When in Trouble!

Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas

INTRODUCTION

We are all following Christ with all our heart, mind, and soul. We are trying to be right biblically as much as possible and be good Christians. But many times when we look into the reality of our lives, still there are mountains of problems to be answered. And as we are trying to solve these problems unexpected storms from all sides come our way. Some of you are facing it all alone and you are wondering where you life is heading? Where is God? What will I do now? I did not do anything wrong but why am I still in trouble?

This morning I want to encourage you that our troubles are a part of God’s plan in our lives.

For today’s devotion let’s take a look at the miracle of Jesus walking on the water. This miracle is mentioned in 3 gospels: Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-52; and John 6:15-21 and we are going to see this miracle from all the 3 gospels.

Brief Background: Jesus fed 5000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fishes. By the time the ministry was over it was late evening and Jesus dispersed the crowd. Then Jesus made the disciples get on a boat and asked them to go to the other side of the sea, meanwhile Jesus went on the mountainside to pray. As the disciples were traveling it became dark and strong wind was blowing against the boat, the waters grew rough and now they are struggling to keep the boat afloat.

Now listen, the disciples are in a storm now. If we look at the circumstances we find Jesus literally creating the circumstances for his disciples to go through this storm. The journey probably started at 6 pm and the disciples struggled the whole night between life and death.

Jewish night have 4 watches: 6 pm – 9 pm, 9 pm – 12 am, 12 am – 3 am, & 3 am – 6 am. Now for 3 watches of the night they were struggling in the sea against the wind and the water. It is almost 9 hours in deep sea, exhausted, without help and there is no hope.

Remember, their journey started very happily. They saw a great miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000 men, they were excited about the miracle, praising Jesus. It was the same Jesus who guided them to the sea and suddenly without warning a storm hit their boat.

What is the condition of your life this morning? We have all started our Christian life with great enthusiasm, joy, and rejoicing. But now many of you are stuck up in the whirlpool of storms not knowing what to do.

A child of God faces 2 types of storms.

1. Storm of correction — to awaken, to discipline, to get our attention back to God.

God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach. Jonah decided to go against God’s will and instead took a ship to Tarshish. The Bible says he directly went into a storm. Soon the lot was cast and Jonah was put into the sea. A great fish swallowed Jonah and he ended up in the belly of a fish. There he repented and came back to God and the fish vomited him back to the land.

See if you are a backslider you are bound to be in a storm, in trouble. Wherever you go you will not find peace unless you return back to God. See even the fish cannot digest a backslider, it will puke. God brought a storm in Jonah’s life to correct him and to bring him back to the will of God.

2. Storm of perfection — to build character in us, to deepen our faith, and make us more sensitive to the suffering of others.

I believe that the storm that came to the disciples was a storm of perfection. The disciples had a good Christian life, Jesus directed them to the sea, and they were 100% obedient to Jesus but in spite of being obedient they went straight into the storm.

Some of you can well relate to such storms. You are in the will of God, you have obeyed God as much in your capacity but still you are facing storms of life. Understand your storms are for perfection, it is for a greater faith, it is for a greater ministry, it is the storm of a greater calling.

Illustration: Have you seen a golf ball? It is a round ball with rough dimpled covers. When golf balls were first manufactured it was never like this in the outside. The covers were made smooth and it could not go long distance. Then they discovered that after a ball had been roughed up or hardened on the outside one and dimpled one could get more distance and life out of it.

So it is with life; God knows that it takes some rough spots or storms to make us go the farthest. If you are going through the storms of perfection never think it is all over, God has a greater plan for your life, you have a great future.

Elijah the great prophet had a great victory when he called fire from heaven on Mount Carmel. In a single short prayer God sent fire from heaven and God gave him victory over the prophets of Baal. When King Ahab’s wife Jezebel heard about it she warned Elijah that she would kill him. Elijah who single handedly killed the prophets of Baal was afraid and ran for his life into the wilderness. Elijah came to a broom bush and prayed, “Lord take my life.”

Elijah was in such as trouble, discouraged, disheartened that he did not want to live anymore. But it was only after this experience that God used Elijah to mentor Elisha.

Your storms are for a great calling, it is for a greater ministry. Understand, there is no oil without squeezing, no wine without pressing the grapes, no fragrance without crushing the flowers. So if you’re going through a storm and you feel it giving it all up understand this storm is for a greater glory.

HOW TO RESPOND WHEN YOU ARE TROUBLED?

1. When you are troubled Jesus is interceding for you

See the disciples are on the sea, hit by the waves, battling between life and death, and not knowing what to do. They would have wondered as to where Jesus was. In their good times and joys moments Jesus was there when them. Where is Jesus now?

Matthew 14:23-24 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Jesus was interceding for them. Jesus knew their condition and was praying for them.
Application: Child of God when you are going through storms, when you are facing trials and problems understand Jesus loves you and he is praying for you.

Romans 8:34 Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Child of God Jesus knows your condition and he is interceding for you now.

2. When you are troubled Jesus is watching over you

We know that Jesus sent the disciples in the boat and Jesus went to the mountainside to pray. See what Jesus did:Mark 6:47-48 47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them.

Jesus was watching them struggle. Some of them were taking water out of the boat, some of them are rowing, and of them are holding the sail, all sorts of screams, struggles, fear of death by drowning, great chaos but listen Jesus was watching them.

Historians say it was the Passover time when Jesus fed the 5000 men. Usually Passover time is a full moon night. So there was visibility in the night. Jesus was praying and watching them struggle all through the night.

Application: When you go through the problems and struggles of life Jesus is watching your every step with compassion, he is feeling for you. Fear not because my master’s eyes are on you and your struggles today.

Psalm 121:3-5 3 He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand.

3. When you are troubled Jesus comes to us

John 6:19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened.

Jesus was tired after a big ministry but when he watched his disciples struggle, soon his own problems were set aside and it was time for action. He wanted to help his troubled disciples.

This is my Jesus. The cry of a suffering heart moves Him. Jesus hurried to meet the disciples. He did not take a boat, Jesus did not wait for the wind to calm down. Jesus took the risk and took the best and the shortest way to deliver his disciples.

Today we know that our Lord Jesus comes to us whenever we call him in prayer, but his disciples never knew that Jesus could come to them supernaturally if he was absent in body. Jesus came supernaturally to rescue his disciples and even today also Jesus has a supernatural way to come to you in our troubles.

Application: Some of you may be thinking that no one can help you in the time of my trouble, no one understands me. Remember my God has his own ways to deliver you.

4. When you are troubled Jesus delivers us completely

Matthew 14:26-33 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Jesus helped the disciples in the time of trouble. The wind that troubled them for 6 long hours were gone in just a second, that is the power of Jesus.

Today Jesus can help you out of all your troubles. That is the wonder of our Christian life, our Jesus will never, never leave us alone.

CONCLUSION

What are the troubles you are facing today? What are your storms today? Some of you are carrying it all in your heart without anyone to share, understand God can deliver you today. Your problems are to make you perfect in Christ; you have a long journey never give up. Jesus is here today to help deliver you. Let’s pray.