Posts Tagged ‘Luke 1:37’

All things are possible–Nothing is impossible: Same difference

July 11, 2020

The Verse of the Day for July 11, 2020, comes from Jeremiah 32:17 in the New International Version:

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

This verse offers encouragement and assurance during the challenging times in which we live, times described as perilous or difficult to deal with, where the nation and the world seem to be entangled in impossible situations.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind two other scriptures that speak of the awesome power of God and His Word. Both say the same thing but in different ways, that nothing is too hard for God. In one place in the Gospels, Jesus Christ states “. . . with God all things are possible.” In another place, the Word declares, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” The Amplified Bible renders Luke 1:37 in this way:

For with God, nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

As I acknowledged that the two verses express the same concept but in different ways, I thought of a principle from Geometry: “Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” These two verses also inspired this poetic response:

No Matter How You Phrase It

And Jesus looking upon them said, With men, it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible
Mark 10:27


For with God nothing shall be impossible. Luke 1:37

There is none like God who never fails to come through:
Whether you say “With God all things are possible”
Or say, “With God, nothing shall be impossible.”
No matter how you phrase it, the Word is still true.
As those who observe the times, we wisely surmise
That the Prince of Peace ascended to end all strife,
Leading captive even death to release new life,
Just as from ashes, beauty and splendor arise.
We boldly declare the Word of God and assert
The Providence of an all-wise Father who makes
Barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert.
With the Word of Life, even death itself awakes.
We seek to walk in wisdom and number our days,
Humbly discerning that His ways are not our ways.

The line “Just as from ashes, beauty and splendor arise” brings to mind the verse which says, “God gives beauty for ashes.” Did you know that ashes under extreme heat and pressure form gemstones, and that diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and such come from ashes? You see this when many of the volcanoes erupt, and when they settle and cool, you find beautiful gems at the base. Similarly, watch God turn around what seems like a total disaster. No matter how challenging the situation may appear to be, He can turn it into a magnificent triumph.

In “No Matter How You Phrase It” we find a reference to another seemingly impossible situation whereby God “makes barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert” which also illustrates the amazing power of God expressed in another original psalm:

Barrenness

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth;
shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert.
The beast of the field shall honor me,
the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

These people have I formed for myself;
they shall show forth my praise.
Isaiah 43:19-21


We are waiting with our eyes fixed toward open skies
That we might behold the wonders of this new thing.
From parched, lifeless places now shall it spring forth,
As the Lord makes a highway in the wilderness.
Even in the wasteland, shall He give cool waters;
To bless and refresh with rivers in the desert.
He has formed us for Himself: for His good pleasure
He chose us and set us apart to show forth praise.
All things for His glory: even the barren womb
He has prepared to bring forth life-changing seed.
Declare the Word, and thus shall it most surely be:
No word of God spoken shall be void of power.
Speak the Word only and barrenness shall vanish,
And fertile ground shall bring forth fruit in due season.

The Verse of the Day and the two poems reinforce a similar message that “Nothing is impossible.” These words also inspired this vibrant song of praise by Planetshakers”:

Suffering: Beauty for ashes

June 3, 2017

Isaiah 61--3.jpg

In his thoughtful and most inspiring blog, “His Curriculum of the Spiritual Life,” RH “Rusty” Foerger offers Poems, Prayers, & Proverbs that speak to what it means to be a “living curriculum” of the Christian Life.  In a recent entry focusing on “The Place of Suffering to the Soul,” where he examined comments from noted author John Ortberg, one of his statements arrested my attention:

Suffering is not the absence of goodness, it is not the absence of beauty, but perhaps it can be the place where true beauty can be known.”

In reflecting on this quote, a previous blog post came to mind where I commented upon God’s amazing ability to transform the most horrific circumstances into glorious displays of His wisdom, power, and might. I thought of the expression “beauty for ashes” found in Isaiah 61:3 which offers a series of such transformations or exchanges that only God can give. That particular verse was used as the epigraph or introduction to a poem with that title:

Beauty for Ashes

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified

Isaiah 61:3

Beauty for ashes–we are transformed to testify

Of a life radically changed that we might glorify

The God of Heaven who touches the earth with His love

That overflows with bountiful blessings from above.

We are blessed and highly favored–no one can deny.

 

That we should be chosen by God some may wonder why,

But none can fathom God’s grace, no matter how they try.

We ascend into God’s presence on wings of a dove:

Beauty for ashes.

 

Many times it may seem as if life has passed us by,

But God is faithful; on Him we can always rely.

Nothing in this life surpasses God’s unchanging love;

It is far beyond all that you could ask or think of.

Remember that God is not a man that He should lie:

Beauty for ashes.

The heart of the poem relates God’s amazing ability to transform ashes, symbols of suffering, sorrow, and despair into objects of exquisite beauty and splendor. Another poem examines God’s life-transforming power and offers a related reference with the line: “Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise.” The poem also contains a theme connected to God with whom all things are possible and with whom nothing is impossible.

No Matter How You Phrase It

And Jesus looking upon them said,  

With men it is impossible, but not with God:

for with God all things are possible

Mark 10:27

For with God nothing shall be impossible    

Luke 1:37                                                                                       

There is none like God who never fails to come through:

Whether you say “With God all things are possible”

Or say “With God nothing shall be impossible.”

No matter how you phrase it, the Word is still true.

As those who observe the times, we wisely surmise

That the Prince of Peace ascended to end all strife,

Leading captive even death to release new life.

Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise,

We boldly declare the Word of God and assert

The Providence of an all-wise Father who makes

Barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert.

With the Word of Life, even death itself awakes.

We seek to walk in wisdom and number our days,

Humbly discerning that His ways are not our ways.

In thinking more deeply about the subject, we recognize that beautiful, precious gemstones are derived from natural deposits or mines located across the Earth, with Africa being a particular location of abundant deposits.  In addition, did you know that ashes in volcanoes under extreme heat and pressure provide the perfect conditions to form certain precious stones, such as diamonds, rubies, and sapphires?  As the volcanoes erupt, they push the gemstones to the surface where they can be seen after the site has cooled.  So, indeed, God both figuratively and literally “gives beauty for ashes.” With the Psalmist, we declare:

Psalm 145:7

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite

Crystal Lewis and Ron Kenoly offer a tender rendition of the song “Beauty for Ashes.”

God does not need help

November 26, 2016

Jeremiah-32--17

In keeping with the recently established tradition of the “Quote of the Day” rather than the “Verse of the Day, we would offer the “Quote of the Day” for November 26, 2016:

“God does not need help; all He needs is cooperation.”

So often when believers encounter challenging situations, we call upon the Lord in our times of great need in the midst of seemingly impossible situations. When the resolution of the difficulties that we face are not coming forth as quickly and in the way that we think they should, our tendency is to try and help God out. Another quote from an unknown author provides a similar reminder in the form of message from God:

“Good Morning. This is God. I will be handling all your problems today. I will not need your help, so relax, and have a great day!”

When we encounter overwhelming situations that we cannot handle ourselves, here is a verse of scripture and comments to remember:

Jeremiah 32:17 (NIV):

“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

This particular verse brings to mind two scriptures that speak of the awesome power of God. Both say the same thing but in different ways, that nothing is too hard for God. In one place in the Gospels, Jesus Christ states “. . . with God all things are possible.” In another place, the Word declares, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” The Amplified Bible renders Luke 1:37 in this way:
For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

As we acknowledge that the two verses express the same concept but in different ways, a principle from Geometry comes to mind: “Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” These two verses also inspired this poem:

No Matter How You Phrase It

And Jesus looking upon them said,
with men it is impossible, but not with God:
for with God all things are possible
Mark 10:27

For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Luke 1:37

There is none like God who never fails to come through:
Whether you say “With God all things are possible”
Or say “With God nothing shall be impossible.”
No matter how you phrase it, the Word is still true.
As those who observe the times, we wisely surmise
That the Prince of Peace ascended to end all strife,
Leading captive even death to release new life,
Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise.
We boldly declare the Word of God and assert
The Providence of an all-wise Father who makes
Barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert.
With the Word of Life, even death itself awakes.
We seek to walk in wisdom and number our days,
Humbly discerning that your ways are not our ways.

The line “Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise” brings to mind the verse which says, “God gives beauty for ashes.” Did you know that ashes under extreme heat and pressure form gemstones, and that diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and such come from ashes? You see this with many of the volcanoes that erupt: when they settle and cool, you find beautiful gems at the base. In a similar way, watch God turn around what seems like a total disaster. No matter how challenging the situation may appear to be, He can turn it into a magnificent triumph. Some of the lyrics to an old gospel song remind us “He is God all by Himself/He needs no help from anybody else.”

The Quote of the Day and Jeremiah 32:17 both reinforce the message that “Nothing is too difficult for God.” That message is the inspiration for one of the most popular songs of praise composed by Don Moen: “Ah, Lord God. . .”

Nothing is too hard for you

July 11, 2016

Jeremiah-32--17In the Old Testament, Jeremiah prays to the Lord, and the Verse of the Day for July 11, 2016 is part of the prophet’s prayer for understanding:

Jeremiah 32:17 (NKJV):

‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.

Later in the same chapter the word of the Lord comes to Jeremiah in the form of a rhetorical question which is, in reality, a different expression of the statement from his prayer

Jeremiah 32:27 (NKJV)

 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?

In actuality, this question is first raised in Genesis in the midst of a seemingly impossible situation whereby Abraham and Sarah are informed that they will produce a son, despite the fact that they are both well advanced in age, with Sarah “being past childbearing.” In response to the news, Sarah laughs as Genesis 18:14-15 (NKJV) notes:

And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

These particular verses also bring to mind other scriptures that speak of the awesome power of God. These verses say the same thing but in different ways, that nothing is too hard for God.  In one place in the Gospels, Jesus Christ states “. . . with God all things are possible.” In another place, the Word declares, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” The Amplified Bible renders Luke 1:37 in this way:

For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

As I acknowledged that the two verses express the same concept but in different ways, I thought of a principle from Geometry: “Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” These verses also inspired this poem:

No Matter How You Phrase It

And Jesus looking upon them said,   

With men it is impossible, but not with God:     

for with God all things are possible       

Mark 10:27

 

For with God nothing shall be impossible. 

Luke 1:37

 

 There is none like God who never fails to come through:

Whether you say “With God all things are possible”

Or say “With God nothing shall be impossible.”

No matter how you phrase it, the Word is still true.

As those who observe the times, we wisely surmise

That the Prince of Peace ascended to end all strife,

Leading captive even death to release new life.

Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise,

We boldly declare the Word of God and assert

The Providence of an all-wise Father who makes

Barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert.

With the Word of Life, even death itself awakes.

We seek to walk in wisdom and number our days,

Humbly discerning that His ways are not our ways.

The line “Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise” brings to mind the verse which says, “God gives beauty for ashes.” Did you know that ashes under extreme heat and pressure form gemstones, and that diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and such come from ashes?  You see this with many of the volcanoes that erupt: when they settle and cool, you find beautiful gems at the base.  In a similar way, watch God turn what seems to be a total disaster into a magnificent triumph.

Presently our nation faces challenges that unfold in staggering proportions that seek to overwhelm and leave us physically and emotionally exhausted. Without question we are living in the last days, as, indeed, perilous times have come, times that are difficult to deal with. In the midst of such difficult days, we receive strength and encouragement from the Word of God that reminds us that “Nothing is too difficult for God.” The closing words of the Verse of the Day became the inspiration for one of the most popular songs of praise composed by Don Moen: “Ah, Lord God. . .” which reinforces that message.

 

The word will stand forever

July 6, 2016

The Verse of the Day speaks of the Word of God as enduring forever:

Matthew 24:35 (NLT):

Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.

The New Living Translation renders Mark 13:31 and  Luke 21:33 in the exact same way:

Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.

In Luke 1:37(NLT) makes a similar declaration

For the word of God will never fail.”

Although the verse is translated “For with God nothing will be impossible”, in the New King James and other versions, the American Standard Version puts it this way:

Luke 1:37:

For no word from God shall be void of power.

No matter how you express it, the Word of God will never disappear, never fail, but it will endure forever. So says Isaiah 40:7-8 (NLT):

The grass withers and the flowers fade
beneath the breath of the Lord.
And so it is with people.
The grass withers and the flowers fade,
but the word of our God stands forever.”

The closing statement from Isaiah 40:8 is repeated in 1 Peter 1:5 (NKJV)

But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

More than thirty years ago, I learned a valuable lesson about the fleeting nature of plant life in a most memorable way. I was living in rural Northeastern Ohio in an area where a massive oak tree stood out as a landmark on a peninsula near a large body of water. Within a couple of years the leaves on the top of the tree did not bud and grow out, as the dead branches began to increase year by year. Despite efforts to save the dying tree, the mighty oak was cut down and removed, leaving only a gigantic stump. After witnessing what occurred, I was inspired to write this:

The Old Oak Stump

The grass withers, the flower fades,

 because the breath of the LORD blows upon it:

 surely the people are grass.

 The grass withers, the flower fades,

but the word of our God stands for ever.

Isaiah 40:7-8

 

I stand dead center on the old oak stump,

The ruin of a woodland monument,

My feet encircled by the woody rings

That number far beyond remembered years.

I read between the lines of annual

Reports a history of all you have seen:

You saw the Shawnee dance around his fires;

You knew the name of each German who came

To farm, to build, and to beget his sons

Under the shaded beauty of your boughs;

You spread your arms and offered shelter as

A dwelling place for bird and beast and boy.

Yet time’s swift stroke condemned the tenement

As progress served its eviction notice.

Men leveled the tree whose lease had expired,

Legend of a people, long since cut off,

Like meadow grass overgrowing the land

Where I stand and read man’s life history:

Fleeting as baby’s breath, man’s day sprinkles

Grasslands for a season, then blows away.

All life evaporates like dew, except

The Word of God, which ever shall inspire.

 

Ken Whitson offers a musical reminder: “The Word Will Stand Forever.”

New Year: New you–no limits

January 1, 2016

2 Corinthians 5--17

The Verse of the Day for January 1, 2016 comes from 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT):

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

This verse also reinforces the Verse of the Day for yesterday, the last day of the old year, where God reminded us, “Behold, I will do a new thing. . .”

The Verse of the Day on the first day of the New Year also brings to mind the message delivered on New Year’s Eve by Bishop Charles Mellette of Christian Provision Ministries entitled “New Year: New—No Limits.” The objective of the teaching session was to help listeners to confess, believe and act on the Word of God, laying a foundation with Luke 1:37:

For with God nothing shall be impossible.

The American Standard Version offers this rendering:

For no word from God shall be void of power.

As we embark upon the next leg of our remarkable journey of discovery and forge ahead toward our destiny in God, Bishop Mellette reminded us that “There are no limits on our lives except for the limits that we place there when we choose not to believe the Word of God.” As believers, we are reminded that we must confess or to come into agreement with the Word of God. Jeremiah 1:12 in the New King James declares:

Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

12 Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am [actively] watching over My word to fulfill it.”

In addition, we must commit to and act on the Word of God despite the most challenging circumstances that may confront us. The living illustration of Abraham and Sarah found in Genesis 18:9-14 provides great encouragement.

When God sends a message to Abraham and Sarah that they will have a son in their old age, when Abraham is about a hundred years old and his wife “was long past the age of having children,” they are confronted with a seemingly impossible situation. In response to these circumstances, the Lord responds with a question that is really a statement: Is anything too hard for the LORD? (verse 14)

Abraham, the “father of faith,” overcame these incredible odds, and as Romans 4:20-21 (NLT) clearly reveals that Abraham’s faith increased:

19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.

20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.

The motivating message for the New Year ended with these two words of encouragement to remind us:

Nothing, nobody can stop us from reaching our destiny this year.

What we are seeking to find in God will be finding us all year long.

We end with this reminder from Israel Houghton with the refrain:

You make all things new

Yes, You make all things new

And I will follow you forward

 

Yes and amen: In answer to God’s call

August 11, 2014

2 Corinthians 1_19

Without question the Word of God is energetic and life-giving, as revealed in Hebrews 4:12:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Each word in the Word of Life is an expression of power. Luke 1:37 in the King James Version says, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” The American Standard Version offers this translation: “For no word from God shall be void of power.” Indeed, there is life-changing power in a single word from the Word, as the Poet notes:

. . . the power

of the printed word,

the power of a single light,

like a cloven tongue of fire,

to shatter the darkest night.

One of the most powerful words in the English language, in my estimation, is “yes.” With regard to Jesus Christ, Paul makes known this profound truth in 2 Corinthians 1:19-21 (New Living Translation)

19 For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says.

20 For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.

21 It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us,

Used to express affirmation or assent, “yes” often indicates as an affirmative reply. Certainly we are aware of that the word as a strong expression of joy, pleasure, or approval. When a player scores the winning shot in an overtime game, often excited fans respond with animated gestures and a vigorous “Yes! Way to go!”

Today I am celebrating an experience where I said “yes” forty years ago when I was ordained to the Christian ministry. Ordination is the public recognition of a response of an individual to the call of God to serve. For me, the recognition of this inner prompting to be of greater service may have transpired a considerable amount of time prior to August 11, 1974.

I recall as a child being aware of the presence of God, and as I grew older and was introduced to the Bible, I remember reading the passage in Isaiah 6 where the glory of God overwhelms the Prophet, who responds to the question: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us.” Isaiah answers saying, “Here am I, send me.” This simple response resonated within me for years, and I simply acknowledged the call to ministry and said “Yes” in my heart, even before I really knew what I was doing.

In reflecting upon that life-transforming experience I was inspired to revise this poem written earlier:

In celebration of my ordination

to the Christian Ministry

August 11, 1974

 

Forty Years ago

The number 40 is the product of 5 and 8,

and points to the action of grace (5),             

leading to and ending in revival and renewal (8).              

This is certainly the case where forty relates

to a period of evident probation.

E.W. Bullinger

Number in Scripture

 

Forty years ago in a kairos moment in time,

I was forever changed, beyond all reason and rhyme.

I answered God’s call, offered my life, and I said “Yes.”

The exact path my life would take I could only guess

The valleys I must descend, the mountains I must climb.

 

I would need great courage, symbolized in fragrant thyme

That graced my neck, as I was striving to reach my prime

Forty years ago.

 

To stumble and fall along the way is no crime,

For my earnest desire was to minister full-time;

Despite the challenges, to serve God nevertheless,

To go where I am sent, to please the Lord and to bless.

With a simple “Yes,” I began my quest toward heights sublime

Forty years ago.

Matt Redman offers “Yes and Amen,” the perfect expression in song of my response to God’s call to serve:

No matter how you phrase it: Nothing is too difficult for God

July 11, 2014

Jeremiah-32-17

The Verse of the Day for July 11, 2014 is found in Jeremiah 32:17 in the New International Version:

“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

This particular verse brings to mind two scriptures that also speak of the awesome power of God. Both say the same thing but in different ways, that nothing is too hard for God. In one place in the Gospels, Jesus Christ states “. . . with God all things are possible.” In another place, the Word declares, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” The Amplified Bible renders Luke 1:37 in this way:

For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

As I acknowledged that the two verses express the same concept but in different ways, I thought of a principle from Geometry: “Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” These two verses also inspired this poem:

No Matter How You Phrase It

And Jesus looking upon them said,

With men it is impossible, but not with God:

for with God all things are possible

Mark 10:27

 

For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Luke 1:37

 

There is none like God who never fails to come through:

Whether you say “With God all things are possible”

Or say “With God nothing shall be impossible.”

No matter how you phrase it, the Word is still true.

As those who observe the times, we wisely surmise

That the Prince of Peace ascended to end all strife,

Leading captive even death to release new life,

Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise.

We boldly declare the Word of God and assert

The Providence of an all-wise Father who makes

Barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert.

With the Word of Life, even death itself awakes.

We seek to walk in wisdom and number our days,

Humbly discerning that His ways are not our ways.

 

The line “Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise” brings to mind the verse which says, “God gives beauty for ashes.” Did you know that ashes under extreme heat and pressure form gemstones, and that diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and such come from ashes? You see this with many of the volcanoes that erupt: when they settle and cool, you find beautiful gems at the base. In a similar way, watch God turn around what seems like a total disaster. No matter how challenging the situation may appear to be, He can turn it into a magnificent triumph.

In “No Matter How You Phrase It” we find a reference to another seemingly impossible situation whereby God “makes barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert” which also illustrates the amazing power of God expressed in another poem:

Barrenness

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth;

shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness,

and rivers in the desert.

The beast of the field shall honour me,

the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness,

and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

This people have I formed for myself;

they shall show forth my praise.

Isaiah 43:19-21

I am waiting with my eyes fixed toward open skies

That I might behold the wonders of this new thing.

From parched, lifeless places now shall it spring forth,

As you shall make a highway in the wilderness.

Even in the wasteland shall you give cool waters;

You bless and refresh with rivers in the desert.

You have formed me for yourself: for your good pleasure

You chose me and set me apart to show forth praise.

All things for your glory: even the barren womb

You have prepared to bring forth life-changing seed.

Declare the Word and thus shall it most surely be:

No word of God spoken shall be void of power.

Speak the Word only and barrenness shall vanish,

And fertile ground shall bring forth fruit in due season.

 

The two poems relate a similar message that “Nothing is too difficult for God.” The closing words of the Verse of the Day became the inspiration for one of the most popular songs of praise composed by Don Moen: “Ah, Lord God. . .” which reinforces that message.

“Barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert”: theme for the New Year

January 11, 2011

Among the theme verses for the New Year is Isaiah 43:19-21.

Some of the theme verses for the New Year are found in Isaiah 43:19-21, a passage that introduces the following poem:

Barrenness

19  Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?   I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

20  The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

21  This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.

Isaiah 43:19-21                                                    

I am waiting with my eyes fixed toward open skies

That I might behold the wonders of this new thing.

From parched, lifeless places now shall it spring forth,

As you shall make a highway in the wilderness.

Even in the wasteland shall you give cool waters;

You bless and refresh with rivers in the desert.

You have formed me for yourself: for your good pleasure

You chose me and set me apart to show forth praise.

All things for your glory: even the barren womb

You have prepared to bring forth life-changing seed.

Declare the Word and thus shall it most surely be:

No word of God spoken shall be void of power.

Speak the Word only and barrenness shall vanish,

And fertile ground shall bring forth fruit in due season.

The poem immediately brought to mind a popular song composed by Don Moen, “God Will Make a Way”:

Here is another poem with a similar theme:                           

Even in Winter

 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,

 That brings forth its fruit in its season,

 Whose leaf also shall not wither;

 And whatever he does shall prosper.

 Psalm 1:3

Mournful dark notes of the wind’s contralto solo

Pierce the heart and chill the soul with its somber tones.

Shrouded in widow’s weeds all of creation groans,

Bemoans winter’s wilderness, lifeless and hollow.

Tall stark naked trees where nothing appears to grow                

Bend in the wind, vacant lodges closed for the season.

To find life in this dead time seems beyond reason,

Yet tender buds sleep in blankets of ice and snow.

Though leaves once green have faded, fallen to frostbite,

Leaf buds cluster in secret places to keep warm;

Buds wrapped in snow are stronger than before the storm.

Soon the voice of the bridegroom will ring in the night.

The time nears when the turtledove returns to sing,                                              

When ice-covered buds will blossom: firstfruits of spring 

Even in winter, growth takes place that shall blossom in due season.

I recall some of the remarks that I made during the eulogy for an individual whose earthly body had been cremated.  As I was reflecting on the greatness of God, two verses of scripture came to mind, both of which are saying the same thing, but in different ways. I recited this poem which speaks of the God of seemingly impossible situations. It opens with two verses that remind us that God is all-powerful, whether expressed in terms of the possibility or impossibility.  I thought of a principle from Geometry that “Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.”

No Matter How You Phrase It

And Jesus looking upon them saith,  

With men it is impossible, but not with God:

for with God all things are possible.

Mark 10:27


For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Luke 1:37

There is none like God who never fails to come through:

Whether you say “With God all things are possible”

Or say “With God nothing shall be impossible.”

No matter how you phrase it, the Word is still true.

As those who observe the times, we wisely surmise

That the Prince of Peace ascended to end all strife,

Leading captive even death to release new life,

Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise.

We boldly declare the Word of God and assert

The Providence of an all-wise Father who makes

Barrenness to bloom with rivers in the desert.

With the Word of Life, even death itself awakes.

We seek to walk in wisdom and number our days,

Humbly discerning that your ways are not our ways. 

The line “Just as from ashes beauty and splendor arise” brings to mind the verse which says “God gives beauty for ashes.” Did you know that ashes under extreme heat and pressure form gemstones, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and such come from ashes.  You see this with many of the volcanoes that erupt: when they settle and cool, you find beautiful gems. Watch God turn it around, what seems like a disaster, He can turn it into a magnificent triumph. The lyrics to an old song say,

Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?       

Got any mountains you cannot tunnel through?

God specializes in things called impossible,

And He can do what no other power, Holy Ghost power can do.

In the account of Abraham and Sara, who were confronted with a seemingly impossible situation, we find an astounding demonstration of the power of God, who “specializes in things called impossible.” The song “God Specializes” was one of the popular songs originally recorded by the Roberta Martin Singers:

When you face a situation that some, perhaps including yourself, have called impossible, take comfort and recall the words of Jeremiah 32:27 :

Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Sung by the late Calvin Hunt with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, “Nothing is Impossible with God” reminds us of that profound truth.