Sometimes life is overwhelming. Moments, situations, goals, whatever. You have no idea how this thing will work out. How will you overcome this situation? How will you accomplish this goal? How will you endure this moment?
Maybe your family member has cancer.
Maybe your spouse has left you.
Maybe you’ve started a new job or created a new business.
Whatever that thing. You wonder, how will this work out?
And this is what you need to know – Jesus is God of the How.
And that is our takeaway for today’s lesson. Jesus takes care of the How, we just need to be faithful.
We are still pursuing the glory of God in Jesus Christ.
To learn of God’s glory, we are looking at the seven signs performed by Jesus which are recorded in the Gospel of John. Today we continue in John 6. Let’s read John 6:16-21
Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
Both Matthew and Mark record the same event. I want us to look at Mark’s version now and examine Matthew’s later. Here is Mark 6:45-52
Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
Now let’s put John and Mark together.
- Jesus puts the 12 in a boat and sends them back across the sea of Galilee.
- They rowed about 3-4 miles. But the going gets tough because of the storm.
- During the 4th watch or between 3-6 am Jesus comes walking across the water.
- At the end of Mark’s account, we learn that the hearts of the 12 were still hardened toward Jesus. In other words, many still did not believe that He is God.
I was born in Jacksonville Florida. For the first 5 years of my life, we lived along the panhandle of Florida – Lake City, Tallahassee, and Panama City. But shortly after turning 5 we moved to Atlanta.
When we moved to Atlanta my parents rented an apartment. The apartment complex had a pool. It was around this time that I learned the story of Jesus walking on the water.
So, like any kid, as soon as the pool opened I had to try. And you know what!?! I mustered up all the faith I had and stepped out on the water…..and I sank. On the first step, I went straight to the bottom of the pool.
Why is it we cannot walk on water? Boats and water bugs can move across the top of the water. Why can’t I? Sciencemag.org explains it this way.
“There’s a simple reason you can’t walk on water: Humans are so big that the force of gravity overcomes the so-called surface tension of water, making us sink.“
So how did Jesus walk on the water? Jesus is fully God and fully human. Why didn’t He sink? Did He change the surface tension? HOW did He do it? I don’t know HOW He did it. The HOW does not matter. I only need to be faithful. We just need to believe.
I don’t know HOW He did it. The HOW does not matter. I only need to be faithful. We just need to believe. Remember, that is today’s takeaway. Jesus is God of the How. We only need to be faithful.
Let’s pursue this idea a bit further. Turn to Matthew 14:22. Here is Matthew’s version of the story. It is much the same but with something different and surprizing. Let’s start at verse 25.Now in the fourth watch of the
Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
Now in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
Before we look at the text I want you to answer a question.
What in your life seems overwhelming or impossible?
It should be something you must deal with, something that confronts you.
I have a few. Let me share one. I know that God called me to Wakefield to lead this church to a place of health and growth. And there was a time, about a year and a half ago that I thought we were on the way to such. Now not so. We have in the last year lost people, and I am very concerned. I want to figure out how to fix this problem.
What about you? What is that thing that seems impossible? Maybe your spouse or child is far from God. You want desperately for them to turn to Christ. But it seems impossible.
Maybe your marriage is struggling. Maybe your job offers you no future. Maybe……well you fill in the blank.
You can see what this situation ought to be but you cannot figure out HOW to get there.
Recently, Andy Stanley, in his book Visioneering reminded me that God is God of how and we just need to be faithful.
Look again at the story. As Jesus is walking up to the boat, Peter says in verse 28, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Now Peter has spent a lifetime on the water. He’s not some 5-year-old kid at the local pool testing the laws of Science. Peter knows that people sink when they step out on the water. But he has faith in Jesus. And if Jesus tells him to walk on the water, then walk on the water he will.
Peter doesn’t know how he will walk any more than he knows how Jesus walks. Peter will let Jesus worry about the how. Peter will just be faithful. So in verse 29 Peter gets out of the boat and starts to walk on the water toward Jesus.
It is natural that when God begins to take care of the how we either begin to take personal credit or become fearful of the things we cannot control, the things that surround us. And that is what happens to Peter. In verse 30 we read, “But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And of course, Jesus saves Peter.
I know your situation looks impossible. I know that the problem or goal you have is overwhelming. But you need only to be faithful. Do what God has called you to do and let God take care of the How.
Now when I say that we only need to be faithful, I do not mean that we just sit passively waiting for God to work. As we respond in faith there are steps to take. Remember Peter did get out of the boat. And Peter did take steps toward Jesus.
As God takes care of the HOW you should be doing what God has called you to do. God has called all churches to fulfill the Great Commission. At Wakefield, we made the Great Commission into our mission statement which is to Share Christ and to Build believers.
I need to be faithful to that. I need to share Christ and build believers. Those who attend Wakefield need to be doing the same. We need to be doing our part. And as we do that, God will take care of the how.
I asked you earlier to think about that overwhelming thing. Now here is a simple question to move you forward as God takes care of the how.
What actions could you take as God takes care of the HOW?
Take a few minutes. Write down what you can be doing. What will be your steps of faith?
Here’s an example of what I am talking about. If your spouse is unsaved and that seems overwhelming, what actions can you be doing as God takes care of the how?
Here are a few that come to mind:
- Live the life that the Bible teaches you to live.
- Submit yourself to the direction and needs of your spouse.
- Share truth of Jesus with your spouse.
At the end of Matthew, the 12 worshipped Jesus and declared Him to be the Son of God. Even after the feeding of the 5,000 they still did not understand who Jesus was. But when He walked on the water, when Peter did as well, and when Jesus reached down and saved Peter, they knew that He was God the Son.
When we begin to walk in faith and allow God to take care of the how, then we will see Jesus for who He is – God the Son.
All of what I taught today was taught with a believer in mind. So if you do not believe on Jesus Christ, here are a few short words for you. You really only have one overwhelming thing in your life. Only one thing!? Yes, and here it is. The problem is you have unforgiven sin.
Now some of you are thinking, “That doesn’t seem so bad.” But truly it is. Because of unforgiven sin, you are far from God. You were created to be a child of God, to have a relationship with God, but your sin keeps that from happening. And some day, when you die, because you do not have this relationship, you will be sent to hell and ultimately the Lake of Fire forever.
So HOW do you fix this? Don’t worry. God has taken care of the HOW. God the Father sent His Son Jesus to take care of the how. Jesus died for your sin. All you need to do is respond in faith.
I love Romans 10:11, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” In other words, there is no hell for those who believe on Jesus. So listener, believe today.
When you can, drop over to www.wakefieldbible.org and use the contact page to say hello. We would love to hear from you. I will see you next time. Bye.