I received a review copy of this book; all opinions expressed are mine.
“Right this second, you may be in the fight of your life. Where what you see is impossible. Where the scans are bad. Where your prodigal is not ever coming home. Where your marriage is beyond reconciliation. Where that mountain in your business is insurmountable. If that’s you, don’t fear and don’t give up,” writes author and pastor Joby Martin in his book Anything Is Possible: How Nine Miracles of Jesus Reveal God’s Love for You (Faith Words, hardcover).
Martin begins his book by sharing his experience of seeing the Empty Tomb in Jerusalem: “I remember standing here. In this empty tomb. The greatest and most undeniable miracle of all time. Jesus was crucified. Dead. Buried. And on the third day He was raised from that tomb…. Which is why I wrote this book. A book about the miracles of Jesus…. This tomb is empty. And because it is, anything is possible. Anything.” Martin adds, “While I’m about to spend nearly three hundred pages encouraging you to believe and pray like crazy for miracles, we aren’t simply chasing miracles. We’re chasing the One who performs them.” Reading about the miracles in this book that Jesus performs helps us not only understand how great God’s love is for us, but why we need to seek the One who performs miracles, not the miracles themselves.
Martin covers nine different miracles of Jesus in each chapter of the book. Here are a few insights that I thought were really good:
Chapter 4—The Feeding of the Five Thousand: “One of His disciples…said to Jesus, “Well, there’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish” (v. 9)…. It’s amazing what God can do with just one person who’s willing to take what’s in their hands and put it into His hands, and then see what He can do.”
Chapter 5—The Raising of Lazarus: “You pray and you pray and you pray and you pray, and you’re feeling, “Lord, where are You?” And He doesn’t show up. Here’s the tough part….God’s not on our time. He’s on His. And whether or not His timeline intersects with ours says nothing about His love for us. We don’t measure God’s love for us by our circumstances, but by the cross.”
Chapter 8—The Empty Tomb (I underlined some words for emphasis): “Peter…went into the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloth, but folded up in a place by itself…. When Jesus is resurrected…He gets up, unwraps His face, folds up the linen cloth, and lays it aside…. Now here’s why. In the first century [at dinner]…. If you were finished and wanted to excuse yourself, you would put your [crumpled] linen napkin over your plate, alerting the servant that they could clean up your area, because you were not coming back…. But if you were going to excuse yourself, and you wanted to alert the servant that you were not done and that you were coming back, then you would fold up your napkin, leaving it where the servant could see it. Folded napkin equaled “I may not be here right now, but i’m not finished—I’m coming back.”
There are a lot of insights to discover in the chapters, and it’s the kind of book you might read at a slower pace, because there’s a lot in there! The miracles Jesus performs show how great His love is for us, how powerful He is, and how involved He is in our lives, down to the smallest detail. Martin sums up the message of his book at the beginning, and carries it through to the end: “The reason anything is possible is because Jesus is alive…. He really does have the whole world in His hands, and that includes you.”
Thank you for sharing this, Nancy C.
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