July 17, 2023

God of the Impossible

Genesis 17:1-8

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and . . . I will . . . greatly increase your numbers.”

—  Genesis 17:1-2

Often when God wants to do something big, he starts with something small. Such was the case with Abraham and Sarai. God took an elderly, childless couple and made them fruitful beyond belief. What seems impossible to human beings is very possible with God.

It had been 24 years since God first promised Abraham that he would become the father of a great nation (see Genesis 12:1-4). Several times through those years God reaffirmed his promise and even ceremonially sealed it. Still, Abraham and Sarai were without children. In Genesis 17 God affirmed this promise again by revealing his special name El Shaddai, meaning “God Almighty.” Then he changed Abram’s name to Abraham, meaning “father of many,” and spelled out further details of his plan. God also changed Sarai’s name to Sarah, meaning “princess” (see v. 15). Even though the promise had yet to be fulfilled, God offered reassurance to them.

Similarly, at times when it was difficult for me to believe his promises, God sent reassurances my way. Bible verses, songs, encouraging notes, and prayers helped to reassure me that God was still at work—even if circumstances hadn’t yet changed. Whatever you are trusting God for, draw strength from the encouragements he gives along the way.

God Almighty, you know how we struggle to be faithful. Reassure us of your presence and power, reminding us that nothing is impossible with you. Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

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