February 7, 2021
FACING THE HARD REALITIES OF LIFE!
Many days and nights have passed since the loud cheering of Christmas and New Year. We are so happy and elated about gifts and all the events that occur around Christmas and New Year. An excess of jolly greetings filled the air - at churches, homes, marketplaces, parks, street corners, everywhere. It all jubilantly culminated to the two festive nights (with only one week apart) of celebration - Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Those two nights were stuffed with fun, foods, and fellowships with overabundance. You are having so much fun for a few days. But then, after a few days of merry celebration, we are back to face reality. The lights of Christmas and New Year's celebration have dimmed; things start to chill.
In this particular story, Jesus' disciples went through the same scenario. It was only on the early evening before when they saw with their own eyes, tasted with their own tongue, got stuffed in their own belly, a grand picnic only God can prepare. They even had an awesome experience of collecting a hefty pile of leftovers, that far exceed the five loaves of bread and the two fish that Jesus miraculously multiplied to feed the 5,000 men, plus women and children.
Look at your neighbor and say, "Good Times Don't Last Always!" You have been on the mountaintop, and then everything seems to crash? Have you had your world turned upside down? In the recent past, friends were many, finances were healthy, and fellowship was lively? And now, everything is the opposite! You may be thinking remorsefully that you made a big mistake somewhere, and because of that mistake, I am going through something. Maybe you did, but God never made a mistake. My brothers and sisters you may regret, you may fret, but do not ever quit. You are simply facing the hard realities of life. Keep on moving toward the name Jesus.
In our passage today, the grand picnic is over. Let the good times roll are over. The twelve were facing the hard realities of their life - straining at the oars, against an opposing strong wind. When we are facing a head on collision with the hard realities of life, our text provides us with Biblical truths that will help us in the stormy weather.
JESUS IS WATCHING OVER US
"And he saw them toiling (straining) in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: ...." Many times, in life we feel all alone. We feel like nobody cares. I am here to tell you that Jesus is watching us. They say, "His eyes are on the sparrow, and I know He is watching me." Jesus sees our every move.
A. Every Time We Take A Step In Life - and every time we face the hard realities of life, he is watching us!
B. Each Time We Face A Struggle In Life - Jesus is watching us!The mountaintop experiences are not challenging like the down-in-the valley experiences. Remember crops produce better in the flat-dark-and cold valley.
Coaching is a challenging task. Many times, a game is won, not because of the efforts of a skillful athletes, but by the wise game plans of the coach. A good coach knows the strength and weakness of his team. In the same way, he also knows the strength and weakness of their opponents. To achieve that knowledge, a coach would need to spend hours and long hours familiarizing with the skills of his team members, as well as the skills of the opposing team. And on that knowledge, he draws his game plans.
The Lord Jesus is our heavenly coach. He knows our weaknesses even before we admit it. He knows our strengths even before we even realize it. When life seems tough and we feel like our efforts are drained - Jesus is watching over us!
JESUS IS WALKING BESIDE US
"And about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. 49 But when they saw Him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:"
A. Every Moment That We Are Stressed - Jesus is beside us! Know in your heart that Jesus is by your side when you feel stressed. Jesus is a constant, yet unseen, presence by your side.
B. Each Moment That We Are Scared! - Jesus is beside us! we get scared because we are human. But remember, Jesus will come walking by your side. Jesus, said in
Matthew 28:20, “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”
JESUS IS WORKING WITHIN US
v. 50 -52
50 "because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed. 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened."
A. Every Word Of Jesus Christ - Calls Us To Trust Him! They thought that Jesus was a
Ghost. He said, “be of good cheer” (Take Courage). God wants us to realize who is in
B. God Wants Us To Analyze What Needs Change! The moment Jesus got into the wave-
Battered fishing boat things changed abruptly. There was an instant calm. After Jesus
demonstrated two miracles, the disciples’ hearts were hardened. They were spiritually
insensitive to the truth concerning the deity of Christ. We need to have that trust that
God is working within us. Deep down in your heart and mind you need to make a change in your way of thinking.