. I can’t go back but what I can do, what I must do, is share the truth: today may be your last day too. If today was your last day, what do you wish you would have done in life? Do it. Who do you wish you would have forgiven or made amends with? Forgive them. What do you wish you would have said to your spouse or your children? Tell them.

Scripture warns us that this life is like a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow (James 4:14). Stop waiting to make it right until tomorrow, do it now. Tomorrow may never come. Speaking of no more tomorrows… if you died right now, are you prepared to stand before God? Some of you may say “there is no God”… are you sure? Most of us won’t even buy something cheap on Amazon without reading the review… but you aren’t even exploring if there is a God or not?

Had I died on March 11th 2017 along with my beloved wife and daughter, we would have all 3 entered in to God’s presence together. Scripture tells us that God loves each one of us and gave His only Son Jesus so we could be forgiven and free (John 3:16). My greatest desire for you is not to remember my name, not to remember my story, but to know a God who loves you and gave everything so you could be forgiven and free.

To all my friends, family, and brothers and sisters in Christ who have supported us, prayed for us, and walked through this nightmare with us, thank you. Keep Cassie and Brynleigh’s memories alive by speaking of them and thinking of them often. To Cassie and Brynleigh, I love you more than I ever knew possible, I’m so sorry I didn’t realize the depth of that love until you were taken from me. Kasen and I both love you, we will see you again soon.