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What We Can or Cannot Do

Can we count on God to give us the ability to do anything we “believe him for”?

The Apostle Paul wrote that he had learned how to do all things through Christ who strengthened him (Philip 4:13).

But why then, on another occasion did he write, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do (Rom 7:15).

Some have tried to say that the Romans text describes Paul’s experience before coming to Christ. But that would imply that after coming to Christ we no longer have issues with fallen, self-defeating inclinations.

In another letter the Apostle wrote about his unnamed “thorn in the flesh” that he asked God repeatedly to remove, only to get a “no” answer. Yet Paul made it clear that such problems had not broken him, but that he had even learned to say, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2Cor 12:7-10).

So what does it mean to discover that “when I am weak, then I am strong”? Does it mean that first we learn what we can’t do. Then we discover that by trusting Christ we can do what we couldn’t do without relying on him?

The latter doesn’t seem to be the experience of anyone I know, nor of the people of the Bible.

The context of “I can do all things through Christ” includes Paul’s story that he had learned to experience the presence of Christ in both plenty and poverty. Or, in other words, he had learned to experience the grace of God in all kinds of circumstances.

So what are we to conclude? Seems to me that we say with confidence, “I can do anything that Christ wants and enables me to do— where, how, and only when he wants me to do it. I can say anything he wants and enables me to say. I can go anywhere he wants me to go. No adversarial government, institution, or group of people can stop me from doing what God enables me to do.

But with that confidence it seems just as important to conclude that what Paul doesn’t mean is that we can do anything we want to do, casually, or desperately,– by “believing” or “trusting” God for the ability to do it.

Where I land is in thinking that if we are going to use the phrase “believe God for” the ability to do something– then we need to be relying not on a “feeling” of what God is saying, but what he has actually said and promised.

In any case, am guessing that we all have thought quite a bit about the God given tension between whether we can or cannot do “all things” through Christ who is our strength. Let’s compare notes.

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81 Responses to “What We Can or Cannot Do”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    By reading this topic, my understanding concerning the question is…If we believe we can do all things through God, then why can’t we…heal the sick,raise the dead,move mountains by saying to them be thou removed,multiply what we have into much more, enough to have more than enough etc etc.

    Are God’s gifts to us conditional, upon His final approval? Or is it a matter of having enough faith?

    Jesus said if we had faith the size of a mustard seed we could do all these things and more.

    One small observation, of the majority of Christians I know, is that they are under the weight of some kind of suffering. Either physicaly, financialy, burdened for another, something, some sort of broken condition keeps them humbled and on their knees (if they have any) in prayer.

    Without this condition, would they be so dependant on God? Or would they go off chasing the wind? If the prodical son would have been succesful, he would not have learned the lessons of being humble and returned to his father.

    Faith and trust seem to go together.

    I would rather say that I can endure all things through Christ.

    Because it is through Christ that I can place my hopes. It is through Christ that I can believe all the things I can’t accomplish, can be.

    The 11th chapter of Hebrews, speaks to us concerning Gods promises and men of faith. :1 “Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    For what I yet have not been able to do, I will wait upon God, to make a way.

    But first, I must surrender my will, to God’s will.


  2. poohpity says:

    Good Morning and First day of December.

    I feel so much heart ache for those who say, “If your faith is the size of mustard seed you can have anything you pray for or move a mountain”. There are times even in those in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews that did not see the things promised them from the mouth of God but they happened. If we trust God with the things we lay at His feet in prayer then we will also trust that He will answer them in accordance to His will.

    Is it His will that people are healed, yes, but that could also mean that He takes them home to be with Him. Are they healed? Yes. Is it God’s will for people to go hungry, no, so then He asks for us to feed them. Is it God’s will for all to be saved, yes, but will you take the message to them? Does God need us to do those things for Him, no, but it was Him that through out scriptures have asked us to do those things and we are given the strength to carry out His will.

    If we take Phil. 4:13 out of context we can apply it to whatever we choose but Paul was saying that he could do everything that God asked him to do with the help of Christ who gives him strength and power to accomplish God’s will. Eph 2:10 says, “It is God Himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago He planned that we should spend these lives in helping others”.

    I think we do an injustice to ourselves and others to have a shopping list that we present to God of the “I wants” instead of asking God what he wants. I am not saying that our prayers are not answered. I am saying that our prayers change the more time we spend with our Lord. The more we trust God to supply all our needs the more peace we have and can rest in the care of His mighty hands. He knows our needs and He loves for us to communicate with Him through out the day to talk with Him continually.

  3. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    As Mart said:

    The Apostle Paul wrote that he had learned how to do all things through Christ who strengthened him (Philip 4:13).

    But why then, on another occasion did he write, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do (Rom 7:15).

    Like you said Steve we all seem to have to need something to keep us humbled, else we would be off like the prodical son.
    I am sat here it 5pm and it is dark outside and the wind and rain are still lashing down. I am very much at my wits end and have been praying, with tears, for that little cloud the size of a mans fist, just to give me a climmer of hope.
    Now if I was rich I would not be acting like that, but would probably be out somewhere trying to have a good time.
    Yes I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I feel God wants me to read Job, and I probably will tonight, because no matter where we are and how we feel we must trust the Lord.
    Paul also battled with the inner man and his flesh, hence the second statement in Romans.
    We will be able to do all things in Him when we trust and believe in His Word and Promises and cease to look at our inner man (self)
    That means when we feel bad we must totally trust. That is why our weakness is His strengh. God’d logic is almost always back to front to ours.


  4. rokdude5 says:

    Here is another struggle of mine…why doesnt God speak to us literally all the time instead of figuratively?

    Another passages that comes to mind is Matt 7:7-8 7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
    8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

    Wow…read literally, God is now my magic genie. All I got to do is ask and believe that He can deliver what I asked. However, now that makes me a god. Thats definitely a place I dont want to be.

    So now I have to think how I can read these passages that would be honoring and pleasing to God. I have to think about how I can serve God. Now those passages become much more clear and meaningful to me. Now I know when I serve Him, He will give me the strength and wisdom to do so.

  5. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom to all. Exciting times lie ahead for God’s people since we have been given the privilege to search the Scriptures and be built-up in the faith. We see, first of all, where Paul said in his epistle to the Roman believers: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” [Romans 10:17]. Yeshua said, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” [Matthew 4:4; cf. Deuteronomy 8:3]. Both verses point in the direction of the Scriptures….

    Mart’s question: “Can we count on God to give us the ability to do anything we “believe him for”? The answer is, yes – unequivocally, yes! :-)

    All the questions and Scriptures Mart shares with us are definitely legitimate, and deserve clear-biblical answers, not preconceived ideas or false assumptions.
    Since Mart mentions about the Apostle Paul, and some of our favorite Scriptures he penned: Philippians 4:13, Romans 7:15, and 2 Corinthians 123:7-10, we have to realize where Paul’s thinking was when he penned these Scriptures.

    Hence, this takes us to the crossroads of the Apostle Paul’s life. Here’s what I mean. Even as it was in Paul’s day, so it is today: Many people who really don’t understand the Scriptures, they have a tendency to ask the following questions: “Where was this guy coming from? First, he said this, then, he said that! His writings confuse me, so I’m going to find another translation that makes more sense; easier to read, or, rather than going this route, I think I’ll join that denomination so it’s easier to obey the Bible,” etc.

    Then, you have people who “pull the rabbit out of the hat,” so to speak, and they will tell you: “This is what I believe Paul was saying!” Hence, they twist his writings in order to update them to modern times. This is dangerous! Why?

    This takes us to the Apostle Peter’s Second Epistle where he writes: “As also in all HIS epistles (referring to the Apostle Paul), speaking in them of these things; in which are SOME THINGS HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, which they that are unlearned and unstable WREST (i.e., twist), as they do also THE OTHER SCRIPTURES unto their own destruction” [2 Peter 3:16].

    We have to remember one important principle in order to get us started: Paul’s writings were not made-up in his mind; he followed after the Tanakh (Old Testament): The Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings.

    A large majority of believers today who are either active or semi-active in mainstream denominations, probably will not understand what I’m about to say: They don’t realize that at the time Paul wrote his epistles, as well as the rest of the New Testament writers, the only Scriptures they had to refer to were Scriptures written in the Tanakh. Yes, it’s true, there was the Oral Law to consider, which I mentioned in some of my other comments in the past, but we’re not talking about the Oral Law, we’re talking about the unadulterated-divinely-inspired Word of God.

    Due to time and space, as well as to understand the order the Tanakh was written, I would recommend the readers to find a Hebrew Bible that provides a list of the books in each category mentioned: The Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings.

    To those who are reading the beginning of my comments, it may seem as though I’m going south instead of going north, but bear with me. Mart’s questions and his synopsis are vitally important for all of us, so let’s enjoy the remaining time we have with these beautiful topics.


  6. poohpity says:

    Bob in Cornwall,
    I am disabled and have to walk with a walker all the time because my leg is totally deformed after the last hip surgery I had. I live on a monthly wage of $640. I also have one son in college and the other to start in January. I used to get help with food stamps until I went to Africa and saw the Lord provide one meal a day for them and decided to go without. I feed myself, my one son and pay all the others bills on what the Lord has provided and we do just fine because money comes in from other sources sometimes out of the sky.

    I used to look at all I do not have and became so depressed that I started giving thanks for all I do have. I have a roof over my head, a car, clothes, pets and food that we never go hungry. I have so very much compared to others.

    The Lord called me from 21 years of drug and alcohol addiction in 1989 and blessed me with a relationship with Him. I tell you this not to blow a horn but to let you know that God will provide for all your needs and yes we all have a fight against the flesh. We do not all have the same fight but the fight we do have is common to man. I wish I could give you a big hug and reassure you that all will be well even when it does not seem like it. You tell God all your concerns and watch Him do what He does best and tell us too and we are walking through this time with you also.

  7. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. If I’m looking at it correctly, the above photo shows a person trying to move this humongous boulder which appears to be Mart – LOL! I believe this is a good illustration of why Mart would need a supernatural intervention of God’s strength to move this rock, wouldn’t you say so? This ties-in with Paul’s message to the Philippians: “I can do ALL THINGS through Messiah which strengtheneth me” [Philippians 4:13]. The emphasis I gave for “all things” includes the boulders of life we all run into every day.

    Do you suppose, when Paul was penning this verse, he was thinking about the words of Yeshua: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, “He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father”” [John 14:12]?

    Since Paul was commissioned to write the majority of books recorded in the New Testament, I’m sure these inspiring words of Yeshua, along with many more were flooding his mind continuously as he went about teaching people the Word of God. Paul emphasized for all believers to have the Mind of Messiah [1 Corinthians 2:16]. This tells me that by knowing God’s Word, we have the Mind of Messiah, at the same time we have His strength, power, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, holiness, and so on. In light of this information, it’s easy to see that by having the Mind of Messiah, this gives us the ability to move those daily boulders that get in our way.

    With Mart’s guidance, our focus is mostly on the Apostle Paul, so that’s where I want to start with my comments.

    I hope I can form my comments into words to where I don’t cause anyone any confusion. With this is mind, we need to know that when Paul penned his writings; inspired by the Holy Spirit, he didn’t think in terms like the modern church thinks. Paul’s spirit man was completely full of God’s Word. He was Spirit-filled. His life was completely dedicated to His LORD and Savior, Yeshua the Messiah. To put in bluntly: Paul’s thoughts were Jewish, not Gentile! Not that his ethnicity of being a Jew made him any better than a Gentile. Absolutely not!

    The Scriptures Mart has included in this lesson were written by a Jewish Apostle. When Paul penned his writings, his thoughts were centered upon the Tanakh, which included references to the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. Not only will you find a massive amount of references directing us to the Tanakh in Paul’s writings, you’ll also find many references directing us to the Tanakh in the Gospels; also in the writings of other New Testament writers.

    This brings us to these questions: “How many of us really take the time to thumb through the references in our Bibles?” Better yet: “How many of us take the time to really study the cross references in our Bible?” I’m asking these questions because it’s important for us to come to this conclusion: “Do we have the desire to be approved by God [2 Timothy 2:15]. To be approved by God, then, we have to study His Word: The Tanakh and the New Testament! This is why I want to encourage everyone involved on this blog to do your own cross-referencing. This way you’ll soon discover how those who were given the privilege to pen the Scriptures in the New Testament were inspired by the Tanakh.

    I’m sorry to say, a large majority of believers don’t think this way. I’m not condemning anyone for this weakness (and it is a weakness!), only desiring that each of us take into consideration what the Church, along with Messianic congregations are missing in their walk with the Master.

    Can we count on God to give us the ability to do anything we “believe him for”? Yes; and the answers are found both in the Tanakh and the New Testament.


  8. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. So, let’s be specific! Why did Paul write to his followers in his day, which also applies to us, in our day, that he and anyone else who was a true child of God could do all things through Messiah who strengthens us? He wrote it because he experienced the strength of Messiah every day. In every given situation he was involved in – he experienced the power of the Son of God manifesting in and through his life. For example, how many times was Paul beaten and left for dead? How many times was he abandoned by other disciples? How many times did he go hungry? How many times was he arrested and jailed? And the list continues. The answer is: MANY TIMES! But what kept him going? When he said it was the strength of Messiah that kept him going, is there a more-in-depth truth to this profession of faith? I think so. We have to be reminded that Paul, prior to his profession of faith in Yeshua, was highly trained in Torah from his childhood up to the time Yeshua ordained him to minister the Gospel. He was trained by one of the most honored rabbis of the first century, that being Gamaliel: “I (Paul) am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the Torah of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day” [Acts 22:3].

    So we know from Paul’s own testimony that he was highly trained. It’s a known fact that the Jewish children, especially the boys, were trained in Torah studies; Oral Torah; Talmud, and were encouraged to memorize the Scriptures. Even today in Israel, the same practice is in affect. Jews that truly love God’s Word, they will begin to train their children at the earliest age possible: “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it” [Proverbs 22:6].

    Therefore, it’s obvious that Paul’s mind was filled with the Word of God from his childhood. No wonder he was confident in the strength of the LORD. For example, when Paul was thinking of the strength of the LORD, perhaps his mind reverted back to the time King David wrote:

    (28) For Thou wilt light my candle; the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. (29) For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. (30) As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the LORD is tried; He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him. (31) For who is God save the LORD? Or who is a rock save our God? (32) It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. (33) He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. (34) He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms [Psalm 18:28-34].

    So, if he could say that he could do ALL THINGS through Messiah who strengthened him, yet, say, “For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I,” does this indicate that Paul was wavering, and was not really living a separated life? No, what he was saying was, through Messiah, this is where he obtained the strength to do the will of God, to overcome the works of the flesh; but if he chose not to allow his flesh to dictate to him what to do; otherwise, he would have lost the battle. Before I go to my next comments, it’s obvious that Paul made mistakes; however, even when he made a mistake, he was one who quickly repented. And, when he quickly repented, this in return provided him supernatural strength to overcome anything Satan fired at him….


  9. poohpity says:

    Ron, you asked, “Do you suppose, when Paul was penning this verse, he was thinking about the words of Yeshua: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, “He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father”” [John 14:12]? My reply would be no because John penned those words around 70 A.D., after the destruction of Jerusalem before he was exiled to Patmos and Paul wasn’t around Jesus at that time. I believe Paul penned Phil around 61 A.D. from Rome. That is not to say that he may have heard them from John before he wrote them down. Interesting thoughts.

  10. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    Thank you for sharing!
    Like Elija we sometimes think we are the only ones battleing with God’s plan and want to hide in a cave. He did that after the big battle between Jehovah and Baal, he panicked.
    Sometimes I just get anxious and panic because I think about me and not what God wants me to be.
    Everything we are and can be is written in God’s word.
    Faith is the currency of God and Faith is the Solid Reality (Substance) of what we hope for.
    Like Elija we can do all things through and by the Holy Spirit, but like him also we can hide in our caves.
    Luckily there is no escape from God’s love and He seeks us out and sustains us.

  11. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Time for bed here!

  12. dependent says:

    I think it is interesting how my flesh wants to cling to the promises recorded in scripture that seem to point to God’s willingness to bless me with the comforts of life, protection and deliverance–all the while minimizing the certainty that God will not always preempt suffering and troubles or “make good” on those promises in what *I* consider a timely manner.

    It is interesting how Jesus follows his “ask in my name and you will receive” promise with another promise that sort of sets up this tension that Mart outlines–a promise of troubles and suffering because of their/our faith in Him.

    The NT writers take pains to acknowledge that suffering and trials and sorrow and danger are all part of the ‘deal’ as we carry about the work of the Kingdom. Paul went to great lengths in 1 Cor 4 to establish that things weren’t all rosy and victorious for them. He is hungry and thirsty and without adequate clothing and a roof over their head. In 2 Cor 11 Pauls enumerates beatings at the hands of the Romans and the Jews and recounts shipwrecks and being stoned.

    Are we to believe that poor Paul simply didn’t work up a ‘mustard seed’ of faith as he was undoubtably praying to God for deliverance? Did he drift a day and night in open seas or endure brutal prison conditions because he didnt “ask the Father in Jesus’ name” or experienced lack because he “asked amiss”?

    Perservering, enduring and hoping are threads woven throughout the NT. As are miraculous works of deliverance and provision that brought glory to God and affirmed the Apostles testimony.

    So for me, the great exploits and displays of God’s power (which certainly came by way of their faith and submission to God) are only part of the “I can do all things”. They are balanced by the less ‘flashy’ (but just as faith-filled) ability to endure and perservere a “no” or “not yet” answer from God so that His will would be accomplished, by His means and in His timing.

    So yes, I *can* do ‘all’ things through Christ as long as I’m willing to concede that “all things” includes the ability to endure and perservere and trust in the timing of God and acknowledge that I don’t always make the best choices or perfectly perceive the how/why/when of what he asks me to do.

    Hope that makes sense.

  13. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. I left off with this information: So, if Paul could say that he could do ALL THINGS through Messiah who strengthened him, yet, say, “For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I,” does this indicate that Paul is wavering, and not really living a separated life? No, what he was saying was, through Messiah, this is where he obtained the strength to do the will of God, to overcome the works of the flesh; however, if he chose to allow his flesh to dictate to him what to do, he would have lost the battle.

    Okay, Paul obtained the strength of the LORD Yeshua to do the will of God, to overcome the works of the flesh, but, how? Was it not Paul who said, “This I say then, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh”” [Galatians 5:16]? Yes, this is what he said. Then, how do we walk in the Spirit? What about the words of Yeshua: “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” [John 6:63].

    The verse I gave you, that being Galatians 5:16, when Paul said, “Walk” in the Spirit, he was using the present tense clause to explain that a believer should “go on living” in the Spirit, or “your conduct should be a habitual conduct” in the Spirit. This was Paul’s way of saying, by us living by the promptings and power of the Spirit of God, habitually, this is the key to conquering our sinful desires: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” [Galatians 5:25]. So, in light of what Yeshua said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” [John 6:63], and Paul’s words, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” [Galatians 5:16], we can overcome the things we do, along with the things we hate. In light of this, if we truly love God, we will hate evil: “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil; He preserveth the souls of His saints; He delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked” [Psalm 97:10].

    I think the best way to end my comments, which could go on and on, I leave with this beautiful verse where Paul said, “Therefore if any man be in Messiah, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” [2 Corinthians 5:17]. In verse 16, Paul seems to indicate that before he was born again by God’s Spirit, he held high views about Messiah that were “according to the flesh” – based on pure human insight, not in the Spirit. But now, Paul said, when a person is truly in Messiah by faith, he is united with Messiah in faith and is totally committed to Him. Why? Because he is a new creation – he has been redeemed and restored. Head knowledge vanishes; heart knowledge comes alive, and this all takes place in Messiah, through whom all things are made [John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2], and in whom all things are restored or created anew [cf. Romans 8:18-23; Ephesians 2:10]. Bless the Name of the LORD!

    To all my brothers and sisters:

    (24) The LORD bless thee, and keep thee; (25) the LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; (26) the LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee Shalom [Numbers 6:24-26].

    For all my brothers and sisters who are ill and struggling with trials and tribulations:

    Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth [3 John 1:2].

    Love and Shalom in Messiah Yeshua,

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  14. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom poohpity. You said,

    Ron, you asked, “Do you suppose, when Paul was penning this verse, he was thinking about the words of Yeshua: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, “He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father”” [John 14:12]? My reply would be no because John penned those words around 70 A.D., after the destruction of Jerusalem before he was exiled to Patmos and Paul wasn’t around Jesus at that time. I believe Paul penned Phil around 61 A.D. from Rome. That is not to say that he may have heard them from John before he wrote them down. Interesting thoughts.

    It appears you answered your own question, where you ended you comment: That is not to say that he may have heard them from John before he wrote them down. Interesting thoughts.

    You have to remember that Paul, being a Pharisee, was involved with a lot of conspiracy to cause division among the Natzrim (followers of the Nazarene) during the time Yeshua was preaching the Gospel. I have no doubt that Paul stood with the Pharisees who condemned Yeshua to the Tree. Once he was called by Yeshua to preach the Gospel, he was in touch with all of the Apostles, and many other followers. So, he heard the words of Yeshua; you can count on it.

  15. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom to all. I’m gone! Spending time with family. Love you all.

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  16. Hisgirl4life says:

    Greetings to all fellow bloggers…

    Bless you for sharing so honestly Poohpity and Bob…honesty is the heart of human intimacy and Christian fellowship! You are both rich in the ways of the Lord, and God is your faithful provider in ALL things.

    Many great scriptures, Ron Ben!

    I agree with your comment, Steve, about faith and trust, and I would add to those disobedience and surrender (2 opposites). When I think of these two verses, the Phil. 4:13 verse seems it is geared toward a life surrendered to God’s will…blessings as well as trials and hardship; a steadfast determination that whatever God’s will is for our life, whatever his plan, our attitude becomes like Jesus’ mother, Mary. “I am the Lord’s servant…for nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37-38). Those verses acknowledges God is soverign and in control, a concept that all too often seems to create an uneasiness to our humanness. The Psalms say, “it is God who determines our steps.”

    The Romans 7:15 passage about doing the things we don’t want to do to me refers to our human tendency or bent toward rebellion and/or our sinful nature. These tendancies will never fully be crucified until the day Christ perfects us in glory. We can all strive to do better, say and think the right things, but God tells us there is nobody that is without sin. (Romans 3:23).

    And yes, Dependent, as you wrote sometimes God reminds us the battle is not ours to fight…”Stand firm and you will see the deliverence the LORD will bring you today…The LORD will fight for you; you need only be still.” (Ex. 14:13-14).

    We are all human, with all the human emotions Christ himself experienced with one difference…Christ was without sin. Isn’t God’s Word great! It speaks to all of us at just the point of our need to convict, encourage, instruct and love us just as we are…human, sinful, weak…ALL in need of a Savior.

  17. poohpity says:

    Ron I do not know whether Paul stood with the Pharisees during the trails of Jesus because it does not say that in the bible. I think Chapter 14 of John was in the midst of the closet disciples. I just did not understand why you said that but that is another discussion for another time.

    Amen dependent, I so enjoy your posts that’s not to say I do not enjoy others as well because I enjoy spiritual aerobics. Iron sharpens iron and it is so wonderful to learn.

    I apologize for going off topic.

  18. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    06:30am. here and I am in a rush to get the bus to work, but, I woke up with this thought.

    To be able to do all things through Messiah I must first do all things Messiah.

    In other words I must stop asking God to help to do the things I want in my life and earnestly seek and ask Him for what He wants in my life.
    Then, maybe, I will start seeing things happen and my life will move on. :-)


  19. kaliko88 says:

    Maybe part of the answer is in the word ‘we’.

    Poohpity, I can’t answer your question from last post. I’d either write a list of woes or lie. And the woes are actually very small and unimportant to anyone but me. I just need time. It’s big now, sometimes overwhelming, but it won’t be big for long. What do I really have to complain about anyway? It’s just life. Like I’m really going to say to God 10,000 years from now, “Hey, heaven is great, but I got bone to pick with you about the first 100 years.”

  20. SFDBWV says:

    As I read over the discussions, I am somewhat supprised at the interpetation of Romans 7:15. I say supprised, only because I never had a problem with Paul’s statement.

    In fact, this confession of Paul always gave me encouragement.

    We seem to forget the humaness of the Disciples. These
    men erred and sometimes they told us of them.

    I read from this one verse and the verses that follow, that Paul desires to do what is right, but often does what is not right. He tries but sometimes fails.

    Just like me.

    But because of Jesus Christ, his intentions are understood spiritualy even if, it seems, he errs in his actions.

    One thing is for sure I will be thinking about this verse subject today.


  21. SFDBWV says:

    On the subject of can do, can’t do; I could write a book about this subject. But I won’t, today.

    When this awful tragedy befell my son, both he and I were confessing Christians. The very fact that this happened to him, confused me and continues to confuse him. Why would God allow this?

    Four months into this nightmare, Rita, my wife and Matthews mother gets the bad news she has cancer.

    Up unto these events Rita was not a believer. However since the death of her father 2 years earlier, she was under the stirring of the Holy Spirit. She was forced to deal with events out of her control, and to her unliking.

    From the night of Matthew’s automobile accident, good Christian people had been praying and believing for a miracle for Matt. Now that Rita was sick, they too prayed for her recovery. She began attending the church where her mother had began attending. The good people of this congregation would stand together in prayer before the Lord and ask for Rita to be healed.

    Almost one year to the day she learned she had cancer, she died.

    Many many supernatural events had transpired, during Matthew’s stay at the hospital, as well as during the 10 years since.

    Had it been God’s will, that Matt would have walked out of that hospital and that his mother would not have died. Then that would have been the case.

    However desperate my desire for this to be the case, as well as the desire of many other good Christian people. All of my wanting to do, didn’t get done.

    As I look backward over these past ten years I can see, the hand of God on our lives. Including the unpleasent.

    So as I stated up top, I can do all things through Christ, as long as it is the will of God. Not my will but His will be done.


  22. Grace48 says:

    Hi. First time leaving a comment here but have been reading and thinking on things on this blog for a long enough while. It seems to me that God has used the name of Shepherd through the Old and New Testaments. Jesus said He is the Good Shepherd. He is my Saviour and Shepherd. He strengthens and leads us in our difficult sometimes journey of our lives. It’s not me who decides what things I will do and Jesus gives strength to do it. HE is leading and caring for my struggling family and I, so what He wills for me to do, that is what He gives me strength to do. When I want my own will, I usually fail.

  23. SFDBWV says:

    I tell you about these events of my life, not so that you might feel sad for us or that you may think we anything special. But rather…

    That you see that God is alive and that Christ is who He said He is. That the Holy Spirit is at work and that the words written in the whole of the scripture are not just words, but living words, that are still as relative today as they were the day they were written.

    The testimony I give is the testimony of Christ at work in our lives. Yesterday and today.

    Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, is our salvation and continues to be so….forever

    Take courage and hold on to Christ, no matter what the world hands you. In Christ you have already won.


  24. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom to all. I want to say how much I have enjoyed being with you on this blog. I really appreciate Mart and his dedication in presenting important thoughts that all of us need to think about.

    My wife and I are preparing to return to Israel. This means there will be much preparation; therefore, I have to say, Shalom, Shalom; l’chem. Peace and prosperity to all of you.

    I want to encourage each of you to stay in the Word [2 Timothy 2:15]. Also, get prepared for difficult times beginning in 2010. I know, some will rationalize about difficult times that lie ahead, like some of your well-known tele-evangelists who are lying to their followers, claiming that America hasn’t seen her best. No, America is blinded by her involvement in the occult, including materialism; idolatry, for a better word! Enough said :-).

    Good bye, and may His Shalom and grace be with you as you labor in His Kingdom.

    Love in Messiah Yeshua,

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  25. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    You said
    “So as I stated up top, I can do all things through Christ, as long as it is the will of God. Not my will but His will be done.”
    That is exactly what was on my mind when I woke up this morning!

    You have lived a thousand lives compared to my one, and I have so much respect for you.
    Thank you for the next sentence:

    “Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, is our salvation and continues to be so….forever” … And …

    “Take courage and hold on to Christ, no matter what the world hands you. In Christ you have already won.”
    Remember those “Take Courage” signs in London years ago that I mentioned?

    Things are moving on for me, even since this morning, It seems God looks at this blog and understands our hearts.

    “And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death.” Rev 12:11

  26. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    They have internet in Israel, please don’t loose touch :-(

    I also know there are troubles ahead and, from over here, it seems obvious that the USA is falling into decline.

    I will remember you and your family in my prayers and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
    God Bless and Shalom!

  27. poohpity says:

    RBY, May the Lord bless you and keep you safe on your journey.

    BinC, God looks on you and understands your heart. It sounds like there is much growth for you.

    Kaliko88, Sometimes it seems like we are forgotten by the Lord but He does so much behind the scenes. When feeling overwhelmed just cry out to Jesus for help.

    Grace48, welcome and Amen.

  28. marma says:

    I’m glad Poohpity mentioned Hebrews, and Ron mentioned returning to the Old Testament.

    In our reading of the Word, I think we sometimes forget the concept of time. For example, God made promises to Abraham, some which Abraham saw fulfilled years later in his life (the birth of his son), and some of which came after he had died (his descendents as the “sand of the sea” in number).

    God’s promises are true and can be counted on. In the big promise to all believers–the return of Christ–there has been a long waiting period, which we have come to expect, and say, “in God’s timing.”

    I guess what I’m saying is, even in granting us strength, perhaps there is a time element. He gives it when we need it, not necessarily when we want it.

    In thinking about Christ’s first coming, I wonder how many prayed for this and didn’t see fulfillment in their lifetime? God’t timing is perfect, and He didn’t alter that timing–He knew better than those that looked for the Messiah.

    Just some thoughts–and even though Paul said “I can do all things through Christ” he also asked for prayer to be bold and clear.

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Ron Ben Yaakov, It has been a genuine pleasure for me to read your posts and feel the zeal and passion you have for our Lord.

    I am looking foreward to hearing from you while you are in Israel. You must keep us posted on your life there. Many of us follow the Israeli News, So I hope if I hear about you there it is good news…

    See ya here or with the Lord, whichever comes first.


  30. SFDBWV says:

    Bob in Cornwal, Bless you brother, and thank you. It feels good to be on the winning team doesn’t it.


  31. daisymarygoldr says:

    My thoughts are in agreement with those of rokedude5’s: “Now I know when I serve Him, He will give me the strength and wisdom to do so.”

    The promise regarding “I can do all things” does not apply to our personal lives but to our lives involving work in God’s Kingdom.

    In Rom 7:15, Paul is urging us to “put no confidence in the flesh” because the desires of the flesh are opposed to the Spirit (Gal 5:17). Hence, Paul concludes he cannot depend on his flesh to do the Lord’s work.

    However, in Philip 4:13, Paul’s spirit is confident in the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. And Mart, as you said it is because of this internal spiritual strength Paul is content in all kinds of external circumstances whether it is material abundance or the lack of it.

    By claiming “I can do all things” Paul is not boasting of using God’s strength for his personal selfish pleasures to enjoy a sick-free life… to have a six-figure salary, several houses, many cars, lots of clothes, plenty of food, wonderful marriage, multiple spouses or numerous children.

    Christians who seek God’s promises to achieve all those things will never have their prayers answered but will only provoke the wrath of God.

    Paul is boasting “I can do all things” in reference to his accomplishments for the Kingdom of God. He was chosen and called out by the Messiah to do His work. And His work can be done only in His strength.

    Even Jesus said “The Son can do nothing of Himself” (John 5:19)… “The Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:10).

    How does “I can do all things” apply to me a Christian? Well, it is God who has chosen me to do His work and therefore to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is the living passion of my life.

    As I persevere to reach out to lost souls, my labor is not done in the smartness of my strength. It is God who equips me for His work with His power which is made perfect only in my weakness!

    So, yes I can do all things not in my sinful flesh but in His strength alone. All I have to do is to faithfully abide in His calling for without Him I can do nothing (Jn 15:15).

  32. daisymarygoldr says:

    Shalom Ron Ben Yaakov. Your contributions to this blog have been a great blessing to all of us!

    “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Ps 121:8

    You will be missed. So long for now… until we meet again someday in Jerusalem!

  33. Grace48 says:

    In Philippians 3, the Apostle Paul writes of what he used to have confidence in before his conversion. Then he writes of how he counted it loss for Christ Jesus.(Philippians 3:1-16). He learned. It took time, I would guess.

    So many of you have written in about sufferings and strength and endurance in coming from faith in Jesus. I thank you all and Mart for beginning this topic.

    I, too, have been through so much and am still praying for strength to endure. Each suffering has shown me how weak I am. Many times when things improved I could understand what I had learned but while going through it all I could do was cry out in my weakness for help from Jesus. Am going through such a time again. I don.t have much strength left to endure again, but this time, I’ve learned more and know that Jesus has plenty strength, though I do not. To me,to get through more suffering after so much is the equivalent of doing all things. Yet Jesus will not leave nor forsake us no matter how things are.

  34. daisymarygoldr says:

    Grcae48, Keep trusting in God’s strength. He will not allow you to suffer beyond your ability to endure. He is faithful and will surely provide a way so you can endure it. You are in my prayers…

  35. saled says:

    From reading Philippians chapter 4 in the New American Standard Bible, I get the sense that Paul is saying this to the Philippians in verses 10-13: “I’m glad to see that you’re concerned about my needs, but want you to know that I’m not saying this because of my needs, because I can get along in humble means or prosperity due to Him who strengthens me.” He then goes on in verse 14 to say,”Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.” I don’t think he intended his words in verse 13 to be used to claim that we can achieve all things.

    So what does it mean to discover that when I am weak, then I am strong? To me, this means that when I am at the point where things look hopeless and I realize that my effort is never going to be enough, I can go to the one who said, “Come unto me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” He has done the work already. It’s a mystery why we are stuck in time, stuck in a pain-filled world with so much trouble, when he has already done the work of reconciling all things.

  36. poohpity says:

    dmg, marma, saled, Amen!

    Grace48, I understand I am going through a tuff time also but the longer I walk with the Lord I am trusting my life in His care and know without a doubt that it is going to be OK. I know it is hard but I remember the past times when God has just held me close and things turned out well for all maybe not how I would have done things but I mess stuff up all the time. :-) It turned out for more than my focus could see. Not saying I did not fight through it all but am learning to be still and KNOW that God is God and can handle it ALL. God Bless you sweetheart!

  37. phpatato says:

    Ron Ben Yaakov

    I am saddened by your post. I really enjoyed reading your indepth Biblical teachings on the topics Mart gave us. Your love for our Messiah Yeshua is so evident; I could feel this love through my computer screen. If possible, keep in touch.

    Shalom my dear brother in Christ. Keep safe and well.

    Dearest Grace48

    I have underlined Psalm 27:14 in my Bible. It has helped me along the way. I have you in my prayers.

    Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.

    Frank…Been thinking about you.

  38. jjhis says:

    “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity.” Psalm 133:1
    Ron Ben, I recall the feeling in my heart and the tears in my eyes as I read Psalm 122 while riding the bus “up” to Jerusalem on my first and only trip to Israel in March 2008. We will join you in praying for the peace of Jerusalem! Shalom and May God richly bless you and your wife during your trip.
    Bob in Cornwall, I thought of you and prayed for you yesterday around 5:00 EST as my wife and I saw one of the most brilliant rainbows we had ever seen here in Tennessee. It was a double rainbow at that!
    Steve, thank you for sharing Christ with us and for sharing your faith in this Jesus of Nazareth who enables us to do all things and endure all things in His most perfect strength. Praise His Name forever!


  39. poohpity says:

    I was thinking about mtman and sakoieta, hope all is well and miss you.

  40. Grace48 says:

    It’s been so good a blessing to read how people share their faith and care, even here. I thank God for you all, for the prayers and verses of the Bible to share,too. I’ve been reading in Lamentations this morning and read this to share,too. (Lamentations 3:22-24) “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him!” (New King James Version)

  41. Loretta Beavis says:

    It is a privilege to pray for the needs of all of you on this blog.

    Here are my notes on 1. “can we count on God to do anything we “believe Him for?” I say YES because I died a spiritual death and was born again in Christ. I have new goals in my heart. Phillipians 3:13-14 (NKJ) helps me express this. “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

    When I am believing God “to do,” I remember I’m (not only His child) the Bride of Christ (part of His Church). In marriage, I am in agreement (a spiritual cleaving). So, what I want/need, get/don’t get now, or wait for is part of my agreement (or submission) to a perfect and loving God, the Bridegroom who is Love.

    I accepted Christ as my savior 38 years ago. The fruit of the Spirit in my weedy, thorny spiritual field spoiled and decomposed. I wanted Heaven, but became angry about God not preventing life calamities; I felt guilt for not “measuring up” on my own.

    2. “So what does it mean to discover that when I am weak, then I am strong?” I doubted God and tried to manage my life in a way to avoid pain and struggle, relied on someone else besides God for fulfillment and happiness. It never lasted.

    This morning, God called my attention to Gideon and the winepress for my response. I got NEXT TO “THE” winepress as a work-around-plan for my doubt and anger with God. Like Gideon, I had a weak family, and was the weakest (but the smartest-hence using the winepress for protection).

    The weakness of my winepress location always found me out and calamities would steal my harvest. I finally gave up and experienced the correct, true and merciful action of a winepress- a large, clusterous, inconsistent, weak mass is pressed out to a small but concentrated liquid. Verse 16 of Judges 6: “And the Lord said unto him “Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man” (yeah buddy! I like the KJ words here!). Gideon’s army was pressed out from many to few and God was with him; the sword of Gideon, is the Sword of the Spirit, Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12-16) for me, today…

    I’m also so grateful to RBC ministries, especially the “Bible Resources to Help You Grow” series for growing closer to God.

    The Joy of the Lord is my strength.

  42. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Grace48 for sharing! New every morning. What a good beginning of the day.
    If only with a mustard seed of faith we would renew our thoughts every morning, That we really believe that Jesus is our Saviour, that He did forgive our sins, that we are His children, that we are shielded through faith in Him, 1 Peter 1, how much more we would be as shining stars in a dark world. How much more could God do through us!

  43. jjhis says:

    Thanks Loretta and foreverblessed for sharing your comments and the scripture references. How we are blessed because Jesus has redeemed us and given us His Holy Spirit who works in us to enable us to do His will.
    “Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14 Jesus said that He will do it. Philippians 2:13 says “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” We see His working in us also in Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
    So if we love Jesus we will keep His commandments by and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Without Jesus, we can do nothing that will last through the fire.

  44. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Thanks for sharing Jim in Tennessee.

    Rainbows have always been special to me.

    When you think our topic is about “doing all things through Christ (Messiah)”
    Just look at Noah. He was thought to be mad as he prepared for that great day of flood and tribulation.
    But he stuck at it and trusted in God.

    Just as we must today!

    Matthew 24:37-38 (Amplified Bible)
    37As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
    38For just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, [men] marrying and [women] being given in marriage, until the [very] day when Noah went into the ark,
    39And they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away–so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
    40At that time two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
    41Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
    42Watch therefore [give strict attention, be cautious and active], for you do not know in what kind of a day [whether a near or remote one] your Lord is coming.
    43But understand this: had the householder known in what [part of the night, whether in a night or a morning] watch the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have allowed his house to be undermined and broken into.
    44You also must be ready therefore, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.

    Soon :-)

  45. SFDBWV says:

    As I read todays posts, I can hear very clearly the “clarion call”, the shofar’s sound. A call to arms. As you wonderful people proclaim the Christ to be King, in your lives and in the unseen places.

    Very stirring.

    I have always loved the story of Paul and Silas, who while locked up in the inner prison with their feet in stocks….Prayed and sang praises unto God. Acts 16:25

    With tears in my eyes I tell you that, whatever prison you have found yourself,…follow the example of these two men. Pray and sing praises unto God. He (Christ) will do what you never thought possible. John 8:36 ” If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”


  46. foreverblessed says:

    With the Word of God as our sword, God told Gideon “I will be with you, and you will strike down the Midianites as if they were but one man” Judges 6:16. It was God’s word on which Gideon acted. Gideon did not think out this plan himself, like something: in God I can do all things.
    And God started to talk to Gideon after the Israelites had been crying to the Lord, Judges 6:7.
    So the only thing we can do is crying out to God about our troubles, or other peoples trouble and then wait for Gods answer.
    What I mean to say is this, can we pick a verse in the bible and then act on it, or rather must we ask God to make to verse of the bible alive to us through His Spirit, or rather ask God to have a verse He chooses to come alive for us, and we have to act on that.
    That means a humble spirit on our side.
    Loretta, did you also have to break down an altar for Baal, like Gideon had to do?

  47. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    AMEN! Steve

  48. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, Steve, sing praises, if we could grow in our life with Jesus to become just like that: singing and praising God while in prison. I started to do that when the migraine was getting worse and worse, the only thing left was to start praising God. That is one point to be positive about, God is God, and the King of Kings, I can praise Him for that. It takes the thought of yourself. In those times God gave me prayer for many uncalled persons.
    And I thank Him for that, and pray that He will go on with these prayers, and work them out in these peoples heart. Praise God, thanks to Jesus!

  49. pegramsdell says:

    “When you call on Jesus,
    all things are possible,
    you can mount on wings like eagles and fly,
    when you call on Jesus,
    mountains are gonna fall,
    cause He’ll move heaven and earth
    to…come rescue you when you call..”

    I love this song, and I thought it applied to this topic. So many times mountains were in my way (finances, health, family, attitudes) and I would call on Jesus and He would hear me and help me and move those mountains out of my way, and sometimes move me out of the way. Thank You Jesus!

  50. jjhis says:

    Thank you pegramsdell, my family is calling on Jesus right now for my mom, who fell from her chair and is in a lot of pain. Please pray for her caregivers and us for the Lord’s strength in helping her. I praise God that He has already answered our prayer today for authorization for home health to come and check her. She is so weak and the trip to the hospital would be so traumatic for her as was the case a month ago. Thank you for joining me in calling out to the healer of our soul and body, the Lord Jesus Christ.

  51. pegramsdell says:

    jjhis, I am with you in prayer for your mom. And for your family and caregivers. And with you in calling on Jesus for help and healing. He is there for us whenever we ask Him. Also…where there is 2 or more gathered in Him Name He will answer….well…there are a lot more than 2 of us right here on the blog gathered in His Name, agreeing with you about your mom. Have no fear!
    Love, Peg

  52. Loretta Beavis says:

    Amen also to Acts 16:25!

    foreverblessed: My father especially and my mother were Godly parents. There was no altar of Baal in their lives or our house.

    My trials started when I was carried away by the cares of the world, emotionally weak thing I was.
    God has been answering me lately for my whys about being a lifelong doormat-anger, guilt from non measuring up (undeserved guilt & shame) and the insanity of co-dependency which traps me in the cycle of abuse. I understood lately I doubted God, but I didn’t quite understand enough.

    The winepress showed how my relationship to God was the in the incorrect position. I just kept getting the winepress on my heart this morning.

    I’m still living with an active drinker, but God has brought great relief to my suffering-no more assaults, no responding to the control games to get me to be angry because I don’t measure up to God (legalism); anxiety and fear that bad stuff is going to happen again. That story doesn’t fit in this conversation now, but if I should, I could build an altar to God and call it Jehovah-shalom for the peace God has given me beyond the battles ahead-all I gotta do is show up, with faith.

    Pray on!

  53. Monica says:

    I am blessed to find this area and to read your comments. It is too often that I spend time discussing those things that are so unimportant and so little time investing in the study of God’s word. When I read the topic I was moved to share John 21:1-23. I am a strong willed person and many trials in my life have circled around relying on God instead of my own desires, plans, or strength. When I thought of the disciples going fishing I thought it is what I would have done, it was their trade prior, it was a means to provide for their families, they lost sleep over trying in vain to gain a better bounty, and in the end they needed to rely on Jesus and focus on providing for others; trusting God to provide for their families. As I sat with the lump on my head from banging it against an impossible wall I thought of bloody fisherman’s hands and tight muscles from walking for miles and then fishing all night with rudementry nets and rowing for hours. Then they released their desires and submitted to his will and the nets filled. It may be off topic somewhat, but it was a clear way to my hard head of how to understand what is possible when the WILL of God is allowed to take charge over the will of man. I still get sore hands sometimes, but I have been blessed with full nets when I don’t-still takes hard work, but the focus is different.

  54. Grace48 says:

    Decided to pray and then take a look at what’s been written here for the day. I’m still amazed and comforted at the wide variety of beautiful statements of faith written here. Been praising God for Jesus and for people of faith and for taking us through another day of difficulties. Fears can rise up; for all of the unknowns of even a day ahead,yet in the midst of it all there is that peace of Jesus that passes all understanding. Maybe each tiny step in faith that Jesus helps each of us to take is how we can do all things,whatever all things really means; one tiny step of faith at a time.

  55. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Yes Grace

    I to get great comfort from reading these comments, even when some have cut me to the quick and been sharper than a two edged sword. But that only proves it is coming from the word of God and is of the Holy Spirit.
    Even though I too have many mountains and everyday is a struggle, I know the peace of God, sometimes don’t feel it, but I know it is there, as you say,”in the midst of it all”
    Thank you Grace, and thank God for your grace.


  56. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Thank you Grace, and thank God for HIS grace!!

  57. foreverblessed says:

    This is again a new morning, and Gods Grace is new every morning Lamentations 3:22-24.
    To train my memory I started to learn by heart the piano parts I am playing, while practicing learn them from heart.
    Why not do this with scriptures from the bible?
    Learn them by heart. It would increase our faith if we start out every morning memorising the sciptures which says who we are in Christ:
    John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes is Him should not perich but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
    Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has pured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

    And many many others sriptures to fill our minds with, and memorise by heart, and really believe them!

  58. Grace48 says:

    Yes.Bob,thank God for HIS grace, and as in the reading for the day in “Our Daily Bread” publication from Ephesians 3, “for this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”,so do I.

  59. foreverblessed says:

    It also helps to say these verses out loud,
    like singing and prasing God.
    And to say out loud the creed of our faith, f.i. the Nicean creed.
    Why does that help?
    Just start talking these things out loud and then notice what thoughts come up in your mind!
    It is a good way to see how we are bombarded by negative thoughts, by doubting thoughts, and we take them serious, and they take away our mind from the faith we have in Christ. That makes us less effective in Gods hands, He could do more through us if we stick to our simple faith in Christ.
    Jesus says: whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst, indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:14.

  60. bass151 says:

    Right on Steve. Faith and submitting to the Father’s will, not our will, is the key to everything. How many of us would do, in faith and without question, what Abraham did with his son Issac? We have to put ourselves and our wills completely out of the way and put the Father’s will first. Without Him we could not even breathe, eat, sleep, work, and etc. He is the sustainer of all life, no matter who you are, what you have done or have not done, and where you are from.

  61. SFDBWV says:

    foreverblessed, you are indeed foreverblessed.

    I always pray outloud and go about my day sining praises to our Lord. It helps in ways I cannot express adequitly.

    Many times I am reminded that before Job was healed and restored, God had him pray for his friends, first (Job 42:7,8,9&10)

    So I am reminded to pray first for others, always. Knowing that whatever God does with me is right because it is His desire to do so. I am fine, because I am right there where God wants me.

    A special blessing to all of you today.


  62. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Steve, and Monica, you must be right on topic, like bass151 says, our will submitted to God’s will.
    This day I started to do what I just mentioned, learning scripture by heart. Just started in Ephesus, 1:1 and already had to stop and think:

    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.

    By the will of God!
    God’s will over my will!

  63. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, and we all are forever blessed, when we believe that our sins have been forgiven through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Pslam 32:1
    Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
    Psalm 34:8
    O taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in Him!

  64. phpatato says:


    Please know that I often think about and I’m praying for you, your mom and family…I guess it’s because I feel that you and I are walking side by side right now on the path Home. I can so relate to the struggles you face each day, for I face the same ones too. The lull between the storms are very short-lived it seems. I am in the midst of a huge battle with the nursing home right now.

    I would like to share a song that I remember dad singing when I was quite young (in fact it is one of his favourites). It has been forefront in my mind this past week. It is Tempted and Tried and the refrain is:

    Farther along we’ll know more about it,
    Farther along we’ll understand why;
    Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
    We’ll understand it all by and by.

    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
    John 16:33 (New International Version)

    My love be with you all in Jesus Christ.


  65. pegramsdell says:

    I love that song. Thank you Pat. We used to sing at two different nursing homes and we would sing that song all the time. “Live in the sunshine”. Yessss! And I live in Florida. (the sunshine state) :)

  66. jjhis says:

    Dear Pat and Peg and others who have prayed for us,
    The Lord gave us a very special time together last evening. Mom’s pain was much less intense and we knew that Jesus was present with us. Thank you for your prayers. I praise God for His awesome power of praying in the Holy Spirit.
    Pat, My mom sings that song all the time. She has prayed that the Lord would restore her sight and believes that He will one day(for sure as I’ve said before when she sees Jesus face to face) and then she will begin to wonder why this happened— the blindness, the stroke… And finally she will say, We’ll understand it better by and by, and then sings it. My mom remembers that this song was sung at her 10 year-old brother’s funeral back in the 1930’s. I will continue to pray for you and your family, my sister in Christ. Another of her favorite songs which means a lot to each of us is One Day at a Time.


  67. daisymarygoldr says:

    jjhis, your mother is in my prayers…

    Good thoughts by everyone! This is off topic but since some have mentioned Abraham and Job, I’m led to think …it is either/or i.e. we cannot identify ourselves with both these characters. They are contrary to each other and so, either we are like Abraham or we are like Job.

    Both of them supposedly lived at a time when there was no revelation from God either direct or in the form of His written Word. Both were led through circumstances that were meant to test their faith… circumstances in which they had to make a choice of whether to obey or to disobey God.

    Abraham simply obeyed even when God did not answer his prayers for an offspring for 100 long years. He was led by God’s Spirit to accept whatever God wanted him to do and hence he was included in the chapter of faith. Abraham set his affections on the heavenly things from above—he represents spiritual Christians who walk by faith.

    Job, on the other hand, angrily argued with God for not having answered his prayers and finally learned to accept and obey God through intense sufferings. He was preoccupied with the cares of this world and though he was restored of his earthly blessings, Job did not make it into the chapter of faith. Job represents carnal Christians who walk by sight.

    So today, if we call ourselves Christians and have the revelation of God through Jesus Christ and His written Word, then we also have a choice to make. As for me, I prefer to emulate father Abraham…for without faith it is impossible to please God. It does not mean that it exempts me from sufferings… but if I readily obey, then even through sufferings God’s grace enables me to stay faithful!

    However, while going through testing circumstances, if we argue about “what we can or cannot do” to doubt God’s goodness, love, mercy and grace… to whine or whimper like silly little sucklings… to complain or cry out angrily at God, and insist that our prayers be answered, then we should also accept the blessed assurance of being taught to obey God through much suffering. The choice always is ours!

  68. daisymarygoldr says:

    That leads me back to the topic… to think about the phrase “believe God for”. Personally I have never believed God for the ability to do something. I simply believe God… and believe His promises. I believe that what He has promised ‘He’ not me… is able also to perform.

    Also, I agree with Mart about not to rely on a “feeling” of what God is saying, but what he has actually said and promised. God’s exceeding great and precious promises in His Word apply not to my physical needs…

    …but to my spiritual needs and desires for heavenly things… to become more like Him and some day in the future to be a part of His divine Holy nature for His ultimate glory! (2 Peter 1: 4)

    And yes, so far in my life God has also faithfully fulfilled all of my needs and desires in the physical sense and I am confident He will certainly continue to satisfy my physical needs as long as they are upright to align with the eternal plan and purpose for His Kingdom.

    For, “…the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Ps 84:11

    Just some of my happy Friday thoughts from the valley of the sun!

  69. jjhis says:

    Thank you, Daisy. Thank you for the reminder of what is pleasing to God. Faith in Jesus. As many have mentioned in the past, allow me to again quote Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Praise Jesus!

  70. marma says:

    pegramsdell–Living in the sunshine is something we do by faith in Florida today with all the rain we are getting! LOL!

    I was reminded this morning that rain is a blessing from God (Joel 2:23). This fits in with my attitude towards a lot of circumstances that come into my life.

    I don’t always welcome the rain (though we need it), especially when it interferes with my plans. (Like today.)

    I echo what others have said; that when we submit to God’s plans, then we grow in our maturity and understanding of God. We see great things happen when we cry out to the Lord in prayer and wait for His salvation. Our relationship with Him deepens.

    And then, rain or shine, we thank and praise Him for His goodness to us.

  71. pegramsdell says:

    I remember in one of my King’s Kid’s class, about 4 years ago, teaching the kids about faith and believing God for what we needed.
    Anyway, we were having a drought here in the forest and there was no rain in sight. So…I felt lead to have the children thank God for the rain…
    And they did, and we got the rain we needed so bad.
    And ever since, we always thank Him for the rain. It’s always a blessing for us in the forest.
    Although….to be honest….I’d rather it be sunny and warm so I can go running. :)

  72. phpatato says:


    You won’t believe this but that is another song that Dad so loves…One Day at a Time. Your mom and my dad must have the same ear in music. She doesn’t like “bluegrass” too by chance does she??? :-))))

  73. kingsdaughter says:

    I have read every post on this topic…it has been enlightening in some areas, as Ron aptly does from the Messianic Jewish perspective, and reaffirming as with Steve, Debbie, and Bob…as well as so many others. I know that everyone here has struggles and tribulations and we all can relate to the early disciples in different ways.

    My heart is heavy, and has been since last March. I have shared my story on other forum topics and several here have prayed for me and my family and your responses have been generous and compassionate. Since my son’s death by suicide/murder…we may never know, I struggle every single day with my faith–or should I say, the faith I thought I had. My faith is as it always has been but out of this horror it has been shaken and I hope re-established stronger than it was….one day. I find that I am constantly in a state of communion with God…mostly asking “why?” but also, asking to be led out of this turmoil…to give me “the peace that passes all understanding.” I am battered and bruised…I know why God did not ask Sara to sacrifice Isaac…I don’t think she could have…I don’t think Mary could have nailed her son to the cross…I know I could not have allowed my son to die under any circumstances. I am flesh…I am a mother…I am not able to identify with those who did supernatural heroics in Biblical stories….I am the Paul who struggles with my weakened flesh although I would rather be Abraham who defined faith and loyalty…I am Job who is so very sad, asking why must I suffer? And what about my son? He was in a terrible way if he indeed did this…what does that say about his faith…was it God’s will that my son die this horrible way?

    The topic of this discussion is What We Can or Cannot Do…I know I cannot endure this test without God’s help. I cannot be anything above what this flesh allows without Him…and yet, He seems silent to me. I don’t pretend to know His will. I am totally reduced to a weeping, gutless human. But at the same time, I am told I will be stronger for having gone through this. That my character is being developed…that what seemingly is a cruel riddle (taken out of context) when in Romans 17:15 Paul struggles with sin..is really the true definition of who I am…a struggling sinner.

    I wish I could be more like Ron whose wisdom is a true understanding of the Hebrew text and books I have never heard of before…that all the cross referencing and deep study would produce a better me…but in my “Just a Gentile” way of understanding, I am claiming Romans 10:9 & 13 NIV (9) “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord, ” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.”
    (13)”Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    For this much I know is true. God bless you all…I love this forum. And my prayers are for all those who have posted here their own trials…I pray for God to comfort you and bless you.

  74. Loretta Beavis says:

    kingsdaughter: I have found help for my struggles within the RBC website-especially the ‘help for my life” area where all the resources are referenced together, and the Day of Discovery videos and Discover the Word.

    It might not be appropriate for me to say this about your situation, but I had a female friend who agonized over whether or not her mother was saved when she died…the best I could share was that since when we are not there at their death-only that person knows what transaction took place with God. Many cry out at the last moment and Jesus saves them-remember the two thieves on the cross. Your son’s cause of death seems to have an untrustworthy conclusion. If I may step into your shoes for a moment, I would choose to believe that my son had a last moment to cry out to God and did.

    I have a son just turned 30 … is in and out of trials and similar to your son from what you’ve described. I ache over it too often because he will always be my little son – not the man he is -there is no experience comparable to being a loving mother…so I believe at the very least, our last moment before we leave this life, we can cry out to God-His arm is not too short to save and He desires that none should perish…

    There’s been a lot of singing going on here too! If you’re not singing-sing! It’s so good!

    I pray I haven’t offended you or upset you. I just wanted to share how much of God’s grace I found through RBC ministries for the heavy burdens.
    Love, Loretta

  75. Mart De Haan says:

    Good morning,all,

    Well, the snow is on the ground here in West Michigan and one of the things I have to do today is to get the snow tires out of the attic and have them mounted on the truck. Have found that even a bunch of sandbags + rear wheel drive leaves the pickup unmatched for some of what is probably coming.

    First though I’ll try to post another conversation starter in the next couple of hours.

    I appreciate so much your care and concern for one another.

  76. foreverblessed says:

    All of us christians whether we are Abraham or Job will be tried and tested.
    Til we are like Job, saying:

    Then Job replied to the LORD :
     2 “I know that you can do all things;
           no plan of yours can be thwarted.
     3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’
           Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
           things too wonderful for me to know.
     4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
           I will question you,
           and you shall answer me.’
     5 My ears had heard of you
           but now my eyes have seen you.
     6 Therefore I despise myself
           and repent in dust and ashes.”
    Job 42:1-6

  77. foreverblessed says:

    DMG, have you been tested as Job had been tested?
    The first test was all his cattle, his belongnings were taken away, and then all his children were taken away. Then he did not wine at all. He said: God gives and God takes, which is exceptionel for a father who had just lost all his children, and most of his belongings.
    So there comes the next test: now Job is struck in his body. He is severly ill.
    But still he doesn’t wine. Then his friends come, they sit there for 7 days, not being able what to say, because Job is in such a terrible state.
    Then maybe the bigger test is the advice of his friends, “you must have doen something wrong because God withholds His blessings to you”. Where is the compassion in this?
    Job is like all of us, who believe that God will bless us because we obey His commandments, we read the bible, the OT, the NT, who study it, and do what it says. “we do what God says, so He does for us”
    Till we all come to the place, and fall at the feet of Jesus: Father your will be done, not mine.

  78. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    I wish I knew what to say and had some wonderful word to make everything better, but I haven’t.
    You sound near to despair and I just want to give you such a big hug.
    I hope you don’t mind but I want to share what you have said with my friend Joyce, in Southampton, who has lost two of her five boys since 2001. Brent had lukemea and Norman was the alcoholic who recieved the massive blow to the head in his own flat (appartment) and we don’t know what happened, and probably never will. She is 76 and still has two sons living at home. One is a drug addict who is under treatment.
    She will know exactly how you feel and maybe able to give some help.
    You take care.
    May The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob Bless you and give you peace you desire so much.

  79. daisymarygoldr says:

    kingsdaughter, thank you for sharing about your struggles! You are a grieving mother and please do not consider it a sin. It is natural for a mother’s heart to grieve for the sudden death of a grown son. Your mind, heart and soul need the healing touch of the Savior.

    God will certainly answer your whys and will heal your aching heart but healing is a process and it takes time. No, you may not ever forget the sadness of this untold loss. So, just allow yourself to be comforted by God’s and know this that He loves and cares for you regardless of how you are feeling right now.

    During times of intense sorrow in my life, I simply yield myself to God. He is our Heavenly father and He knows our weaknesses and struggles. In my grief, I’ve always been inspired by the words of the Psalmist: “My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” Psalm 119: 28. He will surely strengthen you.

    Continue to believe God even though you do not understand the whys for now. May God comfort you with peace that passes all understanding. You and your family are in our daily prayers…

  80. kingsdaughter says:

    Thank you all for your insightful comments.

    Loretta, you have not offended me…I will look into the resources and “help for my life”..I am always searching for anyway to get Spiritual help and affirmation of all the things I already know and understanding of things that are perplexing. Thank you.

    Bob, I am so sad for your friend, Joyce…how sad to ever outlive your children and to lose 2 sons is unbearable.

    I hope I don’t wear out my welcome by “whining” my way through this ordeal. I am hoping my help will come from those who will uplift and “bear my burden” for just a little while. Your prayers are more than welcomed… Thank you foreverblessed and daisymarygoldr for your comments, too. God bless you all.

  81. pegramsdell says:

    kingsdaughter, my heart is with you. I love you and pray that Our Father will hold you in His arms tonight and soothe you with words of love. I lost my brother the same way. :)

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