‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. (Jeremiah 32:17)
“It is what it is.” Oh how many times I have heard those words from believers and nonbelievers alike. Not happy with the way things are? “It is what it is.” Things not going your way? “It is what it is.” Someone does something you don’t like? “It is what it is.” Although many people do use this statement as an indication of a general acceptance of and peace about the way things are, especially when the way things are is unclear, I do believe many also use this statement as a form of resignation. Don’t like your financial state? “It is what it is.” Don’t like the way someone is treating you? “It is what it is.” Don’t like your job? “It is what it is.” Sick? “It is what it is.” Yet the more I delve into God’s Word, the more I say, “No, it is not what it is.” We should never resign ourselves to anything less than God’s best, for God’s best is never just “what it is.” “It is what it is” implies an inability to change. Yet nothing and no one on this earth is ever unable to change. The only immutable, forever constant, and always–well, just always–is God. God is Who He is. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And because God is who He is, impossible is not possible.
A little over a year ago, I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually tired; I did not like the way things were going, and I just didn’t feel complete. Nevertheless, I also wasn’t sure what to do about it. I couldn’t change others, and I couldn’t see how to change the situations, so in desperation I cried out to God to change me. I spoke and wrote this two-word prayer numerous times. Change me. Change me. I just couldn’t resign my life to “it is what it is.” I didn’t like it the way things were. And I knew deep down my life did not align with who God is.
So what happened? God did immeasurably more than I asked (Ephesians 3:20). He not only changed me; He also changed the circumstances of my life. Now I won’t say this process was easy. For it wasn’t. I lost some things I had been clinging to and endured sone bumpy roads, yet I will say the pain of the journey has been worth the results. Change isn’t easy. But change that draws you closer to Jesus is worth any temporary heartache.
Actually it has been through the refining fire God spoke to my heart that when what is before our eyes does not match our desires or expectations, when what we are experiencing does not make sense and even goes against what our heart believes to be true, we must keep marching forward, not with resignation, but in faith. We must put feet to what we believe and know to be true. We must focus on who God is in all circumstances. Instead of thinking “it is what it is” as we trudge on through life, we must march forward with heads held high declaring, “God is Who He is.” For as we fix our eyes on Jesus–the one who was, and who is, and who always will be–our “it is what it is” will no longer apply. For we will not only believe circumstances and people can change, we will see them change. They may not change in the way we may have first expected, but they will indeed change–and conform to God’s best. Our resignation will be transformed into expectation. We will no longer see things as they are; we will see things as they can be. Our faith will be made sight as we realize that nothing is impossible and all things are possible.
Nothing is impossible. All things are possible.
It is these two statements which initially led to this post. Do you know what I love about these statements? They are truth–truths I can strap on and use to gird my loins. And they are truths stated by Jesus Himself.
To my knowledge, I do not remember Jesus ever coming upon a sick person or a bad situation and saying, “It is what it is.” Imagine upon hearing the little girl He was on His way to heal had died, Jesus, instead of continuing His journey proclaiming she was only sleeping, stopped and sighed, “Well, it is what it is”? (see Mark 5) Imagine if Jesus, upon seeing the woman caught in adultery, instead of reminding her accusers of their own sinfulness, watched her get stoned according to the law because “it is what it is”? (see John 8) That’d be preposterous! Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, right before He was about to be arrested, beaten, and crucified for sins He never committed, Jesus prayed “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36). Yes, He prayed for God’s will and was willing to accept God’s will if it was indeed death, but He still believed all things were possible. Jesus knew if there were any other way, God could and would do it.
Even before the prayer in the garden, Jesus walked out God’s ability to do anything and everything. After a rich man walked away disheartened at the thought of having to sell everything and give it to the poor, Jesus reminded his disciples–who were wondering who could possibly be saved–that even though some things appear impossible to man, “with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27). When a father pleaded with Jesus to heal his little boy “if” Jesus could, Jesus responded,“‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23). And Jesus indeed healed the little boy. When the disciples came to Jesus with a boy they couldn’t heal, Jesus reminded them, “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20). Jesus knew and shared that faith in God–keeping our eyes firmly fixed on Him and His omnipotence–makes all things possible. All things. Even things we may have never thought of on our own.
Actually, even the conception of Jesus was a reminder of God’s omnipotence. When the angel came to Mary to inform her she would mother the Son of God, the angel declared, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Nothing will be impossible. Nothing. Not even what you may be facing right now is beyond God’s reach. If God can enable a virgin to give birth, He can certainly bring you through the fire without a single burn.
All things are possible and nothing will be impossible. Or as God declared to Sarah before the birth of Isaac or to Jeremiah during a siege, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:27).
No! Nothing is too hard for Him! God’s got it. He’s got it all. Are you facing a giant today? Rejoice. Nothing is impossible. Victory will come. Do you have a dream that looks like it will never be? Keep believing. All things are possible. Nothing and no one can stop God from doing what God wants to do. The desires God places in our hearts He will accomplish as we continue to delight in Him (Psalm 37:4). He will accomplish them. What we may see as an obstacle is really just an opportunity for God to be glorified in a way we may not have initially expected. God works out all things–yes, all things–for His good pleasure and according to His good purpose (Philippians 2:13; Romans 8:28).
So whatever or whoever it is you are struggling with today, continue to march forth knowing nothing and no one is beyond God’s control or beyond God’s reach. For we serve a God who makes the impossible not just possible, but probable. Hallelujah!
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”(Ephesians 3:20-21).