When I was in college I fell into a pit of sin. Ugly, nasty, and vile, it was just as disgusting as you can imagine. One thing I knew as I began to drag myself out was that I couldn’t do it without God and so I made a commitment between two of my morning classes that I would spend one hour in one of the private study rooms in the library studying my Bible and praying. I had to build my faith if I was going to survive the guilt of my sin and the weakness of my character. I can honestly say that this time in my life was one of the most amazing spiritual seasons I’ve ever had. I grew in my faith, in my love for God, and in my love of the church by leaps and bounds. Until one night, as I was lying in bed and the enormity of how sinful I was ran into God’s standard that I had been studying in scripture. I was overwhelmed. I was panicked. I could not be what He wanted me to be. I was so far from being like Jesus that I didn’t even know where to start. I cried myself to sleep that night, and the next morning I awakened with He Is Able on my mind. Ever since then it has been my favorite hymn. While it is not taken from one specific passage of scripture, it does combine thoughts from all over the Bible that when added together make a beautiful message that speaks right to my soul.
He is able, more than able, to accomplish what concerns me today.
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus told his followers, in what we call the Sermon on the Mount, not to be anxious or worry. Why? Because God takes care of His creation. Worry accomplishes nothing anyway and worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet is a futile pursuit. Worry, ultimately, is nothing more than a lack of trust in God. We are required to hand over today to God’s care and provision because He is able. So the first part of our equation is: do not worry.
He is able, more than able, to handle anything that comes my way.
I know that I’m not alone in this sentiment, but David is one of my most favorite people in the entire Bible. I identify with his sinful nature and his deeply remorseful one as well. One of the scenes from his life that inspires me and my Christian walk is found in 1 Samuel 17:33-37. David has volunteered to fight Goliath and King Saul has come to him to change his mind. It is a foolish thing for the boy to do! Goliath is a soldier who has been in training since he was a boy. David has no experience and he is not equipped with the military education to win this fight. Then David, in a firmness of faith that gives me chills, calmly tells Saul that he has already fought lions and bears while protecting his father’s sheep. He doesn’t need military experience; he has experienced God. In verse 37 he says, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (ESV). I know that God has brought me through some battles with “lions” and “bears” in my own life, and I’m sure He has in yours as well. So the next thing we need to add is: God delivers.
He is able, more than able, to do much more than I could ever dream.
During the Middle Ages, theologians loved to debate unanswerable questions like, “How many angels can fit on the end of a pin?” or “Can God create a rock that is too heavy for Him to lift?” The reason these questions do not have an answer is because we, as human beings, cannot comprehend the awesome power of God. As Paul tell us in Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. (NIV)” We cannot even imagine what God is capable of doing! That gives us the third part of our equation: we cannot even imagine.
He is able, more than able, to make me what He wants me to be.
That morning long ago when I woke up after a long night of crying and feeling overwhelmed as I opened my Bible to study that day, I had this thought, “I can’t do it, God. I can’t fix all of these things that are wrong with me. There are just too many of them.” But scripture tells us in Isaiah 64:8 that God is the potter. We are merely called to be the clay. He creates and fixes. We submit and are willing. As it says in Isaiah, “We are the work of His hand.” From this verse we have the last part of our addition sentence: He molds us into the work of His hand.
And now we put it all together in one beautiful awe inspiring statement:
I will not worry because God can deliver me from anything in ways that I could never imagine as He molds me into the work of His hand.
Think about that for a minute. Give you chills? Yep, me too. I’m so thankful that He is able.
By Chelli Guthrie
Chelli is the Let it Overflow Editor for CFYC. She and her husband, Luke, work with the Abell St. church of Christ in Wharton, Texas, where Luke is the pulpit minister. Chelli teaches the Jr. High class on Sunday mornings and leads the Children’s Bible Hour program on Sunday nights. She is a full-time mom who homeschools their three children: Grace (9), Sophia (4), and Levi (2). Her blog is www.theplantedtrees.blogspot.com.