"With God, Nothing Will Be Impossible"
A special Christmas message from Pastor Greg Laurie
I heard the true story of a Sunday School teacher who took a trip to the Holy Land. Wandering through one of the shops in Israel, he was delighted to come across a beautiful nativity set, hand-carved from olive wood. Even though it was expensive, he immediately purchased it, planning to bring it home to show his Sunday School class. The set had all the traditional figures—Mary and Joseph, shepherds, three wise men and of course, baby Jesus.
But as anyone who has traveled to the Mideast knows, there can be complications bringing purchased items back onto the plane. The traveler noticed that his nativity set seemed to be coming under great scrutiny by the security agents, who were carefully x-raying each piece.
Finally, the Sunday School teacher asked, “Why such scrutiny for a nativity set?”
The uniformed man replied, “We have to do this. We must make sure there is nothing explosive in them!”
The traveler nodded, keeping his thoughts to himself. But as he collected his belongings and boarded the plane, he couldn’t help but smile at what the agent had said. Explosive? The real Christmas story is explosive. That night over 2,000 years ago, the earth experienced the greatest explosion in all of history. It may have been a “silent night” for most people, but it was a night that would change the world forever.
1st Century Dynamite
What could be more explosive than the power of God? The apostle Paul said that the gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ, is “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
That word “power” in the original language is dunamis—from which we get our word “dynamite.” No human mind can really grasp the sheer world-shaking power that was released on that first Christmas. Yes, it was only one little infant boy born to a poor family far from home. But that night He changed B.C. to A.D. It was the opening act in “the greatest story ever told,” and reminds us that absolutely nothing is impossible with God.
In the gospel of Luke, the story for a young virgin named Mary began in a Galilean city called Nazareth. Going about her regular tasks on what seemed an ordinary day, she suddenly found herself face to face with a powerful, radiant angel. The angel, whose name was Gabriel, said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” He went on to describe something that would happen to Mary—something that has never happened to anyone before or since. She would have a son, even though she had never slept with a man.
“Do not be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her. “You have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:30-33).
Mary, however, had a simple question for the angel. “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34).
Gabriel, probably expecting the question, gave her this answer: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God… For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:35, 37).
The Lord hand-picked this young woman to fulfill a Bible prophecy over seven centuries old. In the book of Isaiah, the Lord told King Ahaz, “The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
Mary probably knew about the prophecy. But do you think that she—even in her wildest dreams—imagined that she would become that virgin? Yet God chose this unknown small-town girl—perhaps as young as 14—to bring about the most significant event in human history.
In today’s culture, of course, much of that powerful story has been lost. We have covered it over with stardust, colored lights, sleigh bells, pretty cards, and images of Santa Claus, reindeer, and snowflakes.
But the real first Christmas wasn’t pretty. It was real life—as hard and gritty as it gets.
A Nothing Town in the Middle of Nowhere
Today some people call Las Vegas “sin city.” But in that day, in Israel, that’s what they would have called Mary’s hometown of Nazareth. It’s difficult for us to see the irony of a holy angel stepping out of heaven and the blazing presence of God and coming to a place like this. Nazareth was an insignificant town—possibly of 20,000 people—that was known for its corruption and wickedness. In later years, one of Jesus’ disciples would ask, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”
It was a non-place. It was one of those places “on the way to somewhere else.” It was also overrun with Roman soldiers, who built their pagan temples there.
So Mary was a nobody living in a nothing town in the middle of nowhere.
Do you ever feel like that? Do you ever feel like a nobody that God could never use? Maybe that’s because we don’t understand the power of God. Here is the good news—highlighted over and over and over in the Bible: For His own reasons, God goes out of His way to call on people just like this! God uses nobodies to tell everybody about Somebody.
Mary was surprised and humbled that God would send an angel to her little house in Nazareth—and even more stunned that He would call her to something this mind-blowing and great. In Luke’s account, it says that she was troubled by this encounter with the angel and his stunning news. The word troubled can mean “disturbed or confused, resulting in a failure to function.” She was probably thinking, “Why would he say this? I’ve done nothing to merit this! Why me?”
She may have felt overwhelmed, but she was also a godly girl. And as difficult as it might have been for her to comprehend in that moment, she said, “I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true” (Luke 1:38, NLT).
That’s really all it takes for God to use any of us.
It happens when we say, “Lord, I don’t know how You could use someone like me, in a place like this and at a time like this, with all the stuff going on in my life, but here I am. I’m available. Use me to touch someone’s life for Jesus.”
It wouldn’t be an easy road for Mary—or for Joseph, either. People would believe that she had been immoral before her marriage, or that she and Joseph had slept together before the ceremony. There would have been whispers, sneers, and sideways glances wherever she went.
But her mind was made up, come what may. She said, “I am willing to do whatever God wants.”
God is Bigger Than Your Problem
What seemingly insurmountable odds are you facing right now? What situation in your life seems beyond any solution? Gabriel’s words cut right through any circumstances or complexities that may block the path before us.
“With God, nothing will be impossible.”
Whatever your heart, your logic, your friends, your family, or “the experts” might be telling you right now, remember this: God is bigger than your problem, challenge, or obstacle. He unties the knots we could never untangle. He brings help from unexpected sources and answers you could have never predicted.
Maybe you have a marriage that’s falling apart, and you don’t see how it could ever be put back together. “With God, nothing will be impossible.”
Maybe you have a prodigal son, daughter—or husband or wife—who has turned away from the truth, and it’s breaking your heart. Don’t give up! Keep praying, keep clinging to the promises of God. Nothing is impossible with Him.
Maybe you have bad news from the doctor, and there seems to be no course of treatment to save you or your loved one. Nothing is impossible with God.
Maybe you feel like you have gone so far away from God that He could never save you, that you could never change. You might be telling yourself, “It’s too late for me!”
Don’t ever minimize the power of God to save, transform and restore. It is never too late. The words of the angel to that humble young girl in that seedy little town of Nazareth are just as true today for you and me as they were for her.
“With God, nothing will be impossible.”
Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, with campuses in Riverside, Orange County and Maui. He has written more than 70 books. Starting in 2022, Pastor Laurie will be joining Jimmy Evans as a regular contributor to Tipping Point Prophecy Update.