August 16, 2016

Abundantly Above All That We Ask or Think

Written by Shana Schutte

Abundantly Above All That We Ask or Think 8.16

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 16, 2016

By Shana Schutte

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.  Jeremiah 32:17

Have you ever wondered how to live in the “not yet” of an unfulfilled desire but still surrender to God’s will? Is it possible to pray in hope but still be okay with whatever God has in store?

I once spoke with a woman who confided in me that her deepest desire is to marry. She shared that she finds hope for the future when she believes God has a mate for her, and that she will bear the children she desires. But, if she doubts her desire will be fulfilled, she feels deeply grieved and desperate. As someone who didn’t marry until 46, I totally identify with her emotional pain. There are seasons when waiting and wondering if God will fulfill our deepest desires can make us feel as if our hearts have been laid waste with longing.

“Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need.  ”(Psalm 142:6).

As I finished talking with her, I understood her need to stay hopeful. When we want something badly, to believe for anything less than what we want can feel as it if will kill our hearts. I empathized with her but I wondered, “What if she never marries? What then? Will she be in despair? Will she lose all hope for life?” Because, none of us are guaranteed marriage. We’re not guaranteed the Lord will bring us a mate. We’re not guaranteed a perfect family life. We’re not guaranteed our deepest longings will be fulfilled. We are not even guaranteed our next breath. But we are guaranteed His faithfulness that is bigger than our desires.

So, what should we hope in? Do we hope in our answered prayers because God can do all things (Matthew 19:26)? Or, do we shut down desire and surrender to His unidentifiable plans in despair because they may not be what we want?  I believe it’s possible to pray and surrender at the same time. And while we are hoping and praying and surrendering, we hang onto the truth of God’s faithfulness because God can do more than we can even imagine. In Ephesians 3:20, the apostle Paul says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think. ”

In his sermon, “Beyond our Doubts and Dreams” Pastor Bryan Chapell tells a story about a woman named Mary, who had been praying for years to have a child. One day, she fell to the ground in desperation in prayer while in her garden. “God please provide a child in whatever way you know is right.” Nine months later she “birthed” a pregnancy resource center in St. Louis that has saved thousands of babies from abortion for adoption. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8) and no matter what happens in our lives, He is able to do abundantly above all that you ask or think. We must remember that He always works all things out according to His lavish love and His eternal purposes.

But, as it is written, “ no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).



I praise you Lord, that you are able to do abundantly above all that I could ask or even think. Help me to pray, but surrender, in awe to the way you work things out in unimaginable ways. Keep me in a place of hope rooted in you that can’t be destroyed by changing circumstances. Amen.


Tell the Lord that you trust Him today.

Related Reading

Job 42:2; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Philippians 4:13

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