Nothing Too Hard for God!
James Smith, 1864
DISCOVER. His eyes are in every place beholding the evil and the good. Nothing can elude his notice, or escape His all-seeing eye! All things are naked and open before him with whom we have to do.
"There is nothing too hard for You!" Jeremiah 32:17
Jeremiah had to predict the long captivity of Israel and Judah; then he was directed to make a purchase in the land that was to be laid desolate; and having done what the Lord commanded him, deeply affected he retired to pour out his heart before the throne of grace. Prayer fits us for our most arduous duties and is a sweet relief when duty has been performed. We never prize the throne of grace as we do when our hearts are overcharged with grief and sorrow, and no one but our heavenly Father can give us relief.
How deep the devotion, how solemn the reverence manifested by this prophet. "Oh! Lord God, behold; you have made the Heaven and the earth by your great power and stretched out arm there is nothing too hard for you!" God's glorious works reveal his nature, and while they excite our admiration, they should strengthen our faith, and draw out our souls in prayer. Meditations on God's greatness should lead us to appeal to his goodness. When we see what he can do we should inquire what he has promised to do and then go and plead with him to do for us according to his word. There is nothing too hard for him. The appeal is to his understanding and his strength.
There is nothing too difficult for God to
He discovers the true state of every HEART, though the
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Every heart
lies naked and exposed before him. He fathoms its depths. He turns over its
intricate folds. He analyzes its dismal contents. He is fully acquainted . .
with every principle that influences it,
with every thought that arises within it,
with every word and work that proceeds from it.
No one can hide his heart in secret from the Lord.
He discovers the winding course of the LIFE. How few pursue a strait-forward course. How apt we are to veer aside like a broken bow. In looking back we can see what strange turns, what mysterious windings there has been in our paths. We scarcely saw them, or were not much affected by what we saw at the time although the most painful or pleasant events of our life depended on them. But the Lord saw the whole, and while he disapproved of our wandering disposition he often came forward to prevent our ruin, and to overrule the most vexing events for our welfare!
He discovers the true cause of our low estate. We
cannot fully or certainly know the causes. Sometimes we are
ready to ascribe it to divine sovereignty, and sometimes to human
responsibility, and sometimes partly to the one and partly to the other.
That the blessed Spirit is grieved with us, there can be no doubt but the
exact cause of it, we do not perceive. But it is fully known to the
Lord; we may therefore . . .
go to him in childlike simplicity,
tell him how we feel,
appeal to his knowledge of the cause,
ask him to reveal it to us, and
graciously to deliver us from it.
He discovers the occasion of our doubts and fears. There is nothing in God's character, or in Christ's most precious Gospel, to lead us to doubt or fear but just the reverse. And yet doubts and fears harass and torment us! Why is it? Perhaps the Lord only fully knows. There may be something physical that has to do with it. There may be something infernal. Nature and Satan may unite to lead us thus to dishonor God. Distrust is the root of them. Distrust of God's gracious word, or of his faithfulness to make it good. It may be our besetting sin this is the cause of more than half our troubles!
O for confidence in God! His eye is upon the course pursued by every member of his Church. His eye tracts us into our domestic circle and our prayer-closets; his eye follows us into our business, our friendships, and our pleasures. He notices our faithfulness, and our neglects. He knows our resistance to sin or yielding to temptations. He approves, or disapproves of every motive, word, or action, that passes before his omniscient eye.
He discovers the work and the design of Satan. He
keeps his eye upon his people's grand foe. However quietly the serpent
may move, however deceitfully he may lay his snares, the Lord is
privy to the whole! Here lies our safety. The Lord is our keeper, and he who
keeps us neither slumbers nor sleeps!
There is nothing too hard for God toEFFECT. "I know that you can do everything." "Is anything too hard for me, says the Lord?" "He does according to his will among the armies of Heaven, and the inhabitants of the earth." "He works all things after the counsel of his own will." Nothing is too hard for him! No change in providence, however it may appear improbable, or impossible to us. He could bring water out of the flinty rock. He could supply quail to satisfy the wants, and gratify the lusts of his people in the desert. He could feed Elijah for twelve months by ravens, and for two years and a half more by a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in the widow's cruse. He could inundate Samaria with plenty in the midst of famine and fearful desolation. If he wills it . . .
What he has done he can do; for he is the same. And if necessary for the glory of his name he will do it, for he will not allow his name to be polluted.
"Providence" is simply God at work at work for . . .
the accomplishment of his decrees,
the fulfillment of his promises,
the manifestation of his character, and
the present and eternal welfare of his people.
He can . . .
give whatever we need,
do whatever we need, and
glorify himself in giving to us, and working for us.
No work ofGRACE is too hard for the Lord. He can break the hardest heart. Though it is petrified like the heart of Manasseh, or like the heart of Saul of Tarsus he can break, soften, and transform it by a word! He can bow the stubbornest will; however determined and imperious it may be it must yield at his command. Therefore it is written, "Your people shall be willing in the day of your power."
He can enlighten the darkest intellect. Where man has failed to instruct or impress another God has easily and wondrously shone upon the mind. He can warm the coldest professor. Though he seems to have been born in an icehouse, and frozen into an iceberg he can melt, warm, and cause the bosom to glow with soft, winning, and tender love!
He can quicken the most lethargic spirit. Where there appeared to be no energy, no power, no zeal for God he has inspired the individual with extraordinary activity in his cause, and concern for his glory.
He can fructify the most unfruitful church, making "the wilderness like Eden; and the desert like the garden of the Lord."
He can cultivate the most barren neighborhood. Where all appeared hopeless, and every effort vain for from the hardest stones, he can raise up children unto Abraham.
He can use successfully the feeblest instrument.
Rams' horns, shall bring down the walls of Jericho. Trumpets,
pitchers, and lamps, shall conquer the mighty army of Midian. The
foolishness of preaching shall save those who believe. The weakest saint,
like the donkey's jaw bone in the hand of Samson shall do wonders,
slaying heaps upon heaps. Every 'instrument' is just what God makes it.
Every 'agent' accomplishes the mission whereunto God sends it.
See then, to whom we must LOOK. Not to creatures, not to circumstances, not to ourselves; but to the Lord, for whom nothing is too hard. We cannot he can. Creatures cannot but he can with ease.
See then, from what we must draw ENCOURAGEMENT. We have to do with one whose wisdom is infinite, and whose power is omnipotent. He can do exceeding and abundantly above all that we ask or think. If God therefore bids us to do anything let us set about it in his strength, depending on his word. And if tempted to despond or relax our efforts, let us view him as associated with us, and turning to him say, "There is nothing too hard for you!"
See then, to what we must APPEAL. To the almighty power of God to his almighty ability to do whatever he wills. We are not left to our own resources, or sent on a warfare at our own charges; but the Lord our God goes with us as a mighty and awesome One, and therefore though in consequence of our ignorance, weakness, and fear we are liable to fail; yet through his presence, power, and Spirit we can do all things!
See then, of what you must BEWARE of limiting the Lord. This was Israel's sin, and for this they had to smart, as we read, "Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland! Again and again they tested Gods patience and provoked the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders on the plain of Zoan!" Psalm 78:40-43
When Moses yielded to fear, and was guilty of questioning God's ability to provide for their needs in the wilderness the Lord was vexed with him, and said, "Has my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true or not." It is at once offensive to God and injurious to us to limit the power of God on the one hand, or the mercy of God on the other. He will act worthy of himself. He will display the infinite perfections of his nature, in his dealings with men but more especially with his own people.
See then, on what we should fix our FAITH. On the power of God as pledged to us in his precious promises. If he can do whatever we need, we have then only to ask: "Has he promised to do it? or do any of his promises warrant us to expect that he will do it?" If so, we may then go and ask him to do it, and plead with him until he gives us what we ask, or something better in its stead.
See then, with what we should feed our HOPE. We
hope for great things from God but we cannot hope for greater things than
he is both able and willing to give. But at times our hope
gets feeble: we look at circumstances, at creatures, at our own vileness, or
unworthiness then up springs questions, fears, doubts, and gloom! Now we
must turn away from SELF entirely, and fix the eye steadily on what
God is, as a covenant God and Father in Jesus; upon what God has
promised in his word; and especially upon the great fact, that God can
greatly glorify himself, by doing great things for such great sinners as we
are! This will . . .
strengthen our faith,
invigorate our hope, and
give us confidence and courage before God's throne of grace.
We cannot ask God to do greater things than he has
already done, or than he has promised to do in his blessed word.
His loving heart is larger than our most extensive wishes! His
promises go beyond our expectations. His power to discover
what we need, and to do what he discovers to be necessary ought to
fill us with joy and peace. We have to do with a God . . .
who is at peace with us,
whose love is fixed upon us,
who rejoices in opportunities to do us good,
and who has all power over all worlds.
Let us then commit ourselves and all our affairs to him.
Let us carry all our problems to his footstool.
Let us seek his intervention whenever it is necessary.
Let us expect him to fulfill his word in our daily experience.
Let us put ourselves into his hands that he may glorify himself in us and by us.
And, in all times of trouble, in all times of temptation,
in all times of conflict;
when burdened with cares,
when tormented by Satan,
when persecuted by the world,
when neglected by friends,
when smarting under convictions of sin,
when laboring under discouragement,
when looking forward with apprehension to a dying hour or a judgment day
let us remember for our comfort, that like Jeremiah, we may approach our Father's throne and say, "There is nothing too hard for you!" Therefore . . .
you can sustain me,
you can deliver me,
you can make me a conqueror and more than a conqueror . . .
over every foe,
over every fear, and
over every inbred lust!
Let us place . . .
God's power against our weakness;
God's knowledge against our ignorance;
God's mercy against our misery;
Gods fullness against our emptiness;
and so live by faith, walk by faith, fight the good fight of faith, and go on expecting "the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls." To God all powerful, to God only wise be glory and honor, dominion and power, both now and forever! Amen.