Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Djohan Handojo, Senior Pastor, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 23 September 2018.
Prayer - The Solution Of The Impossibilities
Have we ever faced an impossible situation? We may think that it is impossible for an event to happen in our life, or wish for something that is non-existent to happen. Some things are impossible to conceive, to be successful, or just unattainable.
What kind of impossibility are we facing today? Joseph faced an impossible situation when he told his brothers about his dream; his brothers hated him all the more. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph faced an impossible situation. But God still had a plan for Joseph, where he rose to become the vizier – the second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh, where his presence and office caused Israel to leave Canaan and settle in Egypt.
Perhaps we want to run away from God’s calling and purpose like Jonah but God has a way for fulfilling His plans in our life. Jonah tried to run away from God in the opposite direction of Nineveh and headed by boat to Tarsish. God sent a great storm upon the ship and the men decided Jonah was to be blamed, so they threw him overboard. As soon as they tossed Jonah into the water, the storm stopped.
God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah and to save him from drowning. While in the belly of the fish, Jonah prayed to God for help, repented, and praised God. For three days Jonah remained in the belly of the fish. Then God caused the fish throw up Jonah onto the shores of Nineveh.
Jonah 2:1-11 – From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord God and the LORD answered His prayers. In our impossibilities, call upon the LORD, who alone is Sovereign. In Jonah’s distress, he cried out for help and God listened to his prayer. From the depth of the sea, inside the belly of the fish, where no one else could have helped him, Jonah lifted up His prayers. Only the infinite, all powerful God can help us when no human can help. As a result of Jonah’s prayer, the LORD commanded the fish to vomit Jonah onto the dry land - Jonah 2:10.
When and how impossibility cannot happen?
1. When we entertain our mind with the wrong things.
Our mind can be filled with the wrong thinking, negative assumptions, worry and fear. Exaggerated matters are hindrances for impossibilities. Job’s mind was filled by all the negativity spoken by his family and friends. Job 3:25 “For the thing I greatly fear has come upon me and what I dreaded has happened to me I am not at ease nor am I quiet I have no rest for trouble comes.” The solution for battles in our mind is found in Philippians 4:8 - “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
2. When we make the wrong decisions. When we do not live according to God’s principles, we will surely make wrong decisions.
3. When we fail to respond correctly to life’s test and trials. James 1:2-4, Rev 3:19
4. When problems invade us without notice.
2. PRAY and PRAY and PRAY
Fervent prayer; pray unceasingly with intensity and enthusiasm. Fully surrender to God totally, walk in His truth and hold on to HIS promises.
3. Attitude of GRATITUDE
Jonah 2:9 - Jonah had an attitude of gratitude and he understood that salvation alone comes from God.
4. Prayer with a VOW
Jonah 2:9 – Jonah vowed to proclaim the Kingdom of God when God give him a second chance. Deuteronomy 23:21-23 “If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth.”
Prayer brings the intervention of God from the impossibility into possibility. Prayer changes our life, changes our situation - it accomplishes much more than we ask or think.