How Faith Finds Rest
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
A.) The Angel’s Confession
B.) Mary’s Conviction
Read the except from J.C. Ryle’s, Expository Thoughts on Luke
“Let us mark, in the third place, the mighty principle which the angel Gabriel lays down to silence all objections about the incarnation. ‘With God nothing shall be impossible.’
A hearty reception of this great principle is of immense importance to our own inward peace. Questions and doubts will often arise in men’s minds about many subjects in religion. They are the natural result of our fallen estate of soul. Our faith at the best is very feeble. Our knowledge at its highest is clouded with much infirmity. And among many antidotes to a doubting, anxious, questioning state of mind, few will be found more useful than that before us now,—a thorough conviction of the almighty power of God.
With Him who called the world into being and formed it out of nothing, everything is possible. Nothing is too hard for the Lord.
There is no sin too black and bad to be pardoned. The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin.
There is no heart too hard and wicked to be changed. The heart of stone can be made a heart of flesh.
There is no work too hard for a believer to do. We may do all things through Christ strengthening us.
There is no trial too hard to be borne. The grace of God is sufficient for us.
There is no promise too great to be fulfilled. Christ’s words never pass away, and what He has promised He is able to perform.
There is no difficulty too great for a believer to overcome. When God is for us who shall be against us? The mountain shall become a plain.
Let principles like these be continually before our minds. The angel’s receipt is an invaluable remedy. Faith never rests so calmly and peacefully as when it lays its head on the pillow of God’s omnipotence.”
–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1858/2012), 1: 21-22. Ryle is commenting on Luke 1:34-38.
Note from Dawson: Answering the question “How big is your God?” is the key to finding rest. To the measure we see God as big and powerful is the measure we freely trust his fatherly hand. As Ryle pointed out “Faith never rests so calmly and peacefully as when it lays its head on the pillow of God’s omnipotence”
About J.C. Ryle
John Charles Ryle was an English Anglican bishop who lived from 18-16 to 1900. He was the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool. He is most known for his devotional and expositional work in the gospels, “Expository Thoughts on the Gospels” (7 vols, 1856–69). A classic still read by many.
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