Reflections of the Pastor

Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”[Luke 1:36-37 (NKJV)]. 

I confess that at times I am a ‘practical atheist’. By this I mean, I know God can do everything, but I doubt that He is willing and prepared to do the miraculous in my life. I justify my unbelief by telling myself that this is my humility coming front and center.

I took the time to look up verses that say the same truth as verse 37. In Genesis 18:14 God said to Sarah and Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Here was another instance where we had a couple who had gone through life unable to reproduce. Both these couples were privileged to experience reproduction supernaturally when they were well beyond the age for them to do it naturally.

The angel Gabriel spoke these similar words to Mary, “For no word from God will ever fail.” [Luke 1:37]. This promise was given as confirmation to the supernatural conception God was planning for her.

In Job 42:2 says, “I know that You can do all things; no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” Job affirms that he knows that God can do all things, that nothing of his will can be frustrated.

Jesus also affirms this relentless power of faith when he said, “…With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” [Matthew 19:26].

It is noteworthy that with the exception of the statement of Jesus, all of these promises came to individuals who either facing tremendous problems or had endured unfulfilled experiences in their lives. It would appear that God specifically designs difficulties for our lives so that He can prove his faithfulness when all else has failed.

Of paramount importance is the repeated truth that God’s promises to us can be trusted; that we can build our faith life upon those words that can never fail us.

Like with Elizabeth and Mary, sometimes God’s will in our lives brings questions that defy reason. If God was planning to give Elizabeth a son supernaturally, why did He have to force them to endure a long life of lack?

God wants to make us aware that when our resources are depleted, He still has power to sustain and fulfill our lives. Does your heart cling to this truth. Does God promises produce faith and steadfastness in your life?

Lord, help us to learn to lean more fully upon Your promises. Amen.”

—written by Rev. Ivan L. Schwenn, Pastor, St. John’s UM Church in Tucson, AZ-Posted 08/14/2023—