"For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God." — 2 Cor. 4:15

November 19, 2017

Is anything too hard for the Lord?
GENESIS 18:14

This is the rhetorical question to end all rhetorical questions, put to Abraham and Sarah about himself. The angel Gabriel put it another way to Mary, “Nothing will be impossible with God.”

There was that occasion in Jesus’ ministry when a boy who was demon-possessed was brought to Jesus. The disciples already tried to cast out the demon, but failed. Jesus responded:

“O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you?
How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”
MARK 9:19

Our story of the long-awaited son of Abraham and Sarah resumes this week, as God visits the aging couple to give them the good news. They are now one year out from holding their very own baby Isaac in their arms! Sarah’s old womb will bear a son! Do they jump up and down, hugging their visitors, dancing for joy?

Not exactly. Sarah has been eavesdropping on the conversation from inside the tent, and inexplicably, she laughs. And it’s not the right kind of laughing. This laugh has a tone of cynicism, of doubt, and she is called out for it by God himself.

When Jesus interacted with the father of the demon-possessed boy, it became clear that the man’s faith was lacking. He half-heartedly asked Jesus:

“If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (MARK 9:22)

Jesus said to him:

“‘If you can do anything’?
All things are possible for the one who has faith.”
(MARK 9:23)

The father immediately cried out with tears:

“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
(MARK 9:24)

Let’s not be numbered as part of the “faithless generation.” We worship the God of the impossible. He can still do immeasurably more than all we ask or even imagine. He gave Abraham and Sarah what he promised – a son. Jesus gave back to the father a son who was freed from the grip of Satan.

What are you waiting on God for? May this coming Sunday be a day when as God’s people we say, “Lord, we believe. Help our unbelief.”

Categories: Sermon Prep (LM)