I don’t know about you, but I sometimes go through periods when I find it hard to believe God. I have no problem coping with the theory of faith; I am convinced that God can do anything, but that is different from believing that God will act in reality in my life.

As far as I can tell, there are two problems. Firstly, when I look at myself, it appears obvious that I lack everything that is needed for spiritual life and godliness. Secondly, the devil, who is a liar, constantly whispers, or sometimes shouts, that God’s word is not to be trusted.

My wife and I are re-reading the stories of the patriarchs in Genesis at the moment, where God makes promises that are impossible to be fulfilled. Why does he do that? Why does God promise things that no man alive will ever be able to accomplish? It is surely in order that we learn not to look to ourselves for the strength to carry out his will, nor to listen to the devil, who always seeks to turn us away from what God has said to what he, the devil, is saying.

The nub of the matter is this. Our hopes and aspirations are no more than sand falling through our fingers, unless, and this is a big unless, unless God will keep his word and do what is impossible for us, but possible for him.

One of the lesser known Wesley hymns that was included in the early Salvation Army songbooks, is astonishingly bold in affirming the possibility of the impossible.

All things are possible to him
That can in Jesus’ name believe;
Lord, I no more thy truth blaspheme,
Thy truth I lovingly receive;
I can, I do believe in thee;
All things are possible to me.

The most impossible of all
Is that I e’er from sin should cease;
Yet shall it be; I know it shall;
Jesus, look to thy faithfulness!
If nothing is too hard for thee,
All things are possible to me.

Though earth and Hell the word gainsay,
The word of God can never fail;
The Lamb shall take my sins away,
‘Tis certain, though impossible;
The thing impossible shall be,
All things are possible to me.

When thou the work of faith hast wrought,
I here shall in thine image shine,
Nor sin in deed or word or thought;
Let men exclaim and fiends repine,
They cannot break the firm decree;
All things are possible to me.

Thy mouth, O Lord, hath spoke, hath sworn
That I shall serve thee without fear,
Shall find the pearl which others spurn,
Holy and pure and perfect here;
The servant as his Lord shall be;
All things are possible to me.

All things are possible to God,
To Christ, the power of God in man,
To me, when I am all renewed,
When I in Christ am formed again,
And witness, from all sin set free,
All things are possible to me.

I find myself in inner conflict as to whether I want to, can or dare to sing it, but actually when I do, I find my heart responding again in faith toward God. I am reminded by the writer to the Hebrews, that without faith it is impossible to please God, and that in order to please him we must both believe that he exists and, crucially that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

So I find myself turning yet again to God who is faithful. I stop looking at my own incompetence and inability, stop listening to the lies of the devil, and look to the faithfulness of Jesus to make possible that which is impossible.

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