Your dear friend has just been murdered. The last thing you want to do is minister to people. You are empty with nothing to give. Right? Yet, Jesus, showing us the heart of the Father, presses through His earthly pain and grief, to minister to others who are hurting. That is challenge enough for the day, that I could stop right there. What compassion. What selflessness. Oh, Holy Spirit, give us this kind of heart!
Completely putting Himself aside, Jesus uses the opportunity to strengthen His disciples’ faith. Verse 16: “They do not need to go away“: sometimes the easiest and even logical thing to do is not always the thing to do. When problems arise, welcome them as an opportunity to engage the Lord and ask Him what He wants to do. You might be on the verge of a miracle!!!
“YOU give them something to eat.” Jesus challenged them. It was now their turn to take what they had learned from Jesus and go and do likewise. What did the disciples do? 1) they brought what they had, 2) they put what they had in Jesus’ hands, 3) Jesus blessed what they had, 4) Jesus gave it back to them with His blessing on it, and they 5) gave away what they had. With the circumstances you find yourself in right now, what needs to be brought to Jesus, put in His hands so He can bless it, and then taken back in your hands to pour out to those around you?
Some Circumstances Are Designed To STRENGTHEN Your Faith
Verse 22, 27, and 31 use the word “immediately“. I just felt like there was someone who is reading this blog and you need an “immediately“. God sees you. He knows you. He has a plan for whatever circumstances you are facing right now. Sometimes He does immediate miracles and sometimes He takes us through a process to reach the miracle. I have a personal “immediately” in my life right now. Father God, we declare that You are trustworthy and that You are with us through every storm. I pray for those of us who so desperately want an “immediately”. Give us our “immediately” in accordance to Your perfect will; and if “immediately” is not the best for us then please empower us to patiently and eagerly wait with joy for what is to come. In Jesus’ name, I humbly ask.
Verse 22: “Jesus made the disciples get into the boat“. Will God allow circumstances into our lives as opportunities to stretch our faith? You betcha! Will He put you smack dab in one to stretch your faith? Absolutely! Peter got to walk on water! He could have stayed in the boat, He could have not asked Jesus to let him come out there. Peter was allowing Jesus to stretch Him. Peter was willing to trust God and do something out of his comfort zone. This would be something really hard, that Jesus would have to miraculously come through for him, otherwise, he would be in trouble and look like an idiot. But, Peter got to walk on water!!! How many miracles are we missing out on because God is willing but we won’t dare to step out of the boat?
Verse 30: “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, he cried out.” What is seeking to distract your focus? What fear has drawn your focus away from God? I say it like this:
“We glare at our problems and glance at God, and yet God wants us to learn to glance at our problems and glare at God”!!!
Verse 31: “You of little faith….why did you doubt?” When we step out in faith, there is NO room for doubt.
Some Circumstances Are Designed To STRETCH Your Faith
Verse 34-36: people hear that Jesus is in the area and BY FAITH, they come to where he is, just hoping to touch the edge of His cloak! And ALL who touched it were healed. These people had no doubt whatsoever! Had they had any reservation, they would not have walked miles and struggled to get to Jesus. And we get all upset when we have to sit in traffic to go to worship. Ouch. When was the last time that you did whatever it took to hear the Word preached, to get into the presence of God with some other faith-filled people?
All Circumstances Can Be Opportunity To SOLIDIFY Your Faith
Where does God have you? Strengthening, stretching or solidifying your faith?