When Life Feels Impossible…Can God Still Work?

During the years our children were teens—a long season for Dennis and me—I remember a time when our marriage felt impossibly difficult. I don’t remember the circumstances, but I can vividly see myself standing in our closet one day and thinking, “If I hadn’t promised ‘for better or worse’ I might walk away. Right now I do not see any way out of this quagmire we are in.” 

I felt stuck and hopeless.

But in the middle of that darkness I remembered, by the help of God’s Holy Spirit, who was sent to do just this for His children, the words of Luke 1:37: “Nothing is impossible with God.”

For years I’d been quoting that verse every time I spoke to wives at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember marriage getaways. Knowing that in a room of hundreds and sometimes thousands of women there were many who were feeling their marriages were impossible, I always concluded with that verse of encouragement.

That day in our closet wasn’t the first time I’d felt stuck in an impossible situation in my marriage or another relationship. And it wasn’t the last. Because Luke 1:37 has been so important to me, when I noticed the same or similar wording in other places in God’s Word it was like finding more treasure. 

In the years since I’ve realized that God specializes in impossibilities. Here are just a few from the Bible:

  • God gave Sarah power to conceive at age 90, to carry her child to term, and to deliver a healthy baby.
  • He parted the Red Sea and divided the Jordan River.
  • He kept the widow’s jar of oil from running out and fed Elijah by sending ravens to deliver him food.
  • God protected Daniel from the lion’s den and his companions Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace.
  • After sending the angel Gabriel, God enabled a virgin named Mary to conceive by the Holy Spirit of God Himself. 
  • Jesus healed a multitude of people from disorders impossible to cure—leprosy, blindness, deafness, lameness, and much more. 
  • He stopped the wind, calmed the turbulent waters, walked on water, and raised several people from the dead.
  • And for His followers after His ascension God opened jail doors, stopped the killing power of a viper bite, and gave His disciples wisdom and skill beyond their natural ability in speaking the gospel message to the world.

All of these miracles and many more are, for God, the result of His authoritative commands. God speaks and the created world obeys. Only humans—prone to wickedness, evil, error, and sin—have a free will to resist God’s Word and work.

Therefore the greatest miracle over impossibility is the hidden transformation of the human heart.

Nothing pleases God more than hearts surrendered to Him. It is when we are faced with impossibly difficult circumstances, when we are out of options then turn to Him, that He is free to work what only He can do.

Worldwide we have just finished an extremely difficult year, and the tentacles of hardship and suffering are reaching into the early months of this new year. I believe there is more hardship ahead because Jesus promised, “In the world you will have tribulation …” and, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 16:33; 15:18). 

Are you feeling this foreboding too?

  • I know many who are still suffering from Covid or related difficulties.
  • I know many parents who are suffering as they watch their teens and grown children making poor life-altering choices.
  • I know families who are dealing with cancer, which seems to be on the rise. 
  • I know the churches are struggling right now, trying to figure out a new normal, a new way forward with members who are afraid and anxious about their future.
  • Everyone wonders what is yet ahead, if the life we once knew will ever return and if we even want it to.

All of these hardships and more feel so impossible, but God’s Word is our hope and our anchor when everything seems to be shifting and changing beneath our feet.

To help you in these hard times I’ve created this list of the repeated times when God tells us Nothing Is Too Hard for Me!

Print it and keep it in your Bible or tape it where you can see it every day. 

Here is why you can trust God and surrender to Him even when your life feels hopeless: If God can take the greatest evil, the most hopeless tragedy of all time—the murder of Jesus Christ, the sinless perfect Lamb of God—and turn it into the glory of His Resurrection, then nothing in your life is too hard for God to rescue, redeem and restore

This is what we are about to celebrate in less than two weeks on Easter Sunday. And knowing nothing is too hard for God, even raising Jesus from the dead, gives us reason to sing and dance and shout and rejoice and celebrate with abandon this God we follow.

No marriage, no child, no parent, no church, no disease, no heartbreak, no loss, no NOTHING is impossible for God.

Count on it.

Ask Him to do what only He can do.

Invite Him to redeem and resurrect what to you seems impossible.

He delights to show Himself mighty in your life.

Because He loves you more than you can know.

And remember One day when Christ returns, He will “make all things new … and will wipe away every tear … and death shall be no more …” (Revelation 21:5 & 4). As author Fleming Rutledge wrote in her book Advent, “the impossible will come to pass and every promise will be fulfilled.” 


Come quickly Lord Jesus!


If you enjoyed this article, be sure to read these other posts by Barbara Rainey about knowing and walking with God:

“What’s Hiding In My Heart?”

“Surrender Is Best for Me”

“In the Age of the Coronavirus, Are We Still Safe in Jesus?”

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7 thoughts on “When Life Feels Impossible…Can God Still Work?”

  1. Thank you Barbara for this particular writing as I came across it this a.m. I’ve been praying and turning to God’s word but still, at times experiencing “a dryness”. I’ve been questioning myself, but to always come back to the answer that God’s word truly is my anchor and that I better not turn away inspite how I feel. So again, I’m grateful to have come across your writing.

  2. I have been having a hard time sleeping at night.
    This post was very timely for some very big changes in our lives.

    Thank you for writing and encouraging and using your gifts to point others to Jesus!

    1. Sweet Kristy,

      I’m so sorry you are dealing with sleep issues but I’m not surprised given then huge life changes God has brought your way. Glad this encouraged you. There’s a worship song not sung very often anymore that says “He will make a way where there seems to be no way.” And it is true.
      Hugs to you.

  3. Thank you for the words and for the printable! I appreciate that you included “no church… is impossible for God.” Our church and its disobedience to God’s word has been the most painful thing this past year. Thank you for the encouragement to keep praying and to know that God can change hearts.

    1. Charis,
      Yes church can be hard. Sadly. And we always hope it will be a safe, comfortable and peaceful place in every way and yet every church is full of sinful people.
      May you focus your eyes on the God of the impossibles. Nothing is too hard for Him!!!

  4. I can’t express in words the perfect timing of this post today… My heart is weary and things feel ‘impossible’ in my marriage. Especially raising teenagers in the middle of a pandemic, and a husband whose bones are as dry as those spoken of in Ezekiel.
    It. IS. Hard. and this weekend I wanted to hide a closet and not come out.

    I read your posts often, and have your books. Which have been life-transformational. BUT THIS POST hit my heart toady deeply. Thank you for being authentic and vulnerable, in a world desperate for more Jesus. And especially in our marriages.

    1. Denise,

      I’m so glad these lessons I’ve learned about God encouraged you today. I’m so grateful to hear this from you. I hope you will print the list of verses and keep it where you can see if often. I’m going to do the same because I still need the reminders myself! We’d love to hear what God does in the months ahead!

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