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Faith Can Do All Things

The power of God is incomprehensible to man.  In Jeremiah 32:17, the Scripture says, "Ah Lord GOD!  Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm!  Nothing is too difficult for You."  Indeed, there is nothing God cannot do other than that which is contrary to His holy nature, such as lying or being tempted by evil (Heb. 6:18; Jas. 1:13).  God has all power over all things, and His will and authority rule over all.

Christ, who is the Son of God, shares this great power with His Father.  In John 5:19, Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner."  Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told His apostles, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18).  Christ now reigns from heaven and will continue to do so until He has put all His enemies under His feet, and "when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all" (1Cor. 15:25-28).

If nothing is too difficult for God, and if Christ has all authority, then why is there sin in the world?  Why is there suffering, hardship, and death?  Why do we have to struggle to survive?  Why doesn't God simply give us eternal life now, take away all difficulties, and permanently satisfy all of our needs?

The answer to all these questions is found in Hebrews 11:6, which says, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."  Every opportunity for us to exercise faith is an opportunity to please God and gain His reward, but it is also an opportunity for sin.  Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve were unfaithful and did not believe God, who said that they would die for eating the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:1-6).  Ever since then, the wages of sin have affected this world with suffering, hardship, and death (Rom. 6:23a).  Our struggles in this world are opportunities to overcome sin and its effects through faith in Christ.  If we do so, then God will give us His reward of eternal life, take away our difficulties, and satisfy our needs forever.

To reach God's glorious reward, we must please Him, and that is impossible without faith.  "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1).  The assurance and conviction that are the substance of faith must be manifested in works or deeds.  All of the people described in Hebrews 11 acted on faith and proved their belief through what they did.  None of them were sinless, but all of them were justified because of their faithful actions.  Likewise, if we have genuine faith, then we must demonstrate it by our deeds. Otherwise, our faith is dead, "for just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead" (Jas. 2:26).

For this reason, the word of God places a heavy emphasis on the necessity of acting on faith.  What we do matters as much as what we believe.  The word of God teaches us both what to believe and what to do, and the two are inseparable.  A person cannot truly believe God's word unless he acts upon it.  For this reason, James 1:22 says, "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves."  Those who merely hear God's word but do not become doers of it are self-deluded because they think they are faithful when they are not.  Simply knowing the right thing to do is not the same as doing it.  "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin" (Jas. 4:17).

Therefore, let us be doers of God's word so that we may have faith to please Him. The impetus in on us; we must act. Like the apostle Paul, our mantra must be, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13). Notice that Paul received strength from Christ, but he was the one who had to act.  Indeed, God will not do our work for us.  He will equip us with the strength to succeed, but He requires us to provide our own effort.  Just as God brought Israel to the doorstep of the promised land and then required them to go in and conquer it, so also He brings us to our own opportunities for faith and expects us to act.  Will we prove ourselves faithful and please God?

Stacey E. Durham



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