“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2 (NIV)
Have you heard somebody say something like this: “No matter who the president is, Jesus is still Lord.” It is a true statement, but is it one of consolation or confidence? If it is spoken with confidence, it comes from our recognition of God’s sovereignty and authority. However, if it is spoken from a place of consolation, there may be an element of faith, but it is mixed with insecurity, doubt, and fear.
When the early Christians declared, “Jesus is Lord,” it was as much a political statement as it was a spiritual statement because by declaring that “Jesus is Lord” they were in effect saying “Caesar is not Lord.” By proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus, they were setting themselves apart from the world leaving them vulnerable to persecution and imprisonment.
In the last chapter of Job, just prior to God restoring Job’s fortune, we find a declaration, perhaps an acknowledgment of God’s power and his plans. “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2 (NIV). Job spoke these words in faith because according to all appearances, his life was in ruins. It is one thing to speak confidently when you are on top of the world, but faith speaks before the evidence is revealed.
The phrase “all things” occurs nearly 50 times in Scripture and in many cases, it is a bold testament to the Lordship of Christ. Here are a few examples:
- Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3 (NIV)
- Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)
- Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; John 13:3 (NIV)
“All things” means exactly what it says. There is no wiggle room, there are no exceptions, even when appearances appear contradictory. It is not 80%, it is not even 99.999%. You might ask, how can this be? It does not appear as if everything is under the power of Jesus.
With our natural eyesight, it is impossible for us to see things as they really are because there are forces aligned against us whose purpose is to fill us with doubt and fear. But once our eyes are opened in faith, we will begin to see the greater reality of the power of God. In 2 Kings 6, Elisha’s servant saw one reality with natural eyesight which brought fear and anxiety. It was when Elisha prayed and God opened the servant’s eyes, that he saw things as they really are in God’s reality.
If you are unable to see that Jesus has all things under his power, ask God to open your eyes and things will begin to look different. You may find yourself in a valley, but God can enable you to see things as though you were standing on top of the mountain.
Are things not going the way you hoped that they would or even expected? The end of the story has not yet been written. It may appear as though everything is against us and that victory has alluded us, but remain confident in the Lord because he will make us “more than conquerors.”
See those people polishing their chariots, and those others grooming their horses? But we’re making garlands for God our God. The chariots will rust, those horses pull up lame— and we’ll be on our feet, standing tall. Psalm 20:7–8 (The Message)
Believe it or not, God arranges circumstances in our lives so that we can have the opportunity to put him to the test and see for ourselves that he never fails, he will never abandon us, but he will bring us through and exhibits us as trophies of his victory.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:7–10 (NLT)
Reflect for a moment on what it means to know that all things were made by God (John 1:3); all things are under the power of Christ (John 13:3); all things are held together by Christ (Colossians 1:17); all things are possible through Christ (Matthew 19:26); I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13); and finally, We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28).
I think that that pretty much covers all things.