2020. “Is Anything Too Hard For The Lord?”

by on
Share:

No. 2020-34:229. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Morning, April 22, 1888, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” {Jer 32:26,27}

For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2020, “Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?” 2021}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2675, “Jehovah’s Challenge” 2676}
   Exposition on Jer 32:1-27 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2675, “Jehovah’s Challenge” 2676 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Jer 32:6-41 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2297, “Sealed and Open Evidences” 2298 @@ "Exposition"}

1. This method of questioning the person to be instructed is known to teachers as the Socratic method. Socrates was accustomed, not so much to state a fact, as to ask a question and draw out thoughts from those whom he taught. His method had been used long before by a far greater teacher. Asking questions is Jehovah’s frequent method of instruction. When the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind it was with a series of questions. “Do you know the ordinances of heaven? Can you set their dominion in the earth? Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that abundance of waters may cover you? Can you send lightnings, so that they may go, and say to you, ‘Here we are?’ ” and so forth.

2. Questions from the Lord are very often the strongest affirmations. He would have us perceive their absolute certainty. They are put in this particular form because he would have us think over his great thought, and confirm it by our own reflections. The Lord shines upon us in the question, and our answer to it is the reflection of his light. The Infallible One challenges a contradiction, or even a doubt. “Is anything too hard for me?” is the strongest way of saying that nothing can be too hard for him, for it proclaims defiance to heaven, and earth, and hell, to produce a difficulty which can perplex the Lord.

3. I invite you, therefore, dear friends, to think over the question in your minds until the omnipotence of Jehovah shall be your one all-absorbing thought. You cannot think of anything which renders it necessary to put a footnote to the text. Search well, and see if it needs qualification. See whether there is an exception to the rule of absolute omnipotence. Turn over the divine question long and well — “Is anything too hard for me?” May your thoughts be awake at this time! May the truth of the text take possession of your minds, and fill them with its fragrance even as the woman’s box of ointment filled the room with its perfume!

4. I. I shall ask you first to consider the wonderful question of our text which the Lord asked the prophet, VIEWING IT AS NECESSARY. The utterance of these words was no superfluity, It was necessary for them to be spoken. Flesh is frail, and mortal minds are forgetful; and Jeremiah, great as he was, was only a man.

5. It was necessary to tell the prophet this, although he knew it. He never doubted that the Lord is Almighty, and yet it was necessary for Jehovah himself to speak this truth to his mind and heart. It is often necessary for the Lord himself to drive home a truth into the mind of his most faithful servant. No one can teach as the Lord teaches. Truth is never fully known by the sons of Zion until the Lord teaches it to them; hence it is written, “all your children shall be taught by the Lord.” We learn much in many ways, but we learn nothing vitally and practically until the Spirit of God becomes our school teacher. The God of truth must teach us the truth of God or we shall never learn it. Jeremiah knew this truth in his innermost soul; see the seventeenth verse of this chapter: “I prayed to the Lord, saying, ‘Ah Lord God! behold, you have made the heaven and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm, and there is nothing too hard for you.’ ” He expressed the truth admirably, and yet the Lord saw that it was necessary to give him a special divine revelation, to impress it more fully upon his heart. Brethren, it is one thing to know that such a doctrine is true, and quite another thing to know the truth itself. We need to be persuaded of it so as to embrace it. It is a glorious thing to see truth blaze out as if written in letters of fire. We are far too apt to put truth down in our creed, and after that to exclude it from practical every day use. We believe it, and we should be indignant if anyone disputed it; and yet we ignore it. Truth laid upon the shelf is as good as unknown. Doctrines which are disputed often have the most influence upon the community, because they are brought clearly before men’s minds; and being threshed out, they yield seed for the sower and bread for the eater. We read in one of the epistles, “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.” {2Pe 1:12} There is a proverb which says that “Truth is mighty, and will prevail.” That is true, as far as it goes; but truth may be formally admitted and then it may be laid aside, and so may never prevail. It is bad to treat a truth like some great Egyptian king, who is swathed in fine linen, embalmed with precious spices, and pompously placed in the tomb with other honourable mummies. The Lord would not have the truth of his own omnipotence dealt with like this, and therefore he comes out from his secret place, and speaks personally to his servant, saying, “Is anything too hard for me?” May the Lord do the same with us in reference to the precious truths of his gospel! May the Holy Spirit himself take from the things of Christ, and show them to us; then we shall see them in their own light, and know them as divine realities!

6. But I go a step further, and say, that it is necessary for us to be specially instructed like this, even though we know a truth well enough to plead it in prayer, as Jeremiah did when he cried, “There is nothing too hard for you.” That man is no amateur scholar in the classes of Christ who has learned to handle scriptural truths when pleading with the Lord. Oh, that we used more argument in prayer! Prayers are weak when they lack pleadings. “ ‘Bring out your strong reasons,’ says the Lord.” {Isa 41:21} The sinews of prayer are the holy arguments which we urge with the Lord, such as his own promises and our great needs, his own glory, his covenant, the malice of the enemy, and so forth. We know great truths well when we see their bearing towards God in supplication; and yet, though we may be able to plead it in supplication, we may not even then know the truth to the full. Oh men of God, you who are fathers in Israel, may the Holy Spirit still teach you, until you know all the power and fulness of his truth. In lowliness of spirit I do not doubt that you still cry —

   I find myself a learner yet,
   Unstable, weak, and apt to slide.

May the Comforter continually bring to your memory the things which Jesus has told you, until you know the heart and soul of them. You gracious mothers in Israel, may God reveal himself to you more and more, and even those truths which you already plead in your prayer closet may he yet cause you to believe more vividly still. May you weave songs as well as prayers out of the truth of God. This truth of his omnipotence, may he come and speak it to our hearts as he did to the heart of Jeremiah,

   Behold, I am Jehovah, the God of all flesh:
   Is there anything too hard for me?

7. But I must go even a step further. It is necessary for God to reveal truth individually to each of our hearts even though we may have acted on it. Jeremiah had acted on the fact that nothing was too hard for God. He had very little money; and in days of famine and pestilence money was very precious. A morsel of bread was worth silver during the siege. Poor Jeremiah did not have many shekels, and those shekels would all be needed in one way or another for the necessities of life; and yet he had counted into the scales the price of a piece of land at Anathoth, which he would probably never see, much less enjoy. The Lord had told him to do so, and he had done it without demur. Beloved, it is a great thing to be a little child before God, unquestioningly obedient to our Father’s will. We may not calculate consequences, nor estimate difficulties; we are to do what the Lord tells us, as he tells us, when he tells us. Oh you Jeremiahs, it is

   Yours not to reason why,
   Yours at all price to buy.

8. Jeremiah did not doubt, debate, or even delay. He signed the deed, and took care to have it properly preserved. If you see any difficulty, obey the Lord first, and seek an explanation afterwards, for the prophet did so. He obeyed in the full confidence that nothing was too hard for God. After his obedience, he began to look back on what he had done, and to be considerably bewildered, while trying to figure out how God would justify what he had done. Elijah himself was faint, though he had taken the prophets of Baal and killed them before the Lord: but the faintness came after the conflict, and not before it. This is a much better time for faintness, if we faint at all. He was the prophet of fire, a man of iron firmness for his Master, yet after the strong excitement had passed, he was overcome, and it was necessary for his Lord to revive him. The best of men are men at the best. If the Lord lifts you up into the purity and dignity of a childlike faith, yet you will have your moments when you will cry, “Lord, speak to me yourself again, even though it is out of the whirlwind; and let me know that I have done all these things according to your word, and not according to my own imagination.” Even the practice of truth does not raise us above the need of having it again and again laid home to the soul.

9. So, you see, our gracious God applies to our hearts the truth which we know, which we plead, and which we practise, so that it may come even yet more fully into our soul, and remain there.

10. Another necessity for this arises out of further revelations with which we are to be favoured. God had caused Jeremiah to know his omnipotence so far, but he was to see even more of it. Faith has led you into marvellous places; but there are greater things before you, and the Lord presses truth upon you so that you may receive more of it. Did you ever climb a mountain? A friend of mine, when among the Alps, asserted confidently that he could reach the top of a certain mountain in half-an-hour. It certainly looked very near to us, but my eye had been better educated to estimate distances among mountains, and I assured him that it would take him a whole day to stand upon that ridge. The fact is, that when you have climbed one stiff bit of hill you find yourself bound to go down into a valley before you can tackle the next ascent. There are hills above hills, and one summit is a kind of look-out from which you see that you have much further to go. What looked like a part of the side of the hill may really be a mountain by itself; and when you have ascended it, you have the cheering privilege of seeing that you are now at the bottom of the next. In fact, although you are decidedly higher, you often seem to have further to go than when you started. It is just so with our experience of divine things: when we know the Lord to the full of our capacity, that capacity enlarges, and we begin to learn again. We know more, and for that very reason are far more conscious of our ignorance than we were at the first. The Lord himself came to his servant Jeremiah, and so prepared him for those greater things which he was about to reveal. The Lord had told him what to do, and he had done it, and so he had believed up to the highest degree of what was revealed to him; and therefore the Lord was going to reward his obedient faith by committing to him other mysteries and prophecies of the future. The city was to be burned and to be destroyed. God would wash out the footprints of sin in the blood of the sinners; and lay their land utterly waste; and yet the day would come when the scattered people would come back, and lands and vineyards would be bought and sold, of which the buying of the field at Anathoth was a type and a pledge. Then the Lord would restore the nation to more than its former prosperity, and make an everlasting covenant with the people that he would not turn away from them to do them good, and would put his fear in their hearts that they should not depart from him. All that he had already believed would prepare Jeremiah to believe in this amazing blessing. Possibly some of you imagine that it would be an easy thing for him to believe well of Israel; but, indeed, you forget how the people had treated him. He had been dealing with them patiently and tearfully for many years, and they had proved a most perverse, rebellious, and cruel people. They had jested at his tears, doubted his prophecies, and refused his warnings. He was even then in prison for having spoken the truth. So that it was necessary that God himself should come to him and cheer him concerning these people, saying, “I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” The stiff-necked people could be brought to obedience, and should be, for the Lord himself would do it. The Lord would take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and make them a lovingly obedient people. This was impossible for Jeremiah, but possible for Jehovah. He will still be glorified even in the midst of those who have dishonoured him, and despised his prophets.

11. So you see how wise it was of the Lord to repeat to his servant what he knew, pleaded, and acted on, so that he might be made to believe even more fully in the all-sufficiency of the Lord his God.

12. II. Under the second point of our discourse we shall look at the text REGARDING IT AS DECISIVE.

13. “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, ‘Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?’ ” This argument is decisive. For the argument is drawn from the Lord himself. Notice this. In his prayer, Jeremiah drew his encouragement from what the Lord had done. Observe, “Ah Lord God! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm, and there is nothing too hard for you.” Creation is a fine argument. The God who made the heavens and the earth without help from anyone can surely do anything he pleases. He who made the mountains, and the sea, and its isles can do anything. He who created the skies and made the stars also in the far-off space — those great and mighty orbs — what is there that he cannot do? This was a good argument for Jeremiah; but Jehovah does not point to his works, nor quote creation nor providence: he speaks of himself: the source of all, from where a thousand earths and heavens might flow like streams from a fountain. There it stands in its majestic simplicity: “I am Jehovah.” When we look to God alone, and think, by the help of his Spirit, of who he is and what he must be, then we believe that nothing can be too hard for him. Alas, what feeble notions we have of God! I dare say we think that we magnify him, but in reality we belittle him with our highest thoughts. When we go down to the sea of trial, and do business on great waters of trouble, we find that we know little enough of God. When we see his wonders on the deep we are astonished and overwhelmed, and if one of his storms should arise our faith is staggered. If we only rose to an idea of God, if we could only form a fair idea of the immeasurable greatness of his power, doubt and suspicion would become impossible. “Is anything too hard for me?” says Jehovah. Meditate much upon the divine Father, Creator and Preserver; upon the divine Son, the risen Redeemer, who has all power in heaven and in earth; upon the sacred Spirit, of whom the rushing mighty wind in the whirlwind is only a faint symbol, and you will feel that here is the source of all might. “I am Jehovah.” The argument takes you to himself, and coming to you from his own mouth the reason is a decisive one.

14. But he also intends for us to see the argument as founded on his name, “I am Jehovah.” I am always sorry that our revisers did not have the courage of their knowledge, and had left the divine name as it is in the original Hebrew, and given us the word “Jehovah” where they usually put LORD. It is a name of awe and glory, and the Christian church must get back to it, and return more distinctly to the worship of Jehovah. The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, this God is our God for ever and ever; and we might more clearly have recognised this, if the incommunicable name had been preserved for us in our version of the sacred Scriptures.

15. The name brings out the personality of God. Some of those who say that there is no God, are forced to admit that there is a central force, a power which makes for righteousness. They talk about an impersonal something, but we believe in a personal God, and he who has no personal God has, in truth, no God at all. I cannot call an unknown force my Father, and I cannot address my trust or my prayer to it. It, indeed! The Creator of people an it! We want him, a person, a conscious, thinking, acting personality. This we have here: “I am Jehovah.” The name means self-existence. God does not exist because of his surroundings: he draws nothing from without, his life is in himself. He derives no support or aid from anything outside of himself; indeed, there is nothing which has not come from him. All things were made by him, and he sustains all things by the word of his power.

16. The name of Jehovah reminds us that he has within himself sufficiency for all his will; he has adequate power of performance for all his purposes and decrees; Jehovah wills, and it is done. He has created legions of angels, but he borrows nothing from them. He can truly say, “I am, and there is no one else besides me.” Those mysterious living creatures who are nearest to his throne are his creatures, and not his helpers. The best instructed and the most willing of his servants, derive their all from him, but supply him with nothing. Remembering the name, Shaddai, God all-sufficient, we understand all the better his question, “Is anything too hard for me?” He lays the burden of the question upon himself; the whole stress of what is hard in itself, and too hard for others, he handles with that word, “I am Jehovah.” All the power that can possibly be required in any imaginable case is in that name “Jehovah!” It is an immeasurable word: the eagle’s wing cannot rise to its height; he who dives into the abyss cannot reach its depth. Jehovah’s name is higher than heaven, deeper than hell, broader than space, and greater than all things. What can we know about this infinite word, “I am Jehovah?”

17. Moreover, the name presents the truth that he is immutable: he is “I am that I am.” Time does not affect him, nor change come near him. He is never less than Jehovah; he cannot be more. We may at any moment of the darkest night rest as confidently upon the I AM as in the brightest day.

18. In fact, the meaning of that glorious word is infinite and unutterable. I do not wonder that the Jew should fear to write it, and substitute for it the word Adoni, or Lord. We, casting away the superstition, feel an equal reverence, and when our God says to us “I am Jehovah,” we bow before him, and confess that all questioning of possibility is ended for ever.

19. Yet in the text please notice that the argument is also founded on the Lord’s relationship to man. “I am the Lord, the God of all flesh.” There is no other God for man anywhere or at any time except Jehovah. The gods of the heathen, aha, aha! they deserve no such name: they are idols, but our God made the heavens. There is one living and true God for all flesh; there is, there can be no other; there is no room for another god, for our God fills all things. He is the God of all flesh, for “it is he who made us, and not we ourselves.” We have neither been evolved by law, nor struck out by chance. The wretched it, which idiots talk of, is no father of ours: Jehovah is the Maker of all flesh.

   His sovereign power, without our aid,
   Made us of clay and formed us men.

We rejoice that all flesh have such a God. Yet notice that before the Lord men are only “flesh.” Hear this, you kings and great ones of the earth! He calls you “flesh.” How sorrowfully do we see the truth of this in the heart-rending sickness of one of the greatest and best beloved of potentates! How wretchedly do we see it amid the pomp of the funeral when the greatest of the great are carried out to be laid in the pasture-ground of the worm! Hear this, you men of light and leading! You who have bedecked your names with all the letters of the alphabet! You, too, with all your learning, are only flesh. Do I hear you say of such a one: he is a great man? Is “great” a word which can be linked with flesh? What is the grandeur, the glory, the pomp of flesh? All flesh is grass, and grass is cut down, and withers. He is very truly accursed who trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm. You tell me about the charms of beauty. You sing about your beloved so white and ruddy; think what they will come to eventually. Flesh! Ah me! Leave it to itself. Is there anything fouler or more putrid than flesh when God calls back the spirit which quickens it? Behold the harvest of flesh in the garner of the sepulchre! See how the great reaper heaps up corruption! This is what we are, men and brethren. God sees us in our true condition, and he calls us “flesh.” Yet I rejoice that, while we are flesh, he is our God. How is the worm linked to the immortal! Happy men who have such a God! Not that flesh and blood, as they are, can inherit the kingdom of God, nor that corruption can dwell with incorruption; but for believers in the Lord Jesus there is a resurrection which shall lift us into a body of a nobler kind. We shall soon be rid of this carrion, and we shall be aloft with him where he dwells; and then, in the day of his appearing, even this poor body shall put on glory, and in our flesh we shall see God. Just as the Lord makes the dull gold of earth into clear gold, like transparent glass, even so he makes this vile body to be like the glorious body of our risen and ascended Lord. We bow before the Lord, even we who are only dust and ashes, yes, worse, who are only flesh, and we bless his name, that he still condescends to call us his people, and to be our God. The argument is that, since Jehovah is the God of all flesh, he can accomplish his purposes by men, and work among them things which seem impossible.

20. The argument is so great that it puts all other arguments out of court. Poor Jeremiah is puzzled: he has been buying that acre or two of land which he will never see, and his pockets are empty; and Baruch has been putting away the title-deeds in a clay vessel, with smirk on his face. The prophet sits down and thinks over the transaction, and his reason or the devil whispers, “What a fool you are! You might just as well have bought a horn of the new moon.” Yet, somehow it must be made to appear a wise and sensible transaction, for the Lord never makes fools of his people. Jeremiah feels that, since the command came from Jehovah, his own judgment is out of court: it is for the Lord, and not for him, to make good the transaction. All Jerusalem was to be burned and destroyed; what could be the use of his purchase? But, then, the condition of Jerusalem was not the point to be considered. God had said, “I am Jehovah,” and that had put the King of Judah and his mighty men out of the reckoning. Is anything too hard for Jehovah? Come, Jeremiah, rake up your difficulties; set in order the discouraging circumstances; call in your friends, who all shake their heads at you, and point their fingers to their brows, as much as to insinuate that you are a little gone from your senses; and then, answer them all with this “nothing is too hard for Jehovah.” This clears the deck of every doubt that would board your vessel. Blessed argument which answers every difficulty, and sets faith upon a rock from which it cannot be removed! “My soul, wait only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

21. III. Having led you so far I now would have you follow me in something practical, namely, APPLYING IT IN DETAIL.

22. The text says, “Is anything too hard for me?” Apply this question to the justification of your obedience. When you know what is right it will happen, more often than not, that to do right will be costly or at least risky; and if you judge after the manner of worldly-wise men you will consider yourselves likely to be losers by obeying God. You may lose friends, reputation, assistance, and peace. This question of loss is answered at once by this fact, that if you do what God tells you, the responsibility of your conduct lies with him, and he will bear you through. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Just as he justified the action of his servant Elijah at Carmel, and justified the purchase made by Jeremiah, so he will justify all the obedient actions of his people. He will bring out our judgment as the light, and our righteousness as the noonday.

23. Apply this glorious truth to the certain fulfilment of all the divine promises. Consider a great one to begin with. This chapter evidently shows that the Jews are one day to be converted and restored. Do you believe it? “Oh,” one says, “that would be a wonder!” It will be a wonder, and the text may be read, “Is anything too wonderful for me?” He can call them off from money-hunting: can take away their unbelief concerning the Lord Jesus. He can cause the lips which now revile the name of the Crucified to sing praises to the Nazarene. Glory be to his name, he can cause the waters of Siloah, which flow softly, again to flow with blessing, and make the desolate land again to blossom as the rose. Those who crucified the Lord of glory shall look on him whom they pierced, and shall mourn for him. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

24. Apply this to any case of great sin. Select anyone whom you know to be especially hard-hearted, and pray for him earnestly and hopefully. Choose out some glaring sinner, or special heretic, or fierce hater of religion, and pray for him. You say to yourself, “I will choose an easier case.” Do not do so. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Will you, in your judgment, set anyone beyond the reach of mercy, and out of the bounds of grace? Make an application of our text to the most desperate and loathsome sinner, and believe that nothing is too hard for the Lord. Oh chief of sinners, if you are here this morning, blasphemer, swearer, thief, drunkard, fornicator, prostitute, take home this question to yourself — “Thus says the Lord, ‘Is anything too hard for me?’ ” If you believe in the Lord Jesus, God has saved you, saved you now. He can and will wash every believing sinner from all his sins through the blood of Jesus, and he will graciously blot out all his iniquities. Remember how he forgave David, and Manasseh, and the dying thief, and Saul of Tarsus, and the woman who was a sinner. May the Holy Spirit make a personal application of omnipotent love for each of you who now feel your sins! Salvation is not too hard a thing for the Lord.

25. Apply this to difficult truths. I will place before you a problem. There is the truth of man’s free-agency. It is an easy cut, you know, to deny that there is such a thing as free will; but it is not fair, for men are responsible, free agents, and God has endowed them with will. But the knotty question arises — If man acts freely in his sinful actions how can predestination be a fact? If every man acts according to his own will, how, then, does God foreordain all things? I answer, “Is anything too hard for Jehovah?” The solving of this great problem constrains me to worship the Lord; for he does solve it in actual history. I could understand God’s executing his purposes upon material substances, such as stones and wood; but this is the grandeur of his power, that while he leaves men free agents, and does not in any case lead them to sin, yet they do act exactly as he foretold that they would do. The responsibility lies with them, for they do as they please; but yet his divine purpose is accomplished. Peter said to the Jews concerning our Lord, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” They did their evil deed most willingly, and yet it was in the divine purpose from of old. They were eager to destroy Christ out of diabolical malice, and yet all the while they were the instruments of the death by which we are redeemed from destruction. Have faith enough to believe that Jehovah rules in the world of mind as well as in that of matter. He does as he wills among the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of this lower world.

26. Consider another hard case — the hardest of all: human salvation. Sin must bring with it punishment. It is an inevitable law of moral government that, if you break the commandment, the command will be avenged upon you. Yet God is merciful, and he is willing to forgive sin. How can it be possible for God to exercise the fulness of his mercy, and yet discharge the necessities of his justice? All men and all angels put together would have made only one fool in trying to solve that difficulty. The Lord has answered it. He gave his Son to bear our sin. Jehovah-Jesus died, and presented himself as the great sacrifice for our iniquities. On that cross the law is honoured, and man is justly saved. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

27. Bring here your own little problems. You are always getting into tangles and snarls. Prudent friends try to help you, but the tangle grows worse. Bring your hard cases to one who is wiser than Solomon, and he will draw out a clear thread for you. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” After Calvary nothing is intricate or difficult. The atoning sacrifice is such a triumph of wisdom and grace as can never be paralleled. Love here wore the belt of omnipotence. All things are possible since Jesus has died.

28. We believe in the deep depravity of humanity, but Jehovah can change its nature. The Lord of love can make sinners into saints. We tremble lest some have lost the very capacity for virtue. We ask in despair, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” But with God such marvels are everyday things.

29. For the salvation of great multitudes we are also exercised. We look on wicked London, and despair over it. We look on China, and India, and Africa, and say, “Can these dry bones live?” “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” The tears are in our eyes as we think of the Congo, and the heroic ones who have perished by its pestilential waters. Will Africa ever stretch out its hands to Christ? “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

30. We look upon the church at home in the present day. It is steeped in worldliness, and smothered with false doctrine. Lo! the many have turned aside from the gospel, and given themselves up to a thousand errors: how can the evil be cured? It is to be cured; it must be cured; it shall be cured, for thus says Jehovah — “Is anything too hard for me?” If the Lord had left only one faithful man under heaven he would with that one man deliver Israel. But he has reserved for himself thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Let us have no fear about it, but let us exhibit a boundless confidence. God’s truth will win the day whoever comes against it. “Is anything too hard for Jehovah?” I have lived to see, and shall yet live to see, such marvels in this respect as fill my mouth with laughter and my tongue with singing; “The Lord has done great things for us, for which we are glad.” If the Lord waits a little it is so that he may gain all the more glory. If he even seems to draw back does not many a man draw back when he is about to take the longer leap? Have you never seen a man draw back his hand when he is about to strike a tremendous blow? God is never baffled; Jesus shall not fail, nor be discouraged. The living Christ has died in weakness once; but now that he lives he lives in all the power and majesty of the living God. To what may we not apply the text, when Jehovah asks us, “Is anything too hard for me?”

31. IV. Lastly, dear friends, I ask you to treat the text as USING IT WITH DELIGHT. Time allows only a few words.

32. Use the text as a preventive for unbelieving sin. You say you are in a nasty hobble. I know you are; and, therefore, the devil says, “Put out your hand to do iniquity.” An evil transaction seems the best way to get you out of your difficulty. What! do you wish to help the Lord? Do you dream that he needs your sin to aid him in delivering you? Flee from the rash action. Do not let your hand reproach you, as Cranmer’s did when at the stake: he held it in the fire, and cried, “That unworthy right hand,” because it had once signed a recantation. Do not sin. Be poor, but be holy. Be straightforward and honest, come what may. God does not need the help of your sin in order that he may give you your daily bread. When I think of a man supposing that sin is necessary to help God’s providence, I am ashamed. Even in what is right our aid to God is like an ant lending help to an elephant; but to do wrong to help the Lord to provide for us is a kind of acted blasphemy. And such a poor creature as you are, do you think that your foul finger is necessary for God’s divine work? Away with the idea of its ever being necessary to do wrong. Let all sins of haste, all tricks of policy, all compromises with error, all silence through the fear of consequences, all doings or not doings which would involve a blot on your conscience, be put away for ever. That filthy thing — temporizing and parleying with evil, which men call prudence — let it be hung upon the gallows of scorn. Do God’s work thoroughly, heartily, intensely, and God will reward you in his grace.

33. Use it next for consolation in the time of trouble. You are now in a pit where there is no water: how can you ever get out? Listen: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” It is worse than a pit, you say: it seems like a living hell. The Lord can deliver you. Remember Jonah in the belly of the great fish, which went down deeper and deeper until it seemed to dive below the bottoms of the mountains. It seemed all over for Jonah. But it was not so. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Jonah acknowledged that “salvation is by the Lord,” and the fish was not able to imprison him any longer. Out came Jonah to life and liberty. Jehovah has delivered those who trust in him, and he will still deliver us.

34. Next, use the text as a window through which you look with expectation. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Expect the unexpected to happen to you. He who whispers to himself — “God is going to do something for me that I have never looked for” is the brave man. “A storm is brewing,” one cries. Is it? My way of putting it is — rain is being prepared for the earth. Brethren, the Lord’s blessing is coming upon the churches: look for it!

35. Let this text be a stimulus to you to engage in great enterprises. Launch out into the deep. Do not always keep on fishing for shrimps along the shore. Attempt great things for God. Attempt something which as yet you cannot do. Any fool can do what he can do; it is only the believer who does what he cannot do. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Fall back upon omnipotence, and then go forward in its strength.

36. Let the text be a reason for adoration. Oh you to whom nothing is hard, we adore you! We worship you with all our hearts, and today we believingly link our weakness with your omnipotence. We trust you for life, for death, for eternity. Dear Saviour, we trust you now with all our sins and sorrows. Nothing is too hard for you, therefore save your poor servants according to the riches of your grace.

   A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
      On thy kind arms I fall;
   Be thou my strength and righteousness,
      My Jesus and my all.
[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Jer 32]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Attributes of God — Incomprehensible And Sovereign” 187}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence — Providence Mysterious” 211}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence — Providence Wise And Good” 209}
The Sword And The Trowel. Edited by C. H. Spurgeon.
Contents for May, 1888.
Remarks on Inspiration. By C. H. Spurgeon.
The Faithful Ambassador.
John Stuart Mill on Providence.
A Prayer.
Pastor Archibald G. Brown in East London. Part III.
An Arabian Story.
The Misuse of Language.
Joseph Donisthorpe, the Normanton Blacksmith.
Unseen Protection.
A Rub for the Pew.
Some Adventures of Preachers in the Streets.
Prayer Echoes from the Ocean.
Why Creeds are Necessary — Illustrative Case.
A Confab Aboard.
Notices of Books.
Notes.
Pastors’ College.
Stockwell Orphanage.
Colportage Association.
Society of Evangelists.
For General Use in the Lord’s Work.

Price 3d. Post free, 4 Stamps.
Passmore & Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and all Booksellers.


God the Father, Attributes of God
187 — Incomprehensible And Sovereign
1 Can creatures to perfection find
   Th’ eternal, uncreated Mind?
   Or can the largest stretch of thought
   Measure and search his nature out?
2 ‘Tis high as heaven, ‘tis deep as hell;
   And what can mortals know or tell?
   His glory spreads beyond the sky,
   And all the shining worlds on high.
3 God is a King of power unknown;
   Firm are the orders of his throne;
   If he resolves, who dare oppose,
   Or ask him why, or what he does?
4 He wounds the heart, and he makes whole;
   He calms the tempest of the soul;
   When he shuts up in long despair,
   Who can remove the heavy bar?
5 He frowns, and darkness veils the moon;
   The fainting sun grows dim at noon;
   The pillars of heaven’s starry roof
   Tremble and start at his reproof.
6 These are a portion of his way,
   But who shall dare describe his face?
   Who can endure his light, or stand
   To hear the thunders of his hand?
                           Isaac Watts, 1709.


God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence
211 — Providence Mysterious
1 God moves in a mysterious way
   His wonders to perform;
   He plants his footsteps in the sea,
   And rides upon the storm.
2 Deep in unfathomable mines
   Of never failing skill,
   He treasures up his bright designs,
   And works his sovereign will.
3 Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
   The clouds ye so much dread
   Are big with mercy, and shall break
   In blessings on your head.
4 Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
   But trust him for his grace;
   Behind a frowning providence
   He hides a smiling face.
5 His purposes will ripen fast,
   Unfolding every hour;
   The bud may have a bitter taste,
   But sweet will be the flower.
6 Blind unbelief is sure to err,
   And scan his work in vain:
   God is his own interpreter,
   And he will make it plain.
                  William Cowper, 1774.


God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence
209 — Providence Wise And Good
1 Thy ways, oh Lord! with wise design,
   Are framed upon thy throne above,
   And every dark and bending line
   Meets in the centre of thy love.
2 With feeble light and half obscure,
   Poor mortals thy arrangements view;
   Not knowing that the least are sure,
   And the mysterious just and true.
3 Thy flock, thy own peculiar care,
   Though now they seem to roam uneyed,
   Are led or driven only where
   They best and safest may abide.
4 They neither know nor trace the way;
   But, trusting to thy piercing eye,
   None of their feet to ruin stray,
   Nor shall the weakest fail or die.
5 My favour’d soul shall meekly learn
   To lay her reason at thy throne;
   Too weak thy secrets to discern,
   I’ll trust thee for my guide alone.
                     Ambrose Serle, 1787, a.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

Spurgeon Sermon Updates

Email me when new sermons are posted:

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390