God will often use our crises - the most difficult and trying times of our lives - to shape us and give us hopeful revelations of who He is.
In Genesis 16-17 we see Abram struggling to believe that God would and could still keep his promise of giving him countless descendants. He was now ninety-nine years old and he just couldn't see past his dried up body and his wife's dead womb. That's when God showed up and revealed a part of Himself that Abram did not yet know:
"When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, "I am El-Shaddai--'God Almighty.' Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants." Genesis 17:1-2 (NLT)
The literal meaning of "El-Shaddai' is "God, all-powerful and all sufficient." Earlier we saw that God revealed Himself as El Elyon, the Most High God in control of all things, but now God is saying to Abram, "Not only am I in control of all things, I want you to know that I always keep my word. I AM the God who does the 'impossible'. Nothing can stop my promise. I AM Almighty, beyond comparison, unstoppable."
Abram's response to this revelation is the same response that any of us would have as we meet this side of God, "At this, Abram fell face down on the ground..." God then goes on to give him a set of "I will's".
"I will make you a father..." "I will make you extremely fruitful" "I will confirm my covenant..."
As I've been asking God to reveal Himself to me as El Shaddai, I keep thinking of all the things in my life that I often just can't seem to look past: my weakness, my struggles, my lack of confidence, my fears, and my unbelief at times that God actually can use my life for great things. But then I start hearing the Spirit of God saying to me "I will... I will... I will..."
El Shaddai gives us confidence that even when we can't, HE CAN. Even when we are weak, HE IS STRONG. Even when we doubt, HE REMAINS THE SAME. He is able to do great things. And He is willing to do them through us.
Our God is Almighty, All Powerful, All Sufficient, and He always keeps His word.
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think..." Ephesians 3:20