Many are quite familiar with the verse, “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). Certainly, this is a wonderful promise! But understanding the context and specific nature of this promise makes it even more blessed.
The context is part of the Christmas account as related by Luke (Luke 1:26-38). The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and spoke to her many amazing words. The angel said, “Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women … thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign … and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Stunning pronouncement—Mary will give birth to the long-awaited Messiah!
Mary responded believing, but asked how this would take place since she was not yet married. More amazing words were spoken, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” To let Mary know that God was on the move with miracles in the realm of seemingly impossible births, the angel continued, “And, behold, thy cousin Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age [past child-bearing]: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.”
Following these multiple promises from God, Gabriel confirmed, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” But we must understand the nothing. The angel said literally, “For with God no rhema shall be impossible.” A rhema is a specific word of God, whereas the term logos often refers to the entire Word of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word [rhema] of God (Rom. 10:17). The foundation of faith is God’s specific word. The point in this account is that no rhema—no specific word from God—is impossible!
The idea of nothing being impossible with God is not in the realm of how many angels God can put on the head of a pin and other such nonsense. It is in the realm of God’s specific word—no rhema shall be impossible with God. The takeaway is this: When God gives you His specific word through the Spirit making a promise of God come alive to your heart—believe it—for with God no rhema shall be impossible!
May we respond in faith like Mary did, “Be it … according to thy word [rhema].”
John Van Gelderen