God’s Superlative Ability

And 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

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 right before me 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 His development of us to move only in response to our belief in Him, it slows (or aborts altogether) the work of God around us, which is so desperately needed.


Perhaps that 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. And then he goes over the top describing what God can and will do if we trust Him through seven superlatives.

He is able: “God is able”

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”

And, further, He will go over the top because He loves His resources in circulation! “you may have an ABUNDANCE”

So, He will give you more than you need in each activity that you accomplish: “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 exceeding abundantly beyond all that you ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20)


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, emphasis mine)

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, emphasis mine)

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, emphasis mine)

            “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, emphasis mine)

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). 


We need big prayers right now and bold faith. The founder of the modern missionary movement, William Carey encouraged us to “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” If every 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 experience? Why not plead with Him to purify His Bride in a way that shows the world what an extraordinary BridgeGroom 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.


©2013 Bill Elliff.  Originally posted on Bill Elliff’s blog