The late great theologian Ray Anderson used to say that the whole Bible can be summed up in two words – GOD CAN. From the beginning, God demonstrates that he can… create a world of beauty out of nothing, raise up a people from an old childless couple, rescue his people from oppressors, bring them into a new land, defeat their enemies, and ultimately come to earth himself, die and come back to life to make a way for all people to be reconciled.
It’s sometimes hard to hold on to the truth that GOD CAN. We want things to be solved, to be fixed, we want to be happy. If GOD CAN, why doesn’t he? But this leads to another thing that GOD CAN. GOD CAN change us, transform us into the likeness of Jesus. This is something we can’t do on our own. It’s also something that is unlikely to happen if we live a happy comfortable life. I know that I have grown and changed most over times where I have had to turn to God for help, rather than fooling myself that I’m in control.
Author James Bryan Smith adds four more words to Anderson’s two. He says the Bible can be more fully summed up by the words GOD HAS, GOD CAN, GOD WILL. I agree that this says what the two words can’t quite say. If we feel as though God isn’t acting right now in the way we would like him to, we can rest in the assurance of what GOD HAS already done. This makes our ‘momentary troubles’ pale in comparison to what we have already received. Further, we can hold on to the promises that GOD WILL. He will make all things new, he will bring all evil, all pain, all sorrow to an end. What’s more, GOD WILL be with us in everything we experience, he will not leave us alone.