What to Do When You Face the Impossible and Need God’s Miracle

It seems like we have so many friends struggling with so many issues.  I finally told Jennifer, “Don’t answer the phone. No one is calling with good news.”

Health issues, financial challenges, relationship struggles.  And no matter how hard they work the challenges remain.  I mean, what gives?

I don’t have an answer but I do have a contrasting picture.

Paul writes, “God will fulfill all your needs with his glorious riches.”

Wow!  Not just some needs and not just barely enough to get by.  No all of your needs will be fulfilled with the unlimited riches only God has.

So what do you face that’s bigger than God’s riches?  What do you face that’s stronger than God’s power?

Nothing that I can imagine, or if you do want any part of.

So how do you see those riches in your life?

Just ask and anticipate.  That’s it.

And I’ll tell you from personal experience I’ve had times when I faced the impossible and have seen God’s amazing power work.

Not because of any special spiritual power on my part.  Believe me it’s not there.  But simply because I asked and thought, “If he promised who am I to doubt?”

So simple even I can follow those directions.

 

*Philippians 4:19

How to Walk Clearly in the Darkness

Life is challenging isn’t it?  It seems like half the time you have no idea where you’re going.  And the other half, you don’t want to go.

I mean between financial, career, relationship and health challenges you sometimes feel like the ball in a pin ball machine.

You struggle to make it through one challenge only to find two more waiting.

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “Can I get off this merry-go-round for a while?”  I sure have.

That’s what I love about this promise David writes.

“If the Lord delights in a person he makes his steps firm; though he stumbles, he won’t fall for the Lord holds him up.”

That gives me so much comfort.  It seems like I’ve spent a lot of time stumbling in the dark.

Yet, God knows the path.  He sees in the darkness.  He guides you step by step even when you’re lost.

And when you catch your toe on a tree root in the trail and stumble he grasps your hand to keep you from falling.

I’ve seen this so many times.  God led us through the darkness into the light again.  And in the darkness I felt his steadying hand.

I’m glad.

Now, where’s that light switch?

 

*Psalm 37:23-24

Are Challenges Piling Up? Do You Need a Miracle?

Do you ever have times when the challenges seem to pile up?  I mean, you barely get one solved and the next hits?  Or worse their lining up faster than you can work?

We have so many friends facing that right now.  Truthfully, we’ve been on a run too.

I have two observations.  One it can feel overwhelming at times.  Two, maybe this is just life and I’m growing less tolerant.  Oh and three, no don’t ask my wife.

When I reread a Psalm I was encouraged though.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

Evidently, people have felt this way a long time.  Yet you have hope.

He says when you rest in the hope that God will work it all out your perspective changes.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the mountains you face you see them through the lens of God’s unlimited power.

Instead of feeling frustrated and anxious you discover unexplainable peace.

You find joy in the midst of the stress as you see God act on your behalf.

Then you surprisingly find yourself quietly thanking him.

Now that’s the real life I’m tolerant of.

 

*Psalm 43:5 (NIV)

Never Call Any Challenge Impossible!

We have so many friends right now facing what seems like impossible challenges.  Unsolvable health problems, financial crises, family struggles.

They try everything they know and the situation only grows worse with no end in sight.  They feel helpless, more than a little frustrated, I’d guess even with God sometimes.

Heck, I would.  Actually, I have.

I’d guess you’ve had those times.  Maybe you’re facing one right now.  You’ve tried everything and nothing has worked.  And you’re ready to give up.

That’s what I love about Jesus’ reply to a question about impossibility.

“What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

I can’t tell you how many times holding onto that promise has seen me through a dark night of despair until the sun dawned.   In the midst of some impossible challenges, knowing that though this is impossible for me it’s child’s play for God, has made all the difference.

He created all things so he can recreate them as he chooses.

He may not always give you exactly what you ask.  But he will give you what he knows is best.

Nothing you face today is impossible to the one who sees it all from the beginning.

Never call anything impossible.

I have and gladly been proven wrong.

 

*Luke 18:27 (NIV)

What Do You Do When You Feel Like You’re Drowning and You’re All Alone?

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.” (Psalm 18:16 NIV)

We have so many friends treading in deep water right now.  Struggling with grief, illness, financial setbacks or family challenges.

I don’t know, is there something cosmic going on?

I’ve swam in some pretty deep waters also a few times as I’m sure you have.  And in addition to the challenge, we can struggle with feeling like God has deserted us and left us all on our own.

Yet, this verse promises something very different.  You may not understand why the struggle but you can find comfort knowing God is with you in it.

And not only is he with you but he will pull you out and set you on dry ground again.

Kind of like Peter, getting out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus.  Bad idea.

Yet, Jesus reached out his hand and lifted him up.  Then they both walked on the water together and climbed in.

I’ve had a few of those Peter moments.   And I’ll tell you when I’ve reached out, Jesus’ hand was always there.

What about you?  Tired of swimming?  Ready to walk back to the boat?

How to Try Out the Spiritual Adventure

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8 NIV)

In college I lived the party life in a fraternity house.  I’d go to church occasionally to please my mom or meet girls.

The music was boring, the services long and the sermons remote.

Frankly, I couldn’t see the point.

During my senior year in college I came to a place where the partying just wasn’t enough anymore.  I struggled with depression and truly felt lonely even in the midst of the crowd.  I thought there simply had to be more to life than what I was experiencing.

A fraternity brother had gone through a spiritually transforming experience that I grew curious about.  I talked with him one evening about his spiritual journey and how he began.

No walk down a center isle in front of a crowd.  No membership classes.  No pledge forms.  He just tried it out to see if it worked.

Exactly what this verse says.  Take a taste.  Try it out.  See if God isn’t good.

I did and my life changed forever.  I can’t imagine, well actually I can imagine, what my life would have been like otherwise.

And no, I never once wanted to go back.

How to See God Give You the Desires of Your Heart (Part 2)

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.” (Psalm 37:5 NIV)

We have so many friends right now that could really use a miracle.  I mean they need a full up miracle just to survive.  They pray, we pray and nothing seems to change.

It leaves them and me wondering, “Why Lord?  Why no answers?”

Sometimes, having previously been a professional holy man, people ask me those questions.  Frankly I don’t know.  Sorry to disappoint.

But I’ll tell you what I’ve discovered.

When I’m at the end of trying everything I know and finally in resignation commit it to God.  When I say, “Ok, I give up.  I don’t understand but I trust you have a better plan.  I’m done, it’s your shift.”

Then I see him work.  Often not how I asked but rather in surprising ways.  Then I see his miracle as he fulfills the deepest desires of my heart.

David writes when you trust God enough to commit your desires to him to fulfill as he knows best it opens your eyes to see his real miracles.  And through that trust God’s power is unleashed in mysterious ways.

Are you at the end of your answers?  It’s okay.  God’s shift is starting.

How to See God Give You the Desires of Your Heart

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4 NIV)

What do you really desire?  What have you prayed for continually that hasn’t been answered?  What do you wish for that just hasn’t come?

And now you’ve grown weary and you’re ready to throw in the towel.  You think, “I guess God really doesn’t want that for me and I’m okay.”  Except you’re not.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced that and then a breakthrough happens.  Occasionally I’ve thought, “So God, you couldn’t give me this a little sooner?”

I won’t pretend to understand the mind of God.  Heck, half the time I don’t understand my own.

Yet, as a father nothing delights me more than seeing my children happy when I give them a gift.  But I also love them enough to want only what I know is best for them and so at times withheld requests.

When my children grew a bit older they could still delight in me as their father because they trusted I loved them and wanted only what was best for them.  Yeah, and then sometimes it didn’t work out exactly like that.

I think it works the same with God.  Only he’s a whole lot smarter.

How to Find Confidence When Bombarded by Crises

Another text message another crisis last night.

I said to Jennifer, “I don’t know if it is our age, but it seems like it’s been non-stop lately.”

From her look, I could tell she didn’t appreciate the age part much.

Friends suddenly losing loved ones, other friends facing health crises, some personal challenges.  It’s been a run lately.

That’s why when I read a promise of Jesus I suddenly stopped and thought, “Yes, that’s it.”

Jesus said, “It is done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega the Beginning and the End.”

Think about that.  He says, “I’ve completed all my plans since before creation.”

Then he promises, “I am first and last.  I created the beginning and I’ll create the end.”

So no matter what you face Jesus promises he is with you.

He knew you before you were born.  He’ll meet you when you leave this earth.  And he’s with you in the midst of this crazy thing called life bringing his power every day.

Do we question his plans sometimes?  Of course.  Often I’ve wondered, “God, could I vote on this?”

Yet, I’ve also seen God work difficult circumstances into amazing blessings.   And in the midst find comfort knowing he’s with me.

Oh and seriously, I’m not answering my phone right now.

*Revelation 21:6 (NIV)

Do You Face the Impossible? Here’s What to Do

We have so many friends struggling with impossible challenges right now I told Jennifer to quit answering the phone.

Several have health issues that appear out of control.  One is struggling financially because of health issues with no solution in sight.  Some are devastated by loosing loved ones and struggle to find resolution.

It makes me want to hide under our comforter and pretend I’m comatose.

Yet, in the midst of these challenges Jesus promises, “Nothing is impossible with God.”

I love that!  I’ve faced impossible challenges probably like you.  Yet, I’ve also seen God work the impossible on occasion.

I wish I could bottle the recipe that makes that work though because I’d be a billionaire.  Unfortunately, I haven’t.

I can tell you though he works miracles.  And he’ll work his greatest ones when you face the impossible.

He seems to do it most often when you just finally give in to his power and say, “Ok God.  I’m out of ideas.  I need yours.   I’ve finished my shift.  Time for you to take over.”

And then he does.  Maybe not like you expect.  Perhaps not even like you prayed.  But he brings his possible into your impossible.

Hey!  I hear the whistle.  Shift’s over.

*Luke 1:37 (NIV)