~ December 21, 2012 ~

Impossibilities… or Miracles

"But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions…" (Hebrews 10:32 NIV)

At times we experience challenges when we can’t find a solution for our need. No amount of intelligence, hard work, or connection with influential people will help. We have a dilemma … and we need a miracle.

I can imagine that Mary’s mind was racing as she processed the news that the angel brought her, "Do not be afraid Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son and you are to call him Jesus" (Luke 1:31 NIV).

Mary’s potential question: "How can this be possible? The way I understand it, babies don’t just ‘happen.'"

She asked the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" (Luke 1:34 NIV).
The angel said, "For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:37 ESV).

What does the word NOTHING mean to you?

As we end this year… and celebrate Christmas… and begin to think through the next year, make the decision to anticipate the miraculous. What is your "nothing" word?

Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God" (Luke 18:27).

Many think that a miracle can happen… however they live as though a miracle will not happen. They believe the stories of miraculous events of the Bible, but they can’t imagine those things happening in their lives.

The angel said, "For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:37 ESV).

"Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature" (Augustine, The City of God).

There have been many times that I’ve been in what I consider an impossible situation – I knew that I needed a miracle. So many of us need healing, need a critical relationship to be fixed, want a wayward child to return to the Lord, or feel overwhelmed with a multitude of obligations that seem impossible to fulfill. On and on we could go with our list of desperate needs.

Men and women of God, the examples we are shown in scriptures, seem to consistently point to a formula for praying for supernatural intervention (miracles). Permit me to advise you to apply the following truths to your situation.

• Pray for God’s help
"Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you" (Jeremiah 32:17).
"I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" (Jeremiah 32:27).

What does the word "anything" mean to you?

Since the days of the early church, great prayer movements have reminded us to focus on seeking God for his intervention. Armen Gesswein said, "When God is about to do something great, he starts with a difficulty. When he is about to do something truly magnificent, he starts with impossibility." F.B. Meyer said, "you never test the resources of God until you attempt the impossible."

• When you pray… leave it in God’s hands.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6 NIV).

Refuse to worry, calculate, or doubt. Begin to encourage others not to worry. Say, "Lord, I'm carrying something I can't handle." Then give it to him, and walk away. I have noticed that often when I do this I begin to think of an idea that had never crossed my mind, a possibility that seemed to come out of nowhere, or a financial "windfall" that I had not expected.

Our problem is that we hold on to our problems.

• Believe the unbelievable and step out by faith.
We often hear about faith… but what is faith? We might have memorized the often quoted verse, "Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). But talking about faith and living by faith are two different things.

The gospel of Mark tells of the tragic situation of a father and son. The incredible nightmare that this family was experiencing is hard to imagine. The son could not speak, was demon possessed, had seizures, and tried to kill himself. The boy’s father didn’t know what to do and out of desperation he said to Jesus, If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us" (Mark 9:22).
"What do you mean, 'If I can'?" Jesus asked, "Anything is possible if a person believes” (v23).
I can identify with the father’s reply, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (V24). Jesus healed the boy and said to his disciples; "this kind can come out only by prayer" (v29).

The first woman to swim the Catalina Channel was Florence Chadwick (1952). Because of not being able to see clearly (foggy day) she quit during her first try (within a mile of the 21.5 mile distance). The cold water, sharks, and weariness were not the reason she stopped. She couldn't determine where the shore was or how long it would take to get there. Two months later, she decided to try again. This time, she had memorized the view of the shoreline. In her thinking, she could see the successful swim. She swam in the fog but kept thinking of the shore. This time she finished… beating the world record by two hours.

Impossiblity… or a miracle? Chuck Swindoll wrote, "We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations." The solution, answer, supernatural intervention could be very close… keep believing. Don’t quit.

Always know that I am …

Your Friend and Servant in Christ,
Wayde Goodall, D.Min

Dean, College of Ministry

Northwest University

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