This Sunday my husband preached a sermon that struck me to the core. Not because he's my husband (although I do think he's pretty great) but because the Word of the God is a two-edged sword! Gavin has been preaching through John for the last 40 weeks or so and this Sunday he was on John 6:16-21.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is the story of Jesus walking on the water. And I wanted to share a portion of the transcript from his sermon with you because I really think it will bless your soul. I know that you are hurting. Your heart is broken. This storm seems too big and too strong, you feel like you are drowning. But if JESUS is in your boat... it's going to be ok.
"Do you think Jesus knew that the winds would pick up and cause a storm and they would basically get stuck in the middle of the Sea of Galilee? Of course He did. He knows everything....
I'm talking about EVERYTHING! He knows every sunrise and sunset. He knows every breath you have ever took, taking right now and will take until you take your last. He knows every hair on every head who was ever born, or not born for that matter. He knows every single one of the millions of billions of stars in our universe and calls them out by name. He knows every sand on the every sea shore, every wave ever to crash on the beach, every unique snow flake to have ever formed, every molecule of sand on every desert floor. He knows how many gallons of water in every ocean, lake, river, stream, pond and creek. He knows every single minute detail of your life, and my life. He knows when you're in pain. He knows when your have joy. He knows when you cry and when you smile. He knows how you felt the day of your first kiss, on your wedding day, the day you had your first child. He also knows the exact emotion of the day you buried your loved one, the day the test results came back positive and the day and the day that will be your last one on this planet. Our Savior knows EVERYTHING.
So of course He knew that the fierce wind was coming and was going to cause havoc on their little boat. And no, there isn't anything they could have done to stop it from happening. He knew how rough the sea would get and He knew how strong the wind would blow. And He allowed it to happen anyway.
I've said this before and I'll say it again, having a storm in your life does not mean that there is sin in your life. Stop wasting your time listening to the people who write and preach and say that your afflictions in this life are a result of your sin or your lack of faith. I've seen people literally go to their graves believing that God was punishing them by making them sick. No, we are not promised health, wealth and prosperity when we become a Christian. Quite the contrary, we are promised affliction, tribulation and persecution for His name sake.
Let's read 2 Corinthians 4:16 --So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.--
The affliction that you are facing is light and momentary in comparison to eternity, but all of it is totally meaningful. Every millisecond of your pain from either fallen nature or fallen man, every second of your misery in the path of obedience, is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of it.
I don't care if its cancer or criticism. Slander or sickness, it isn't meaningless. It's doing something. And most of the time you can't see it.
So when mom dies, or your kid dies or you get cancer at 40 or a car crashes into an innocent bystander and you wonder why, Lord, why? It isn't meaningless. It's not. It's working for you in the eternal weight of glory.
Therefore, we do not lose heart. We keep pressing on. We remember
the Lord and we preach the gospel to ourselves each and every day
until your heart begins to sing with the confidence that you are
intimately known and cared for by the King.
However, storms are not always caused by sin, sin always causes storms. Let me say that again, storms are not always caused by sin, but sin will always cause a storm in your life. Take that to the bank. If you have unconfessed sin in your life you are flying a kite in a lightening storm.
Verse 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.
It's dark. There's a storm. They're three or four miles into the lake. And they see Jesus walking on the water and they were frightened. I would say that is an understatement. They could have been frightened by the storm, or they could have been frightened by the fact that Jesus was walking on the water.
That's something you don't see every day. But, why wouldn't Jesus walk on the water. He's already turned water into wine. He's already offered living water to the Samaritan woman.
John 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
He made the water He was walking on. People will say, "That's impossible!" That's the point! They weren't frightened for nothing!
Sometimes its good for us to experience the wonderful and terrifying awe of God. We say things are awesome, but have we ever experienced something so full of awe that we shake in our boots in holy reverence to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without
Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
“Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
“Have you commanded the morning since your days
and caused the dawn to know its place,
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.
“Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
What puny little parasites we are in the presence of God Almighty! I mean, seriously, who do we think we are? We get on our high horse and think we're something. That we are deserving of something. That God is obligated to do something for us. That He SHOULD love us. That He SHOULD provide for us. That He SHOULD forgive us? Says who? Under what circumstances? In what reality does a Being so big, so powerful, so mighty, so magnificent, so majestic, so marvelous, so transcendent, so awesome give a rip about someone like you or like me? The answer, it doesn't. That's what so amazing about this grace. It doesn't make any sense! We aren't worthy of God's love. We aren't worthy of His forgiveness. We aren't worthy of His providence. Yet He gives it to us in such immeasurable numbers that we take it for granted and actually belittle and defame God with His very gifts that He gave to us.
Now, that wasn't a rant. That was all planned. You paid me for that one today.
What's the point of all that? Next verse.
Verse 20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” When it's Jesus getting into your boat, it's okay. Let me go ahead and say this before we read verse 21: even if the storm doesn't stop, if you have Jesus it's okay. These afflictions are light and temporary in comparison to the eternal weight of glory. When the cancer doesn’t go away. When the kids don't come back home. When the spouse does pack up their bag and leaves. If you have Jesus, it's going to be okay. It's still going to hurt. It's still going to not be pleasant. It's going to stink (and I mean that in the harshest way possible).
Habakkuk 3:17 Though the fig tree should not
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
But, in this instance, Jesus does calm the storm.
Vs. 21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
It's implied that the storm stopped. They gladly received Him, and immediately the boat was at land. He either gave their little row boat an engine or He stopped the storm, but either way they got to the other side.
I told the deacons in the deacons meeting this past week: Either you are finally getting done with a storm, going through one right now, or getting ready to go through one. If you're sitting here today saying, Well, I’m doing pretty good -- get ready. Give it some time. Something will happen. I promise you.
And when it does don't blame God or the devil or your brother or your spouse. Blame sin. Call on the Lord. Welcome Him in. Keep calm and glorify God."
We know that you are suffering and your heart is broken. But don't lose heart. In the midst of our pain, God is faithful to comfort us, even if He doesn't change our circumstances.
Walking in Freedom,
Gavin & Kristina
Tags: john 6:16-21 pain suffering keep calm and glorify god healing
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