Today, the phrase “can do all things” catches my attention. With my Bible in hand, I decide to go exploring through God’s Word. Let me share a few scriptural correlations I find regarding this phrase.
“I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Many scholars believe that Job was the first recorded book of the Bible. Consequently, I feel that one of the first messages God wants to reveal to us is that He is sovereign. Through the life of Job, we can see and hear that God can do all things and that His purposes cannot be thwarted. God is always with us and He is aware of everything that happens to us. God does not cause difficulties but He does allow them. In Job 1, we read the conversation God had with satan that resulted in the trials of Job’s life. Throughout this book of scripture, Job experiences the loss of his possessions, children and health. Several chapters are devoted to the conversations between Job and his “friends.” For me, these exchanges of words appear to be more of a trial than a help. To summarize, we can say that Job encountered financial, physical and relational problems. Are these not the same areas where we face our challenges of life? I believe that through Job’s story God emphasizes to us that no matter what the nature of our problems, He is with us. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” God is sovereign!
After going through these all these trials, Job was able to say to God, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2. In context, Job is proclaiming to God that he is fully aware of the fact that He can do anything and that His plans and purposes cannot be prevented. My Reader, do you have the same confidence in the Lord as Job? Can you and I be encouraged through Job’s story to the extent that we are able to personalize this verse and affirm, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted”?
I am prompted to think about Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Notice the phrase “all things.”) Although Job encountered many difficulties, we learn by the end of the book that “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” Job 42:12. Personally, Job prospered and received twice as much as he previously had possessed. He was blessed with more children and he lived a full life to be an old man. For us, our prosperity may come in lessons of life we learn rather than just material possessions. How we embrace challenges may be an encouragement to others and allow them to also comprehend the sovereignty of God. Testings and trials may be difficult but the results are often a deeper relationship with God. When we love the Lord regardless of our circumstances and stand firm in our faith, we are promised God’s great rewards.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
In the Old Testament we have read that God can do all things. Now in the New Testament, we read that we can do all things. Whoa! I thought it was powerful that God could do all things, but now I am overwhelmed that I too can do all things! However, I can do all things only through the strength given to me by Christ. Listen to Paul’s words in II Corinthians 12:9-10. Paul begins by saying that the Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Then he goes on to state, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” We discover that Paul is declaring the sovereignty of God in verse 10 just as Job affirmed God’s sovereignty in Job 42:2. In our strength, we may not be able to achieve everything but when we rely upon the strength God gives to us, we will succeed.
One more scripture comes to my mind. This time I turn to Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (The phrase “all things” is not used but “in very situation” has a similar meaning.) There will be times when we will feel weak and worrisome, but God desires for us to turn our worries into prayers because He has a plan that cannot be thwarted when we rely upon His help. Through prayer, especially when we remember to give God thanks, He will place a peace in our hearts that is beyond our comprehension. Strength and peace are two gifts available to us from God. There is no need for us to worry about our possessions, our families, our relationships or our health because God already knows what we are encountering and how He can best use our situations for His glory. He will help us do all things. This is how our sovereign God rules and reigns!
My Reader, enjoy the rest of your day. May you say with Job, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” and may you also proclaim, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”