Here’s the basic truth about life: You can’t.
But there’s good news: God can.
You can’t … stop, overcome, compensate, quit, change, conquer, triumph, refrain, etc., etc.,etc.
Clearly, you can’t. Otherwise you would. You would love to! But you can’t.
But God can. You name it. God can do it.
And He is willing to do so, if it meets two simple tests. It must be for your good and His glory. And remember: God gets the last word on defining “your good” and “His glory.”
No, this is not a carte blanche kind of deal. God is able to do anything that He wills to do. But what is He willing to do?
When and in what is God both able and willing?
Here are several of the things the New Testament tells us God is able and willing to do:
· God “is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
· God “is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages.” (Romans 16:25)
· “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18)
· God “is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 1:24)
· “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
· Abraham was “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:21)
· God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
· “I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. (2 Timothy 1:12)
· Abraham “considered that God was able even to raise [Isaac] from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” (Hebrews 11:19)
· “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy.” (James 4:12)
What will it take to see God do them?
First, we have to admit that we can’t. We have trouble with this. We don’t like to admit this. This is humiliating. It seems to dash all our hopes.
But it is essential. For as long as we insist that we can, God won’t.
But weakness is the way to entering into God’s strength. The Lord told Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul decided, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Major W. Ian Thomas put it this way: “I cannot—God never said I could; but God can, and always said He would!” (The Indwelling Life of Christ, p.31)
May we find the joy of discover just how able and willing God is to do through us all that He requires of us. Such joy begins with the crushing of self-hope: I can’t. It finds full flower in Christ-hope: But He can! He is able!