Are all things really possible with God?

In Matthew 19:26, Jesus taught, "with God all things are possible." Is this really true? In the original context of this statement, Jesus spoke of how a person can receive eternal life. Though no one is good enough to earn eternal life by works, God makes it possible for any person to receive eternal life through Jesus.

In addition, God is all-powerful and can do all things. However, this does not mean He will do all things. He has said He cannot sin or be tempted, for example (James 1:13). He will not break His promises. He will not create another god, since God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

When Jesus taught all things are possible with God, He certainly included in his meaning what Paul taught elsewhere when we read, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Paul wrote this while under house arrest. He likely would have enjoyed being released and believed God could accomplish this, yet Paul lived according to God's will even during times when situations were not ideal. "I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:12–13).

Just because all things are possible with God does not mean God will do whatever we want. He calls us to pray for His will to be done (Matthew 6:10). In John 15:5 Jesus also taught that apart from Him we can do nothing. Putting these teachings of Jesus together we see that all things are possible with God, yet not everything is God's will.

That said, we dare not underestimate the amazing power God can accomplish in and through our lives. God can heal, forgive sin, and radically change us to do much for His name. The apostle Paul, for example, began as a vehement persecutor of the church (Acts 8:1–3; 9:1–2). At the beginning of the church's history, Paul approved of the murder of the first Christian martyr and was a leader in arresting people who taught Jesus was the Messiah. However, Jesus changed this Christian persecutor into a persecuted Christian. Paul would go on to start numerous churches and help extend Christianity across the Roman Empire.

The same can be said regarding the apostle Peter. Originally a small town fisherman, he initially responded to Jesus' great power by asking Jesus to go away from him, a sinful man. However, Jesus called Peter to follow Him and become a fisher of men instead (Luke 5:1-11). Despite denying Jesus three times on the night before His death, Peter was used to preach on the day of Pentecost to lead thousands of people to faith in Jesus (Acts 2). He would also serve as a leader within the church and was used of God to perform miracles and start new churches.

Still today, God works in powerful ways in the lives of unlikely candidates. He can work in your life to accomplish amazing things. When He does, you likewise can live as evidence that with God, all things are possible.

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