When the odds are never in your favor

God is always right there inside the impossible odds. Parting of the Red Sea, a man with impossible strength, a shepherd boy who defeated a giant and became King? A boy shunned by his family only to be jailed and then become second to a Pharaoh?

Imagine being Joseph. Having a dream that shows your brothers bowing down to you and suddenly you’re being sold off as a slave. Then you end up in jail because someone’s wife had questionable morals…all the while he’s probably considering his dream and thinking…was I crazy? Was this my imagination? Maybe it wasn’t from God. Then he lands in jail. And he considers his dream and thinks to himself…wow…this prison cell is a LONG way off from what I saw in my dream. I don’t understand. And yet, out of the ashes God created beauty and lifted him up to redeem all of Egypt and it’s surrounding areas.

God places impossible situations with odds that are never in our favor at our feet. It’s not a coincidence, it’s not an accident…It’s Divine Providence. Situations SO OUTLANDISH and beyond our creating or control that we have NO OTHER CHOICE but to lift up our hands and say “Let your will be done in me.”

Imagine Mary. Unmarried and told by an angel that she’s going to have a baby that will be conceived by the Holy Spirit. Imagine being her for a moment. She says yes and the angel is gone and what is she thinking about? What rolls through her head now? Then she thinks about her family and her soon to be husband and her mind races through impossible odds. She birthed Christ as a virgin so he would grow up and redeem an entire people, forwards and backwards through time. And somewhere back in that family line was Rahab. Profession: Harlot.

Gideon’s army is another story of unfavorable odds. And when you’ve been given a message and the odds of them happening are one in a million, or there are too many “what if’s” or there are too many things in the way of the outcome you’ve been shown…know that we serve a Holy God. And yet with only 300 men, Gideon defeated an army of 135,000 men. We serve a God who works best in impossible odds. So that when we win when we should have lost a million times over, we will look up and know that God was there and he did for us what NO MAN could do…and he keeps doing it over and over again.
Matthew 19:26 – But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Jeremiah 32:17 – “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

The Bible is the greatest Love story I’ve ever read! It’s a story of God repeatedly redeeming families and people from impossible odds and lives not worth living. He’s constantly bringing in the broken and abused and redeeming their story so they will turn and praise him and then turn and be used to light another’s path.

Adam and Eve in the garden.They made a mistake, Adam even lied about it and blamed Eve, while Eve confessed the truth “Hey, the snake told me to eat it, so I ate it.” But was their fatal error a surprise to God? Nope. God wasn’t wrathful and angry. Re-read that in Genesis 3 again…but re-read it with the heart of a heartbroken parent. God didn’t curse them just because. The curse was a byproduct of eating the forbidden fruit. It allowed death to make it’s entrance with which suffering and pain accompanied it. God didn’t do it, WE DID. And so here is the origin of impossible odds. We screwed up. God said…ok. I’ve got to fix this now…first let’s get you dressed. So God performed the first animal sacrifice FOR US so that we could be clothed. Does that sound angry to you? A Holy God sacrificed his creation to cover us…and that story is told again in Jesus except it wasn’t creation he crucified…it was Himself.

John 10:30 – I and the Father are one

Then there’s the Walls of Jericho. Did you know that there is archaeological evidence regarding Jericho that the walls were not torn down but actually PUSHED into the earth?! And the section of wall where Rahab’s (Yep, the prostitute I mentioned earlier) house was protected still stands. Excavations there reveal that its fortifications featured a stone wall 11 feet high and 14 feet wide. At its top was a smooth stone slope, angling upward at 35 degrees for 35 feet, where it joined massive stone walls that towered even higher. It was virtually impregnable.

The book of Joshua is amazing. There’s this people. They’ve been wandering in the desert for 40 years and then they are told to march around Jericho with it’s impenetrable walls once each day for 6 days. And on the 7th day they are to march around it 7 times and shout. Joshua had a heart for God. The plan didn’t make sense. Who defeats a city by marching around it, blowing horns and shouting?? Impossible. But God didn’t want or need their strength. He had plans to defeat the city himself all he wanted were willing hearts to do as He had asked. To overcome the impossible, don’t think, just do as I guide and instruct you. And let ME, the I AM that I AM do that hard work for you! You were never meant to carry this load, this heavy burden! Jericho was already theirs even before they marched around it Joshua 6:2, 16 all God wanted was their faith in action.
http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/06/The-Walls-of-Jericho.aspx

Joshua believed in God’s promise to give them the city 40 years prior, but the people were afraid. Joshua believed and led the people to a victory against impossible odds.

So when the odds are never in your favor, God has something up his sleeves for you. Trust that he has a plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11) and that God is in the business of redeeming impossible situations and hopeless cases.

Prayer:
Lord,

What I see in the Bible repeatedly is a God who loves us. You. You sacrificed for us, and set Christ on the cross for all peoples, but not all people want to believe. The death of Jesus is a legitimate matter of recorded history, but to us who believe it is vastly more. There are those that think they aren’t good enough, or strong enough, or they are too messed up to be happy. God, speak into their hearts and show them that they are WRONG! You aren’t condemning them, you are reaching out to them so you can pull them under the covering of grace so they will be saved. You want to rescue us from the death we unleashed in the garden, you’re trying to restore things and I pray you would help us see that. So many of us face things in this life that we were never meant to face, we take control when we really should be letting go. God help us to have faith like Joshua, who led the Israelites out of the desert into their promise to claim the land you had for them. Help us to act bravely like Rahab when You tell us to move. May we dance and sing with praises like David, and may we have the strength to face kings like Moses. Where we are weak, you are strong. Though the odds may seem out of control and not in our favor, may we put our trust in you and act accordingly.

Amen.

Blessings,

~Amanda

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