Where Science and Faith Converge
Questions from Social Media

Can God Work through a Stubborn Christian?

By Hugh Ross - June 19, 2020

Question of the week: Can God still work through a Christian even if that Christian has many stubborn tendencies?

My brief answer: The short answer is yes. A slightly longer answer is that since all Christians have at least some stubborn tendencies and God wants to work through all Christians, God will work through a Christian even if that Christian has glaring stubborn tendencies.

My longer answer: Christians in their lives on Earth will experience God delivering them from many of their stubborn tendencies. However, it is a process, and complete deliverance will not occur in this life. Complete deliverance happens when we are glorified in the next life. That complete deliverance is described in 1 Corinthians 3:12–15.

The process of our being delivered from consistently insisting on our way is for us to come to God to be “tamed” by him. In the last four chapters of the Book of Job God reminds Job and his friends that it takes a higher being to tame the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field. Likewise, he tells them it takes a higher Being to bring humility to a proud human heart.

There are many biblical examples of God working through his human servants in spite of their stubborn ways. Two prominent examples are Abraham and Moses. Probably the most dramatic example is Jonah.


God not only works through believers. He also works through unbelievers. God’s common grace is poured out upon all humans. Prominent biblical examples of God working in the lives of unbelievers despite their stubbornness are Xerxes (Esther 1) and Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3).

The posed question probably has in mind the degree of stubborn tendencies. Degree is certainly important. As the Bible repeatedly declares (for example James 4:6), God grants grace to the humble but resists the proud. One of the symptoms of pride is stubbornness. Therefore, if we want God to work through us more consistently, it is important that we do what we can to put aside our stubborn tendencies.

Most of us are blind to our stubborn tendencies. Personally, I have found one of the more effective ways of dealing with my stubbornness is to ask the people who are closest to me to point them out. When I see them especially eager to point them out, then I know I have a big problem that needs immediate attention and correction! I also know it is a big enough problem that I will need God’s help.

  • Christian Issues
  • Publications
  • Abraham
  • Jonah
  • Moses
  • Nebuchadnezzar
  • pride
  • stubbornness
  • Xerxes

About Reasons to Believe

RTB's mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

Support Reasons to Believe

Your support helps more people find Christ through sharing how the latest scientific discoveries affirm our faith in the God of the Bible.

Donate Now

U.S. Mailing Address
818 S. Oak Park Rd.
Covina, CA 91724
  • P (855) 732-7667
  • P (626) 335-1480
  • Fax (626) 852-0178
Reasons to Believe logo

Reasons to Believe is a nonprofit organization designated as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)3 by the Internal Revenue Service. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Our tax ID is #33-0168048. All Transactions on our Web site are safe and secure.

Copyright 2020. Reasons to Believe. All rights reserved. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy.