[Paul’s] thrice-repeated prayer for the removal of the ailment was answered, not by his deliverance from it, but by his receiving the necessary grace to bear it – not simply to live with it but to be thankful for it. If his ministry was so effective despite this physical weakness, then the transcendent power was manifestly God’s, not his own. Infirmities like this were welcomed, together with the other hardships…if they were the condition on which the power of the risen Christ operated through him. They constantly reminded him not so much of his own inadequacy as of the total adequacy of Christ, in whom, when he was personally most weak, he knew himself to be most strong.
For men have no taste for [God’s power] till they are convinced of their need of it and they immediately forget its value unless they are conditionally reminded by awareness of their own weakness.
As holiness is the beauty of all God’s attributes, so power is that which gives life and action to all the perfections of the Divine nature. How vain would be the eternal counsels, if power did not step in to execute them. Without power His mercy would be but feeble pity, His promises an empty sound, His threatenings a mere scarecrow. God’s power is like Himself: infinite, eternal, incomprehensible; it can neither be checked, restrained, nor frustrated by the creature.
How foolish is every sinner. Can we poor worms strut it out against infinite power? Oh, that every obstinate sinner would think of this, and consider his unmeasurable boldness in thinking himself able to grapple with omnipotence! What force can any have to resist the presence of Him before whom rocks melt, and the heavens at length shall be shriveled up as a parchment by the last fire! As the light of God’s face is too dazzling to be beheld by us, so the arm of His power is too mighty to be opposed by us.
When really weak in ourselves, and conscious of that weakness, we are in the state suited to the manifestation of the power of God. When emptied of ourselves, we are filled with God. Those who think they can change their own hearts, atone for their own sins, subdue the power of evil in their own souls or in the souls of others, who feel able to sustain themselves under affliction, God leaves to their own resources. But when they feel and acknowledge their weakness, he communicates to them divine strength.
Whenever and whatever God creates, it’s an act of powerful, irresistible grace. Nothing forces God to speak. He only speaks when He wants to. But when He does speak, things happen… God speaking is God acting… When the voice of God rings out in gracious, creative power, not even death or unbelief can resist Him.
You become stronger only when you become weaker. When you surrender your will to God, you discover the resources to do what God requires.
God’s omnipotence describes His ability to do anything consistent with His nature.
How in the world can God take every decision, every act, with all its implications by every human being on the planet, leaving them a certain amount of limited autonomy to make their own choices for which they are culpable, and overrule all of that so that it all comes together perfectly into the tapestry of His own divine purpose? And that with all the contingencies – incalculable, infinite contingencies – everything ends up exactly the way God designed it to end up before He created anyone. That is a massive, massive mind and inexplicable, incomprehensible power.
Table Talk on Trouble and Triumph, Part 1. The sermon originally appeared at: (https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/42-270/table-talk-on-trouble-and-triumph-part-1) at www.gty.org. © 1969-2008. Grace to You. All rights reserved. Used by Permission.
In trial and weakness and trouble, He seeks to bring us low, until we learn that His grace is all, and to take pleasure in the very thing that brings us and keeps us low. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. His presence filling and satisfying our emptiness, becomes the secret of humility that need never fail. The humble man has learned the secret of abiding gladness. The weaker he feels, the lower he sinks, and the greater his humiliations appear, the more power and the presence of Christ are his portion.
All things (but lying, dying, and denying Himself) are possible to God (Christopher Neese).
I am the Almighty God, able to fulfill your highest hopes and accomplish for you the brightest ideal that ever My words set before you. There is no need of paring down the promise until it squares with human probabilities, no need of relinquishing one hope it has begotten, no need of adopting some interpretation of it which may make it seem easier to fulfill, and no need of striving to fulfill it in any second-rate way. All possibility lies in this: I am the Almighty God (Marcus Dods).
The greatest single distinguishing feature of the omnipotence of God is that our imagination gets lost thinking about it.
Many mistakenly think of God as if He were an insecure bully who likes to flex His heavenly muscles by putting down those who are weaker than He is. But God loves to show off His greatness and glory by being an inexhaustible source of strength to build up weak people like you and me. We honor God not by pretending to give Him what we arrogantly think He needs, but by praying for and posturing ourselves to receive all that He is and has obtained for us in Jesus.