“God is able to make all grace abound to you,
so that always having all sufficiency in everything,
you may have an abundance for every good deed”
(2 Corinthians 9:8 NASB).
Believing in God’s ability is always the great struggle in the Christian life. “I know that God exists and has saved me, but I don’t know if He can do __________ (this thing that is before me right now).”
This doubt paralyzes us. It throws us off from the next step of obedience. It shrinks our prayers. It limits our faith.
And, since God has often determined, in developing us, to move only in response to our belief in Him, it slows (or aborts) the work of God around us, which is so desperately needed.
His Superlative Ability
Perhaps this is why, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul resorted to such superlatives in 2 Corinthians 9:8. He was urging the Corinthians forward in their generosity, reminding them that they simply could not out-give God.
“He who sows bountifully will reap bountifully,” he proclaims. Then he goes over the top describing what God can and will do (“God is able”) if we trust Him, stated through seven superlatives:
To unleash all of His enabling grace: “to make ALL grace”
In a superabundant way: “ABOUND to you”
In every moment of your life: “so that ALWAYS”
You will have total sufficiency: “having ALL SUFFICIENCY”
In every situation: “in EVERYTHING”
Because He delights to see His resources in circulation: “you may have an ABUNDANCE”
So He will give you more than you need in each activity: “for EVERY good deed”!
God is unexceedable. These seven superlatives are intended to remind us of one thing: God is ABLE! Paul later says that He is “able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
His Shared Ability
A quick search of this thought will reveal that every giant of faith in our lineage understood this.
This belief made Abraham willing to make the greatest sacrifice of his life:
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type (Hebrews 11:17-19).
Embracing a big view of God’s ability gave courage to Daniel and his colleagues as they faced persecution for their faith:
“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).
And, their faith in God’s ability was so visible that it was contagious:
The king answered Daniel and said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery” (Daniel 2:47).
“Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way” (Daniel 3:29).
The New Testament reminds us that “He is able” to save us forever (Hebrews 7:25), to build us up and give us an inheritance (Acts 20:32), and give us all we need to endure any trial or temptation of life (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Waiting for … What?
We need big prayers right now, and bold faith. Founder of the modern missionary movement William Carey encouraged us: “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” If ever there was a moment in our history when our nation needed full belief, it is now.
Is God able to send a mighty movement of revival and spiritual awakening? in your church? in your city? in our nation? Of course He is.
Then why not ask Him for more than we are currently experiencing? Why not plead with Him to purify His bride in a way that shows the world what an extraordinary bridegroom He is? how well He takes care of His own? how much He loves others?
Perhaps all He is waiting for are some big, united prayers that come from faith in His superlative ability.