Have you ever felt salvation is impossible?
Have you had nights when you have been on your knees before God praying that the child you love dearly would follow Jesus? Do you walk out the door every Sunday morning with children in tow feeling alone and discouraged because your husband refuses to join you?
Do you feel as though your prayer for your husband or child’s salvation will never be answered?
The relentless prayer of salvation for those we love can become exhausting and hopeless. This is something we would never say aloud because we are told to have bottomless faith. But there is that one, or maybe two people in our lives in which we have prayed for and have yet to see them cross the line of faith.
Did you know that Matthew 19:26, “With God all things are possible” is set within the context of salvation and not just a beautiful plaque for us to hang on the wall?
This is one of our all-time favorite verses yet often taken out of its context. We grab hold of this verse and claim its promises when we lack hope in a difficult situation.
There is validity to us drawing strength from this verse. When I cannot make head way in a seemingly impossible situation, I quote this verse quietly or sometimes aloud to assure me that what seems impossible for myself is possible for God.
But what is this verse actually talking about?
Why did Jesus say this and to whom did He say it?
So here is the story…there was a man, a quite wealthy man, who faced an extremely difficult situation. You see, he wanted to follow Jesus. Well, at least he thought that he did. His initial question to Jesus was quite interesting. He asked, “What good thing must I do” to gain salvation? Stop right here! We all know that there is never anything good enough that we can do in order to gain entrance into Heaven. Heaven is a grace thing, not a “good enough” thing.
But in this moment, Jesus doesn’t roll out the grace, He rolls out the list. He tells the wealthy man that He is the “only One who is good.” So, mister, your only chance is to keep the commandments. I can imagine what was going on inside the head of this wealthy fellow…” let’s see. There are over 600 commandments listed in the Old Testament. Which one should I choose? Which one will tip the scale and allow me access into Heaven?”
Don’t kill, sleep around, or steal. The wealthy man ponders this list and concludes, “And yet I have kept all of these but know I am still lacking.”
In desperation, the man cries out to Jesus asking for the key to the kingdom of eternal life.
Jesus tells the man to give up EVERYTHING. Sell it all…give it all away!
Jesus was aware that the one thing this man needed to do was the very thing he could not or would not do. The scriptural commands are often the easiest things for us. In our piety, we sit comfortably in church while the preacher speaks to the one sitting next to us or a few rows over. I have not murdered, committed adultery, stolen anything nor lied. I have honored my parents and my neighbor. This keeping of commands is easy.
Jesus asks for the IMPOSSIBLE…IMPOSSIBLE SALVATION!
Pondering his sacrifice, the wealthy man walks away from Jesus as the disciples witness his perplexity.
The disciples turn to Jesus mouths gaping in disbelief as Jesus responds with, “It is hard…”
Yes…you think? Squeezing a camel through the eye of a needle will be the story written for the salvation of some.
Fearing for themselves, they continue in their inquiry asking, “Who then can be saved?” The magnitude of this question has a ripple effect to this day.
The impossible salvation becomes possible with one statement from Jesus. This is the statement we hang our hat on; the statement that carries us through some of our darkest times; the statement that creates a strength within us reminding us we are not on our own…”
but with God ALL things are possible.”
When the prayer for salvation of the one you love seems dry and unproductive, remember that with God ALL things are possible. Believe it, trust it, claim it!
Impossible salvation becomes possible…
The child whom we see no hope for redemption…ALL things are possible!
That son who has abandoned foundational faith to follow the ways of the world…ALL things are possible!
The husband who has left because his undying love just died…ALL things are possible!
Our co-worker who refuses to hear the truth of Jesus…ALL things are possible!
Our neighbor who claims they will never step foot into a church…ALL things are possible!
The friend we have prayed for and now are rounding year five…ALL things are possible!
What seems like an IMPOSSIBLE SALVATION becomes possible only because
“with God ALL things are possible.”
Written by Melody Westbrook. Melody Westbrook is the founder of The Walk Ministries, a ministry designed to bring women together through God’s story. She was a pastor’s wife for 35 years and has authored the book The Walk Back to Eden (still waiting publication). She is a communicator who loves to tell God’s story written within each of us while using her personal experience of a broken marriage and childhood survivor of abuse to communicate God’s redemption story. She loves teaching real women real stories of real life from God’s word. You can find her at http://facebook.com/thewalk.edw/.