How thankful we are that God is for us and not against us. His limitless power is a terrifying prospect, yet as His people it is exercised for our good. In this we can find comfort, hope and courage. He is bigger than our trials; our needs are never beyond His ability. In these realities we are strengthened to persevere and to continue trusting.
Yet the Bible also tells us that there are things which God cannot do. As human beings we are fully aware of our limitations. Human inability and God’s refrain however are two different concepts. There are things which people would like to do but can’t because they lack in some way – it could be a lack of knowledge or power or recourses or opportunity. God of course does not lack in any of these areas. There are things God cannot do because they are a violation of His holy character. This means that He is bound by self-imposed moral constraints, not external constraints forced upon Him.
Just as we are strengthened in the knowledge of divine ability, we are also strengthened in the knowledge of divine refrain.
* God cannot lie: Num 23:19, ‘God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?’ This means that His Word is utterly dependable. We can believe the creation account, the fall, the plan of salvation, the resurrection, the promises and everything else which God has said because He cannot lie.
* God cannot lose His people: John 6:39, ‘This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day’. If we have trusted in Christ we have been redeemed from the power and penalty of sin. This means we are in possession of eternal life; eternal life cannot be lost.
* God cannot allow wickedness to go unpunished: Prov 11:21, ‘Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished’ God’s righteousness demands judgement upon those who consciously rebel against the truth. He cannot wink at sin; either it is dealt with in His Son upon the cross or in everlasting destruction. That final judgement and the end of the curse will bring great consolation to God’s people
God is for us not only in terms of what He does, but also what He does not do.