Lately, I’ve been studying the story of Jonah. Yes, the Jonah who was swallowed by a whale and survived. Wouldn’t be much of a story if the story ended in the belly of a whale, now would it? 😉
I won’t get into specifics about everything I’ve been learning about Jonah and God because I may write a series on that later. But I do want to share one very specific question that has changed my thinking about my relationship with my Creator.
Do you believe that God is capable of producing miracles?
Wait, don’t answer that yet! I want you to really think about it and we’ll come back to the question soon.
First, let’s look at some definitions.
- Believe, Greek pisteuō – to think to be true; to be persuaded of; to entrust a thing to one (Blue Letter Bible app).
- Miracle – an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs; an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment (Merriam-Webster.com).
Did you see that last description of believe? To entrust a thing to one. Just imagine that one is God.
While reading the short book of Jonah, I realized I have heard this story many times growing up in the church, but never really studied it to figure out what the purpose of the book is. After all, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV).
As I prayed for Jesus to be the translator and teach me what I needed to learn, my basic belief in the Word of God was challenged. I was nudged to consider my belief in the stories I was taught as a young child and the stories I have read since then.
Do I really believe God created the whole world, everything in it, and man? Do I believe the animals and people of today are direct descendants of those who survived a flood that wiped out everything outside Noah’s boat? Do I believe a donkey talked to its owner when an angel blocked its path (fun story, I’ll let you google this one from the Old Testament)? Do I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, died, and lives again, conquering death?
The list could go on and on, but I think you get the point. If I believe God’s Word is true, then I must believe every bit of His Word is true, not just the things that seem possible to me.
He is the God of the impossible. All creation obeys Him when He speaks, with the exception of stubborn humans. How could I have the authority to explain away things I can’t comprehend? My husband once told me the truth does not depend on our understanding of it and I’m relearning it’s perfectly fine to read God’s Word and be left with questions and awe.
Now, let’s go back to our earlier question and tweak it in light of thinking about truly believing God’s Word as truth.
Do you believe God is capable of producing miracles in your life?
See, here’s where I’m challenged. If I believe His Words are true and in so, that God is the God before and beyond time restraints (Revelation 22:13), then I must remove this idea I have that God’s big acts are restricted to bible times and only reserved for a select few to experience.
If I believe He delights in giving good gifts, I then too must believe I’m included as a recipient. If He can part the waters to save His people, if He can utter a word and the waves calm, if He can make the dead live again, how then can I decide He is unable to make what I deem impossible possible?
Who am I to say what’s possible or impossible? Who am I to judge what is too hard for God Almighty? No one, I tell you.
So here’s where I leave you with a few thoughts.
- What in your life have you been reluctant to ask God for help with? A relationship? A long, unfulfilled desire?
- Have you given up on something because it seems impossible for you to succeed?
- Did you stop asking for God’s provision because it seems like He cares about everyone else but you?
I encourage you to reconsider your beliefs about God and who He is. Ask Him to break down your existing ideas about Him and His character and replace them with new and unexpected glimpses of Himself so you may see Him with new eyes. Let us be left in awe of who this God is and desire more and more of Him in our lives.
I can promise you I will still have doubts. I am still man and my mind is feeble, barely understanding the ways of God. But this I know, the God of the Old and New Testament is the same God of today and all my tomorrows. And He is still very capable of turning the impossible into something unbelievably possible.
But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27, ESV