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When Things Seem Impossible

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
February 21, 2022 12:00 am

When Things Seem Impossible

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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February 21, 2022 12:00 am

Clinging to Scripture and seeking God through His Word can help you during adversity.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Monday, February 21. Big problems sneak up when you're not paying attention. Learn how to develop unshakable faith now so you're ready when things seem impossible. And today, I want to share with you a message from the apostle Paul and others. Not only that, but oftentimes it's just what Jesus was saying. Or what the apostle Paul or James or Peter was saying.

And one of those events that is known, probably by most people who have ever read the Bible, is the event that I want us to look at today. And the title of this message is, When Things Seem Impossible. We have had our backs to the wall and we think, God, I don't know what to do. I don't know where to go. I don't know which way to turn. What shall I do?

We've had our backs to the wall and everything looked rather impossible. So I want you to see today, nothing is impossible with God. So I want you to turn, if you will, to John chapter six. In fact, in this sixth chapter of John, it's the story, the account of the feeding of the five thousand. Somebody says, oh, I know that story. Well, but do you know the truth of this story?

Do you know the principles here? Do you know what God is trying to say to us in this passage? Because God has some wonderful lessons in this sixth chapter of John and beginning in verse one. And what I want you to remember is this, that this is the only miracle that Jesus performed that's recorded in all gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

This is the only one. So there must have been some reason the Holy Spirit inspired all of them to include that in the gospels. So beginning in verse one. After these things, Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee or Tiberias, which is named after a Caesar. A large crowd followed him because they saw the signs which he was performing on those who were sick. He'd been healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on the mountain and there he sat down with his disciples. He was trying to get away to get a little rest at this particular time. Now, the Passover, the feast of the Jews was near.

And so that means there are lots more people floating around and walking around than normal. Therefore, Jesus, lifting up his eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to him, said to Philip, where are we to buy bread so that we may eat? This he was saying to test him, for he himself knew what he was intending to do. So that was not a command.

That was just the request. Philip answered him, two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them for everyone to receive a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish.

But what are these for so many people? Jesus said, Have the people sit down. Now, there was much grass in the place, so the men sat down in numbers about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves and having given thanks, he distributed to those who were seated likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. When they were filled, he said to his disciples, Gather at the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost. So they gathered them up, filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, which he were left over by those who had eaten. Therefore, when the people saw the sign which he had performed, they said, This is truly the prophet which is coming to the world.

Now, two things I want to remind you of. Number one, Jesus' primary purpose for performing miracles was not just to heal people or to help them feel better. His primary purpose was just what happened here. He says, Therefore, when the people saw the sign, all of his miracles were signs of his true identity. That is, that Jesus Christ was and is the Messiah. A second thing I want you to remember about this passage is this, that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all record this particular event. Not any one of them say the very same thing. Each one of them has a contribution that they make. Somebody says, Well, aha, then the Bible's not inspired.

Yes, it is. If all of them had been exactly the same, we'd have figured somebody copied somebody. But each one of them, as the Holy Spirit led them, brought to mind those things that they remembered and that they saw happen. So I will say some things that probably are not here. For example, the Bible says that it was a very desolate place and it was very late in the evening when this happened. So if I say something useful, I don't see that in the passage.

It's either in here or it's in Matthew, Mark or Luke. So with that in mind, let's think about this whole idea. There are times in all of our lives when we hit those situations where we don't know what to do. It looks impossible for us to be able to get through this without a great deal of pain or hurt. Looks impossible for us to get through this without some real financial problems developing. It looks impossible for us to be healed after what the doctor said.

So there are all kinds of situations we come into. The first thing I want you to notice here is this, and that is that Jesus is aware of those circumstances in which we feel it is a seemingly impossible situation. You notice I didn't say an impossible situation, but seemingly impossible. It appears to be impossible.

It looks like it's impossible. What I want you to remember is this, and that is that Jesus knows every single difficulty of our life. He knows every heartache. He knows when our back gets to the wall. He knows when things appear to us to be impossible. He's not unaware of anything because He knows all things past, present, and future. He doesn't ask questions for information. He asks questions in order to get us to look at ourselves or the circumstance of the situation and come up with what we think is the solution so He can get us to the right solution to every single circumstance of life. And so He's not asking for information. He's not concerned about what He's going to do.

He knows exactly what He's going to do. And so these men had their focus on the wrong thing, on what they had, what was available, and the big crowd, and the size, and everything looked impossible. Send them away.

We can't do anything about it. And the reason He asked Philip was because Philip was from Bethsaida, which was the closest place, yet they went in a very desolate area out there somewhere around the sea, and they had no bread, and he was not about to send them away. Now, one thing you'll notice in the gospel is how often the Bible speaks of compassion. The Bible says that Jesus felt compassion. He was moved with compassion. He was filled with compassion.

Jesus was a loving and is a loving person, which says when He sees you in the circumstance that you are facing, His reaction is to love you. And sometimes we won't let Him love us. We are so full of complaining and moaning and groaning about our circumstance and our situation. We are so wrapped up in what we see, what we feel, how inadequate we are. We can't even experience the love of God. And so what appears to be impossible, of course, is not impossible, and that's exactly what Matthew says.

He says, Jesus said on one occasion, He said, these things are impossible to men, but nothing is impossible to God. And oftentimes we wonder why things don't happen right. We wonder why we can't figure it out. God doesn't want us figuring out.

He wants us to rely upon Him, to trust in Him, and as He says, to call upon Him. So now they're saying, we don't know what to do. Send them away. And He says, no, not going to send them away. I'm going to feed them. How much money do we have? Go buy something.

Let's feed them. And so absolutely, totally, they don't have any idea what to do. But the Bible says that Jesus knows what He's going to do, which leads me to the second point, and that's this. Not only is He aware of our circumstance, but listen, He always has a plan for our seemingly impossible circumstances. That is, Jesus is never caught off guard. That is, He always knows what He's going to do, and He knows how He's going to do it. And He knows how, where, when, and He knows exactly the resources that are necessary.

No matter what you're facing in life, He knows exactly what to do. Usually what we do when our back's to the wall, when it looks like it's impossible, we start calculating. Well, if it's a situation that's financial, we start thinking, okay, how much money do I have now?

And how much can I get? And what am I going to do? Or if it's some situation, we start calculating. Now, if I do this, He'll do that.

And if I, if He does that, then here's what I'll do. Or we can go through all kinds of manipulations and maneuvering and calculating. Listen, calculating in an impossible situation, seemingly impossible, what that's doing is it's deciding I'm looking at my resources and my strength and my ability. Calculation is not God's way. I'm either going to calculate or I'm going to trust. If I calculate, well, I'm looking at my resources, my strength, and my abilities. If I trust, now I'm looking at His resources, His strength, and His ability.

So that's a whole different story. Because the situation now has the possibility of changing because I am now trusting in, relying upon, looking to the inexhaustible resources of Almighty God. His awesome power, His strength, His energy, and His love and His abilities and capacity and His love and His devotion and His promises to walk me through this. And what happens oftentimes, people say, oh, what in the world am I going to do? What I'm going to do is calculation. God, what are you going to do? That's trust.

Now, I want you to get that down. What is the natural question people ask? Lord, what's the question? What am I going to do?

Wrong question. The right question is, Lord, what are you going to do? If you'll just remember that, the next time you hit one of those tough spots, don't react and respond naturally. The natural response is, Lord, what am I going to do? The right response is, God, what are you going to do? The first response is the response that is, listen, that's a limited response.

What am I going to do? Very limited. What's He going to do?

Absolutely unlimited. He blows all the sides out of limitation because there's no such thing as anything being impossible with God. And the third thing I want you to notice here is this, and that is that Jesus will often surprise us by the way He turns our impossible situations into things that are possible. Sometimes He's very surprising.

And He's surprising in lots of ways. And when you think about what Andrew said here, Andrew was scouting around and he found five loaves and two fishes. This little boy and nobody else seemed to have any food at all. And so we have five loaves and two fish and we still have all these people out there. And so what did we learn here? What did God do with that little lad? He turned a little lad whose name we do not know, who was rather insignificant among all the people out there. There must have been five thousand men. Some of them probably prominent people who were searching to seek if this early is the Messiah. Whoever's out there, what does He do? He uses a little lad who has five loaves and two fish. Don't be surprised.

Watch. Don't underestimate who God will use in your life when your back's to the wall and you need somebody. Don't underestimate who He'll choose. Now, all of us, when we get in those situations, we want our friends to come to us and surround us.

And we want our friends to love us and to be sympathetic. You know, it may be that God may use somebody you don't even like. You may not even like them. What you have to decide is this. Am I going to do it God's way or am I going to do it my way? If I could only have time to tell you how often I have seen people who insisted on doing it their way. They're going to have their way. They're going to do it their way no matter what. And what happens is I've seen people wreck their lives over and over and over again when if all they had to do is to say, Lord, here is my life.

Here's what I have. And then here is omnipotence, unconditional omnipotence. Almighty God Himself desiring the best, having planned the best. And sometimes He lets us get into those situations that seem impossible in order to bring us to the end of ourselves so that He can give us our best. Don't fight against the best with your puny little self-imposed bit of self-confidence that will never get you where God wants you. Don't underestimate who God may use in the situations and circumstance in your life.

Likewise, don't underestimate what He will use. Who would have believed that five little puny barley loaves and two fish, almost insignificant when it comes to cost, the poorest kind of bread that they ate, five barley loaves and two fish. That's all Jesus needed. And He said, here they are, sir. Here they are, Master. Here they are, teacher, prophet.

Here they are. He gave them to Him. What did He do with them? He turned it into the most awesome feast. The Bible says they had all that they wanted. They were filled and when everybody got full and rejoicing, having a good time, best dinner they ever had.

You know what? They were sprinkled with the love of Jesus and everybody had enough. What does the Scripture say? Given it shall be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, jam-cram-packed full.

And you won't even let Him have it. And I wonder what is it that God has in store for you the moment you say to Him, Lord, I want to give you my life. Whatever you want to do with me, wherever you want to send me, however you want to use me, I'm taking my hands off my life.

And from this point on, I just want to see what you'll do. I can tell you this, you'll be amazed at what God will do with you. That little boy, when he came that day, he had no earthly idea of who the Lord Jesus was probably.

He certainly didn't have any plans to be the one lad that God used to feed thousands of people. I wonder what he'll do in your life. Let me ask you this question, what are you willing to do to find out? What are you willing to do to find out what He's willing to do with you?

Well, the principle is very clear. When you and I give it to Him, something begins to happen. God can take a little and make much out of it. He can take an insignificant person, make something awesome out of it. I was reading that the tent meeting in 1949 in California, around Hollywood there, was led by a thirty-year-old farm boy from North Carolina.

And that tent meeting became the awesome stage upon which God set in motion the whole ministry of Billy Graham that has touched this globe many, many, many times. Thirty-year-old farm boy from North Carolina. Who is this? So the next time you think about, well, who am I? Let me tell you something. Are you listening?

Say amen. It doesn't make any difference who else knows who you are. You know somebody who knows exactly who you are. And what He's willing to do in your life if you'll just let Him do it. Well, the last thing I want to mention here is this, and that is that He will use these seemingly impossible circumstances in our life to teach us, to train us, and to grow us up. If you want God's best, you must surrender yourself to Him and see what He will do. And what's He going to do? He's going to show you how inadequate you are.

But He's also going to manifest His faithfulness. That is, has there ever been a situation or circumstance that God was late? No. Is there any possibility that Jesus could not do something?

No. Is there any possibility that He has not heard you? No, unless you're just living in sin, He's turned a deaf ear to you. Is there anything that you and I could come up with that He cannot do? There's nothing impossible with God. And the thing that you look at today that you think, God, how in the world are you going to do this?

He takes great delight in demonstrating how He will. It's interesting, this song came to my mind that I'm sure I hadn't even thought about in forty years. I'm sure I haven't. Out of the clear blue of unconsciousness I woke up and these words came to my mind. Are there any rivers that seem to be uncrossable?

Are there any mountains you cannot tunnel through? The next part goes, with God nothing is impossible. He knows a thousand ways to make a way for you. Let go and let God have His wonderful way. Let go and let God have His way. Your sorrows will vanish. Your night will turn to day if you let go and let God have His way. I hadn't thought about it in years.

I thought, what an absolutely perfect chorus for this message. Are there any rivers that you can't cross? Impossible. Mountains you can't tunnel through? Looks impossible. God specializes in things that seem impossible.

He knows a thousand ways to make a way for you. And I wonder what you're facing. You've been trying to figure it out? Just give up. You said, isn't giving up weakness? Giving up is not weakness, it's wisdom. When you're giving up to God, not weakness, but wisdom, because then what you do, you allow the invasion of the Spirit of the living God to take your circumstances and absolutely change them for your benefit. And I want to encourage you, if you're one of those persons who's never been saved, you're not a Christian and all this seems just to be so difficult to you, it takes simple childlike faith to place your trust in Him and watch what He does in your life. And maybe you're one of those persons who's been struggling with who you are, what you're going to do with your life, where you're headed, and what God could do with your life. And you say, well, I'm this age or I'm that age or this educated, that educated, all of these things, none of that's important. The issue is, Lord, I surrender my entire being to You, now I'm going to watch what You do. And one thing for certain, listen, He'll do the best thing that a sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all-loving, unconditional, loving God will do in your life if you let Him.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-02 17:21:10 / 2023-06-02 17:29:37 / 8

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