I met a man the other day who asked me a straightforward question: “Tell me this, is God able to save me?”
“Yes, he is able,” I answered, to which he responded, “No, you don’t know me, God can’t save me.”
“You’re right, I don’t know you, but I know God. And he is able.”
“No,” he insisted, and turned away.
Maybe it was playing on my subconscious, but a few weeks later I found myself preaching on a series of verses in the Bible that have one thing in common—that little phrase “He is able”. They breathe hope, strength and assurance. They are promises made to those who are looking, or need encouragement to look to Jesus Christ for rescue, and to those of us who have put our trust in Jesus, but need fresh hope, strength and assurance.
Maybe like that man you think, “It’s too late; not even God could save me.” Or maybe you are a Christian, but you look at your life and wonder if you will make it to the end. Here’s what the Bible says about Jesus Christ, “He is able to save completely those who come to God through him.” (Hebrews 7:25). A thorough and complete rescue for anyone who comes to God through Jesus—no exceptions, no case too hard.
Perhaps you find yourself being battered by temptation, and for that reason, you wonder if you can keep going. Your head is sinking below waves of doubt, temptation and pressure. You begin to wonder "Does God know how hard this is for me?" Then comes the answer: “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18) Look to him for help - it will come.
Perhaps you think, “I couldn’t make it, others might be able to make it, but not me” — God answers, “to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault” (Jude 24). You and I aren’t able to make it, our grip is weak, but his is strong, and he is able.
Or maybe you look at the world and despair — what’s it all coming too? Politicians lie and cheat, others line their own pockets. All sorts of agendas are being followed. Everywhere you look, God is being ignored. The world is careering headlong to destruction. Do not despair, for “He is able to subdue all things to himself” (Philippians 3:21 KJV).
This week I have been reminded of that great certainty, death. Maybe you look ahead with apprehension and trepidation—what comes next? Will I be ok? Am I ready? There is one way to be ready — we need to entrust our salvation, not to our best efforts (moral, religious or both), but to the one person who came to live the life we should have lived and pay the price we should pay—Jesus Christ. Then we can say with St. Paul, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).
But what of living for Christ in this world - are we left with a humdrum ordinariness, a waiting for heaven? Oh no - He is able to surpass and suprise. What we have here is an adventure with God, watching him sovereignly orchestrating the million strands of your life, interweaving them with the fabric of time and generations and lives scattered across the world, into one large breath-taking glorious tapestry. Do you struggle with small thoughts of God and his ways? “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). He will surpass all your expectations, and he will surprise you with what he does with your life, and with the future he has in store.
He is able. Trust Him.
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