These words can sound discouraging. Doesn’t the Bible say, “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37)? Which way is it?
The same Bible that says nothing is impossible with God also says there is something He cannot do. “It is impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:18). God “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2). Lying is against the nature of God. It is contrary to His being. The Bible doesn’t just say God will not lie. It says He cannot lie. God would have to be something other than God in order to lie. He cannot do this. “He cannot deny Himself’ (2 Tim. 2:13). This means more than saying that God chooses not to lie, that Goes not want to lie. It means He cannot. God’s will and His being are inseparable.
Now that we have shown that there is something God cannot do, let us build on that foundation. Given His nature and how He created the world, there are things we struggle with that even God cannot change.
God gives us free will. Everyone chooses between right and wrong, between God and Satan, between heaven and hell. God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), but he will not force anyone because that would take away man’s freedom to choose. Even God cannot make a person love Him if that person doesn’t want to love Him. Love is a choice; it can’t be compelled. Even Jesus couldn’t win everybody. After all His teaching, kindness, and miracles, many chose not to accept Him.
When people are mad at God because of all the cruelty in the world, they don’t realize what they are demanding. Those same people want to be free to choose. They want to go where they decide and do as they please. They don’t want to be forced or to be made into robots. Yet they expect God to be able to give man free will without the possibility of him sinning. He cannot do this. Either man has free will or he does not. We know that God made us so that we choose (Josh. 24:15; Deut. 30:15-20; Heb. 11:24-26). When people blame God for the evil in the world, they are expecting God to do what He cannot do.
But God can do things that seem to be impossible. That is the context of Luke 1:37. From a human standpoint, a virgin conceiving a child without knowing a man was not possible. But from God’s point of view it was.
The Lord doesn’t have to work a miracle to do amazing things. His providential hand can make seemingly hopeless situations work out for good. This is why we must be careful in our own reasoning. We may think a situation is impossible, but with God it is not. Sometimes we don’t know all the circumstances and variables. But God does, and that is why we should trust Him. He Himself says He cannot violate His own being, but He can do many things that seem impossible to us.
West End church of Christ