You have probably read or heard this Scripture before. I don’t know about you, but when I think of this verse and the truth in it, this raises the level of excitement and expectation in my heart. How could it not? This verse promises that you have the privilege of serving a God who can literally do anything, and there is nothing that is impossible for him. This is an absolutely incredible fact.
Yet, along with this fact comes a question: If nothing is impossible with God, why isn’t God helping me right now? I mean everything is possible, but my situation still seems to remain the same. What gives? Is it a God-problem, a me-problem, or are my expectations just too high? Finding answers to this question is necessary if we're going to have a better understanding of this God who can do the impossible.
A Closer Look at the Impossible Scriptures
There are other places within God’s word that remind us of his great power and ability. Here are a few:
Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son. – Genesis 18:14
Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. – Jeremiah 32:17
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. – Matthew 19:26
Why do I share these verses with you? It’s simply to remind you that there really is nothing too hard for God. Since this is true,how do we reconcile that nothing is impossible with God—when it feels like God isn’t helping? I want to give you a simple checklist I'm calling the “Nothing is impossible with God so why isn’t God helping" checklist. Let’s see how you do.
As powerful as God is, God moves in response to your faith. The first question on the checklist (and this is where I would start myself) is: do you believe what God said is true? This requires serious consideration of what's in your heart because if you really don’t believe then everything stops right there. Consider these words of Jesus:
He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. – Mark 6:5-6
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel. – Luke 7:9
There are a few times in Scripture where it mentions that Jesus was amazed. In these two instances, it was regarding faith.
Jesus was amazed at a lack of faith and he was amazed at great faith. The first thing to consider when you know that nothing is impossible with God but it seems God isn’t helping is your faith. It is not enough to know it, you must believe it. This is not meant to beat you up it is simply meant to wake you up.
The first and most important principle required to get God’s help is your faith. Simply put, do you believe it?
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. – Hebrews 11:6
Let’s assume you can check the box on the faith question and you say, yes, I believe that God is going to do it. Very good. The next question turns to motives. Consider what James says:
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. – James 4:1-3
There is something amazing about a God who does impossible things. He does them for the right reasons.
The truth is, your motives matter when you're asking God for his help. The reason for searching your motives is to make sure you rule out any selfish or ungodly thinking, like these believers to whom James was writing. Some of them weren’t asking God, and the ones who were sought their own self-interests. I'm not saying your motives are selfish, but it’s something you must check.
The desires of the heart can be very subtle and sneaky, even downright deceptive. It’s possible a wrong motive could be at the center of your asking and you may not notice it...or possibly, not want to acknowledge it.
Remember this: God loves to send help, but he will not send help if he knows that your motives are wrong. He doesn’t do that because he doesn’t care—but because he does. If your child wanted something because they wanted to be selfish and stingy, chances are you wouldn’t buy it for them. Why would you expect God to be any different? At the end of the day motives matter so make sure you check yours.
Checklist Item #3 – How Does it Align with God’s Will?
Let’s say you are now two for two on the checklist. Everything is looking good so far. Now to the alignment question. Quite honestly this is one of the hardest aspects of seeking God’s help because we often can’t fathom a reason why God wouldn’t help in a situation. Yet there is one—it’s called his will.
Consider these two portions of Scripture:
This, then, is how you should pray: "‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:9-10 (emphasis added)
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. – 1 John 5:14-15 (emphasis added)
In prayer, we are reminded that we need to pray according to his will. Jesus taught it and John reminds us. One of the major purposes of prayer is not to get God to line up with your will but to get you to line up with his.
I admit this isn't always easy because sometimes you don’t always know exactly what God’s will is in a situation. You look at a situation and believe that God can do it. There is not a selfish motive. It makes sense to assume that God would just go ahead and do what you asked for or need.
However, sometimes it doesn’t happen or it doesn’t happen right away. This is when it's time to ask God if this desire is in alignment with his will. This is a yes or no question. Regardless of how God responds to it, once you have settled the will of God question, this leaves only one box left to consider on the checklist.
If you're really honest with yourself, it’s easy to trust God in the beginning. It’s even easy to trust God at the end. The challenge is trusting God in the middle, when you are waiting.
When you know that nothing is impossible with God, but you're unsure why God isn’t helping, sometimes the only answer left is to trust him. You simply have to trust what God is doing in your life.
Here is the difference between faith and trust. Faith is believing that he can and he will. Trust is understanding that he will but that he will do it at the moment when it’s best for you. This is the hard part of trusting God. I know we talk a lot about faith in prayer, but I don’t hear people talking a lot about trust in prayer. Consider the words of Isaiah:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9
The fact is, God is operating at a level higher than what you know and can see. Our vision, when it comes to knowing the best thing for us, is often limited. His vision is not limited. He sees the whole game plan, mapped out from beginning to end. All we see is the next play.
Since we don’t always know what God is doing because his thoughts are different, we must simply be willing to trust him. This is not always easy but it’s part of our walking with Jesus. I ask you today...will you trust him?
How did you do on the checklist?
I hope you can see by these thoughts that the answer to why God isn’t helping when nothing is impossible is not always simple, easy, cut, and dry. Sometimes there are many answers, and they're all a bit challenging. They require not just faith but a deep, sincere trust in the plan God has for your life.
If you should ever feel nervous, afraid, anxious, or downright frustrated (I’ve felt all of those emotions) just know and trust that there is a God in heaven who is working for your good. He is doing the impossible even when it seems like he is not doing anything at all.
As the lyrics to the great song written by Sinach called "Waymaker" says, “even when I don’t see it you’re working. You never stop, never stop working.” It may not feel like it now but God is working on your situation. The best part is he is going to take your situation and work it for your good because that is his promise to you.
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. – Romans 8:28
Only a God who can do impossible things can do this in your life.
Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, author and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He has spent more than 30 years serving the body of Christ in various capacities and has just released his first book, The Pursuit of Purpose. If you have ever struggled trying to find God’s will, this book will help you discover the different ways God leads you into his perfect will. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.
This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture's context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today.