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When Life Feels Impossible…Can God Still Work?

By Barbara Rainey

First posted on

During the years our children were teens—a long season for Dennis and me—I remember a time when our marriage felt impossibly difficult. I don’t remember the circumstances, but I can vividly see myself standing in our closet one day and thinking, “If I hadn’t promised ‘for better or worse’ I might walk away. Right now I do not see any way out of this quagmire we are in.”

I felt stuck and hopeless.

But in the middle of that darkness I remembered, by the help of God’s Holy Spirit, who was sent to do just this for His children, the words of Luke 1:37: “Nothing is impossible with God.”

For years I’d been quoting that verse every time I spoke to wives at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember marriage getaways. Knowing that in a room of hundreds and sometimes thousands of women there were many who were feeling their marriages were impossible, I always concluded with that verse of encouragement.

That day in our closet wasn’t the first time I’d felt stuck in an impossible situation in my marriage or another relationship. And it wasn’t the last. Because Luke 1:37 has been so important to me, when I noticed the same or similar wording in other places in God’s Word it was like finding more treasure.

In the years since I’ve realized that God specializes in impossibilities. Here are just a few from the Bible:

  • God gave Sarah power to conceive at age 90, to carry her child to term, and to deliver a healthy baby.

  • He parted the Red Sea and divided the Jordan River.

  • He kept the widow’s jar of oil from running out and fed Elijah by sending ravens to deliver him food.

  • God protected Daniel from the lion’s den and his companions Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace.

  • After sending the angel Gabriel, God enabled a virgin named Mary to conceive by the Holy Spirit of God Himself.

  • Jesus healed a multitude of people from disorders impossible to cure—leprosy, blindness, deafness, lameness, and much more.

  • He stopped the wind, calmed the turbulent waters, walked on water, and raised several people from the dead.

  • And for His followers after His ascension God opened jail doors, stopped the killing power of a viper bite, and gave His disciples wisdom and skill beyond their natural ability in speaking the gospel message to the world.

All of these miracles and many more are, for God, the result of His authoritative commands. God speaks and the created world obeys. Only humans—prone to wickedness, evil, error, and sin—have a free will to resist God’s Word and work.

Therefore the greatest miracle over impossibility is the hidden transformation of the human heart.

Nothing pleases God more than hearts surrendered to Him. It is when we are faced with impossibly difficult circumstances, when we are out of options then turn to Him, that He is free to work what only He can do.

Worldwide we have just finished an extremely difficult year, and the tentacles of hardship and suffering are reaching into the early months of this new year. I believe there is more hardship ahead because Jesus promised, “In the world you will have tribulation …” and, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 16:33; 15:18).

Are you feeling this foreboding too?

  • I know many who are still suffering from Covid or related difficulties.

  • I know many parents who are suffering as they watch their teens and grown children making poor life-altering choices.

  • I know families who are dealing with cancer, which seems to be on the rise.

  • I know the churches are struggling right now, trying to figure out a new normal, a new way forward with members who are afraid and anxious about their future.

  • Everyone wonders what is yet ahead, if the life we once knew will ever return and if we even want it to.

All of these hardships and more feel so impossible, but God’s Word is our hope and our anchor when everything seems to be shifting and changing beneath our feet.

To help you in these hard times I’ve created this list of the repeated times when God tells us Nothing Is Too Hard for Me!

Print it and keep it in your Bible or tape it where you can see it every day.

Here is why you can trust God and surrender to Him even when your life feels hopeless: If God can take the greatest evil, the most hopeless tragedy of all time—the murder of Jesus Christ, the sinless perfect Lamb of God—and turn it into the glory of His Resurrection, then nothing in your life is too hard for God to rescue, redeem and restore.

This is what we are about to celebrate in less than two weeks on Easter Sunday. And knowing nothing is too hard for God, even raising Jesus from the dead, gives us reason to sing and dance and shout and rejoice and celebrate with abandon this God we follow.

No marriage, no child, no parent, no church, no disease, no heartbreak, no loss, no NOTHING is impossible for God.

Count on it.

Ask Him to do what only He can do.

Invite Him to redeem and resurrect what to you seems impossible.

He delights to show Himself mighty in your life.

Because He loves you more than you can know.

And remember One day when Christ returns, He will “make all things new … and will wipe away every tear … and death shall be no more …” (Revelation 21:5 & 4). As author Fleming Rutledge wrote in her book Advent, “the impossible will come to pass and every promise will be fulfilled.”


Come quickly Lord Jesus!

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to read these other posts by Barbara Rainey about knowing and walking with God:


My Heart, Ever His: Prayers for Women (BRAND NEW from Barbara Rainey)

As we search for meaning in our world of shallow online relationships and glamorized selfies, many are returning to traditional and liturgical churches. The repeated words, benedictions, and historic hymns connect us to saints who have gone before, giving us a sense of belonging, richness, and transcendence. Written prayers, once cast off as archaic, are now welcomed as guides to tune our hearts to the heart of God.

In My Heart, Ever His Barbara Rainey shares 40 prayers for women. Readers can read and meditate on one prayer throughout the week or read a prayer a day for 40 days as a way to express the longing of our hearts to our Father who loves us even as he sees who we truly are. Like the psalms of David, these prayers are honest, sometimes raw. Barbara uses these transparent expressions of common female experiences to encourage us to surrender to Christ and help us see God as he is, not as we assume him to be. My Heart, Ever His provides a stepping-stone to help you become more transparent with God and discover his welcoming embrace.


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