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Jesus Is God's Answer to Man's Despair

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
April 15, 2024 4:00 am

Jesus Is God's Answer to Man's Despair

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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April 15, 2024 4:00 am

In John 6, Jesus’ disciples were caught up in a treacherous storm, when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee. In this message, Adrian Rogers reveals six anchors for the soul we can hold onto in the midst of life’s storms.

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Known for his unique ability to simplify profound truth so that it can be applied to everyday life, Adrian Rogers was one of the most effective preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian leaders of our time. Thanks for joining us for this message.

Here's Adrian Rogers. I want to introduce you to an old friend that you've known for a long time, but you didn't know he was a friend. Now, what is a friend? Well, a friend is somebody that makes you a better person. Isn't that what a friend is?

The Bible says as iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. What that means is this, that a true friend will put an edge on your life. A true friend will make you a sharper person. Now, my friends do that for me, my best friends do. Sometimes a friend will love you so much that he will even hurt you in order to help you.

The Bible says in the book of Proverbs, fateful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. How would you like to have a friend, a friend who would help you to live a clean life? How would you like to have a friend that would draw you closer to Jesus? How would you like to have a friend that would give you more strength? How would you like to have a friend that would help you to win your loved ones to Jesus Christ? How would you like to have a friend that would make you a mature believer in the Lord Jesus? You already have that friend and his name is Trouble. Trouble, that's the name of this strange friend.

That's what we're going to be talking about today. Look, if you will, in John chapter six, this is the time when the disciples got in trouble. Verse 15, when Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force and make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea and entered into a ship and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew so that when they had rode about five and 20 or 30 furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea and drawing nigh unto the ship and they were afraid, but he saith unto them, it is I, be not afraid.

Then they willingly received him into the ship and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. Many times it's been my privilege to visit the land of Israel and what a glorious place that is, but I suppose my favorite place in the land of Israel is by the shore of Galilee. And my favorite time in Israel is the evening time by the shore of Galilee. There's a little hotel that I enjoy sitting out back on the little wharf that goes out into the Sea of Galilee and watching the sun as it reflects there as it is setting on the Golan Heights to see the birds fly over that sea, to feel the gentle breeze. It's so tranquil. It is so wonderful.

It is so beautiful. It's almost intoxicating to sit there and see that Sea of Galilee. The old rabbis used to say that God made all of the other bodies of water, all of the other seas, and he made Galilee just for himself to be a thing of beauty and a thing of enjoyment. Now, I thought of that when I read this scripture because the Bible says it was evening time at Galilee when this took place that I'm about to tell you. It was the even tide.

It was the twilight and that most beautiful tranquil time. Jesus had just fed the 5,000. The crowds were clamoring after him because of the miracles that he had done.

They wanted to make him a king, but he had no interest in being that kind of a king. So Jesus withdrew himself up to a mountain to pray to get away from the clamoring miracle mongers, and he sent the disciples down to the sea to go across the Sea of Galilee, and I can just see that scene. I envision the moon there in the beautiful sky like a gardenia pinned on the lapel of the night. I can feel the gentle breeze as it kissed their cheeks like the kiss of a baby, and these are seasoned sailors, and there they set sail because our Lord has told them.

As a matter of fact, he has constrained them to do what they're about to do. Little aware that any trouble is coming, but they are sailing into the teeth of a storm, and the Bible says suddenly the wind arose. Have you ever been there? Everything seems to be wonderful. Everything seems to be beautiful.

You're sailing along. You're like the disciples were that night. They were so full of joy and peace. They'd seen their master feed 5,000. They were filled with a sense of exhilaration and power.

After all, they were following him, and he was a miracle worker. Besides that, they'd eaten, and they were filled with bread and fish, and then it happened. The winds become boisterous, and greedy waves reach up to pull them down to devour them. That water now is filling the boat.

Now the wind is contrary. The moon is hidden. It is dark. As a matter of fact, the Bible teaches that it's the darkest hour of the night, and they're rowing, and their backs are aching. Their hands are paralyzed with fear, but they can't stop rowing. They're right out in the middle of the sea.

They rowed for two or three miles against that gale. They can't go back, and it's difficult to go forward. It's too far to swim to the shore, and the shoreline is lost in the achy blackness, and they're filled with despair.

They're going to find out that Jesus is God's answer to man's despair. Maybe you've been there. Maybe you're not there. Maybe everything is fine for you. Maybe it is smooth sailing for you right now. If so, just wait.

Just wait. I mean, you, sooner or later, you're going to find the wind's going to begin to blow, and things are going to seem to reverse on you if you're having smooth sailing right now. I'm grateful. I want you to enjoy it, but I want to give you six anchors that'll help you to ride out the storm. When the storm comes, there are six things I want you to be able to say to find out that Jesus is God's answer to man's despair.

These are six anchors of the soul, wonderful, wonderful lessons that we get from this passage of Scripture. The first thing you need to say when you find yourself in a storm is this, I am governed by his providence. I am governed by his providence. This storm did not take the wave walker, the Lord Jesus, by surprise. Are you telling me that the one who had the power to steal the waves and walk on water was surprised that this storm came up? As a matter of fact, the Bible says, he's the one that commandeth and raiseth stormy seas. He's the one who created Galilee so long ago. And the Bible tells us over in Matthew chapter 14 verse 22, he constrained his disciples. He constrained them to go and get in the ship. They were not there because they were out of the will of God.

They were there because they were in the will of God. Perhaps you're right now in the eye of the storm. Perhaps right now it looks like your little boat is sinking. Right now the icy water is reaching up for you. Right now it's so dark you cannot see your hand before your face. Right now every wind seems to be contrary to you.

I want to tell you something, friend. There is nothing that comes to you that he does not cause or allow one way or the other. His providence is there.

Not a drop of water in the Sea of Galilee was there without his permission. And so put it down first of all, I am governed by his providence. Whether I can see it, whether I can understand it or not, it is the fact that God has not relinquished his rule upon his universe.

Second anchor of the soul. I am growing by his plan. I am governed by his providence. I am growing by his plan. What is God's plan for you? God wants to enlarge you, not indulge you. God is not nearly so interested in making you happy and healthy as he is holy. And so God will put you into trouble. The Lord Jesus engineered these problems for his disciples because he wants to develop us. Psalm chapter 4 verse 1, the psalmist said this, Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.

Now you think about that. Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress. Think about the times when you have grown the most. When have been those times when you have developed and been enlarged spiritually is when your good friend trouble came along. Your old pal named trouble and that's when you've been stretched and that's when you've been enlarged.

We all enjoy not having trouble. But folks, I want to tell you and I can give this testimony that I have grown the most in my own life in times of deepest despair. I know that when Joyce and I had a little baby boy to step over into heaven, we grew a quantum leap in that period of time. I know when I had a daughter to go through deep, deep heartache and distress. God stretched my heart, my life. I would never want it to happen again, but it did happen. And I'm here to tell you that I am a better person because of it.

Many of us can think of the storms that we have gone through. I walked a mile with pleasure. She chatted all the way, but left me none the wiser for all she had to say. I walked a mile with sorrow.

Not a word, said she, but all the things I learned from sorrow when sorrow walked with me. Isn't that true? It enlarged me when I was in distress. Faith, like film, is developed best in the dark.

I don't know why it is, but that is true. These are the things that will enlarge us. Remember when Joshua and Caleb were sent out to spy out the land of Israel?

And there were 12 spies that were sent out and 10 came back and gave a bad report. They said, well, it's a land filled with milk and honey, corn and oil and wine and pomegranates and grapes. It's wonderful hills and valleys and you can dig iron out of those hills. Rivers, mountains, beautiful.

Fertile plains. But there are giants in the land. The sons of Anak, they're called Anakim. These Anakim, these are terrible giants.

We can't go into that land because if we do, we'll go into war. Why, they're like, they're so big, we fell like grasshoppers. And I love what Caleb said. Caleb said in Numbers 14, verse 9, rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land, for they are bread for us. They are bread, not B-R-E-D, not that they were created for us, but B-R-E-A-D. They're food for us. They're bread for us.

Now, what did he mean by that? What happens when you eat bread? You strengthen, you grow. Now, what Caleb said is these difficulties are there to make us grow. They are bread for us. We can do it. You will never grow until you eat the bread that God sets before you, and often it is trouble.

Anakim are the breakfast of champions. To grow, you have to have difficulty. So, first thing, I'm governed by his providence. Number two, I am growing by his plan.

Number three, I am graced by his prayers. What was the Lord Jesus doing up on that mountaintop? When the Lord Jesus sent them down to the sea and he went up to the mountain, do you know what he had right there? He had advantage. He saw the whole thing. He saw them rowing. He saw the clouds as they began to roil and boil. He saw the sea as the waves began to rise. He saw it all. And what was he doing up there? He was praying. He was praying. They may not have known that he had his eye upon them, but he did.

Put in your margin, Mark chapter 6, verse 47. And when evening was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he, Jesus, alone on the land, and he saw them toiling and rowing. He saw them toiling and rowing. They didn't see him. He saw them. And he never took his eye off of them. And what was he doing there on that mountain? He was praying for them. He was interceding for them.

Are you in the midst of a storm? You can say, his eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me. He's watching over you, and he is praying for you. The Bible says in Hebrews chapter 7 and verse 25, Wherefore, he is able also to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Sometimes people will say to me casually and almost carelessly, almost sometimes flippantly, put me on your prayer list. And I don't say it out loud, but sometimes I think fat chance. You say, oh, you're so hard-hearted.

No, I'm not. You can't pray for everybody. You can't pray for everything. If you try to pray for everybody and everything, your prayer list will become a stagnant swamp rather than a controlled river. God will lay prayer burdens upon your heart, and God will tell you who to pray for. Oh, I'll pray generally for a person, but, friend, when somebody tells me that they pray for me every day, the tears generally pop to my eyes.

I think there are almost six billion people on the face of this earth. You're blessed if somebody's praying for you, and I am blessed that people pray for me, and don't think I don't pray for others. I'm just simply saying this, that if you're on somebody's prayer list, you're blessed. But now you listen to me.

You are on Jesus' prayer list. You. He knows you. The very hairs of your hair are numbered. You are not an incident.

You're not an accident. He doesn't love us all. He loves us each. He was watching them right in the eye of the storm. He was there.

They couldn't see Him, but He could see them. I am governed by His providence. I am growing by His plan. I am graced by His prayers.

I'll tell you another thing. When I'm in the storm, I am gladdened by His presence. I am gladdened by His presence. Look, if you will, in verse 17. The Bible says, And they entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. But then down to verse 20. But He saith unto them, It is I. Here I am. Be not afraid. Now, it's the fourth hour when Jesus does this.

The fourth hour is the hour between 3 and 6 a.m. It's the darkest hour of the night. And in the darkest hour, Jesus came. Question, why did He not come sooner?

Was He cruel? Was He just wanting them to suffer? I can imagine them there with their backs aching, looking into the mouth of a watery grave. They're asking, where's Jesus? Where is Jesus? If He could feed 5,000, where is Jesus? He had His eye on them all the time.

He's praying for them all of the time. He had not forgotten them. You know, the problem was, not that He had forgotten them, they had forgotten Him, in the real sense of the word. By the way, just putting your margin here again, Mark chapter 6, verses 51 and 52.

Here's something almost humorous. The Bible says, it gives the same story, And he went up unto them into the ship, and the wind ceased, and they were sore amazed in themselves, beyond measure, and wondered. And now listen to verse 52, For they considered not the miracle of the loaves, for their heart was hardened. Remember when He fed the 5,000, what was the miracle of the loaves? He fed 5,000. Now here they are. They'd seen Him feed the 5,000, and how many baskets full were left over? Twelve. So here's every disciple with a basket of bread right at his feet.

I mean, they're right between his feet. Here is a basket of bread, one basket for every disciple, and the Bible says they forgot all about it. They forgot the miracle of the loaves. That's the reason why, friend, you need more than miracles to live on. You need Jesus.

You need Jesus. How easily we forget miracles, and here they are, I mean, saying, again, give us another miracle. Give us another miracle. But what they needed was not a miracle. They needed the miracle worker, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Now He waited for a while before He came to them. He waited because He came to them strategically at exactly the right time.

Many times the Lord will deliberately delay that He may be gracious to us. When Lazarus died, they sent for Jesus, and the Bible tells us that rather than Jesus coming immediately at their request and behest, that Jesus demurred, He waited, He held back until Lazarus was dead, and if you'll read John 11, we'll get to it in a little while when we're preaching on these miracles. He said this, Lazarus is dead, and I'm glad. What?

That's what He said. Lazarus is dead, and I'm glad. Because he had something greater. Suppose the Lord had come when Mary had pouted and Martha had rebuked Him.

Why did you wait? Suppose He'd come sooner and laid His hand upon the fevered brow of Lazarus and healed Lazarus. Well, just one more person that Jesus healed. Some people would have said, you know, He might have gotten better anyway.

I mean, after all, people get better sometimes. How do we know it was a miracle? I'll tell you one thing, when He raises the dead, they don't say it might have happened anyway.

Isn't that right? You see, He had a plan, and that plan was the greater glory. God waited 4,000 years before He sent the Lord Jesus Christ into this world after He made that promise.

4,000 years, 40 centuries. But the Bible says He came in the fullness of time. Never late, never ahead of time, never in a hurry. Put this verse down, Habakkuk 2 and verse 3, and it's a great verse for you if you're in trouble. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it.

Wait for it. And so I'm gladdened by His presence. He will come to me, and His eye is upon me as He prays for me.

Here's the fifth anchor of the soul that I want you to write down. When I'm in trouble, I am guarded by His power. Look if you will in verse 20. But He saith unto them, It is I, be not afraid.

I don't know who first said this, but I 100% agree with it. The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot keep you. The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot keep you.

That's everlastingly true. Now, Jesus had said to these disciples, go over to the other side. He said, go over.

He did not say go under. He had a plan for them. And so they see Him with all of these waves. Here He comes walking on the water. You know, if I could have been here in the days of His flesh, there are many times I would have liked to have seen Him, but if I had just had my choice, I would choose this one. I can just see that kingly form with the wind in His hair and putting His footsteps on the sea, His garments billowing back, smiling at the storm.

Wouldn't you love to see Jesus walking on the water? And so here He comes at first. They say, what is that?

Who is that? They begin to draw back in terror. They think it's a phantom, a ghost.

They don't know what it is. But soon, soon, the terror is turned to joy because they hear Him say, it is I be not afraid. But now let me tell you something. What He literally said is, don't be afraid. I am.

That's exactly what He said. I am, not I am afraid. I am, I am.

What He used was the name for Jehovah, the most sacred name to the Jews, when Moses said, who shall I say sent me when I tell Pharaoh to let my people go? Jehovah said, you tell them I am sent you. Yesterday He wasn't I was. Yesterday He was I am. Today He is I am and tomorrow He is not I will be. Tomorrow He is I am. He is I am, I am, I am. Never was a time when I was not. I am the great eternal God and I was here when this pond wasn't even a vapor. Don't be afraid.

I am. I am guarded by His power. What is I am?

It is a declaration, a proclamation of presence, and a promise of abundance. He is the I am in the midst of your storm. Now why did He walk on the water? Was this theatrics? Oh no, no. Was He just saying, look at me, I can walk on water?

No. There's a message in the miracle, a significance in the sign, something that goes beyond the miracle, something for your heart today when you're in trouble. And what is it? Listen. When they saw Him walking on the water, what was their biggest problem? That water. What He was saying to them is this. What looks like it is going to be over your head is already under my feet.

Did you get it? What you think is going to be over your head is already under my feet. Don't forget that. Jesus said, in this world you will have tribulation. Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. We're overcomers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

You've got problems, you've got heartaches, you've got fears and tears. You are guarded by His power. You are. He is to you the great I am. I wish I had more time to finish that, but I am is an unfinished sentence. I am what?

You fill in the blank. I am the bread of life. I am the water of life. I am the door. I am the way, the truth, and the life.

I am the great. I am in the midst of your storm. Not only am I guarded by His power, but I am guided by His purpose. I am guided by His purpose. God has not promised you smooth sailing. He has promised you a safe landing. He said, go over to the other side. Now look, if you will, in verse 21. Then they willingly received him into the ship and immediately, immediately, the ship was at the land whither they went. There were two miracles. Actually, three.

He suspends the law of gravity, but also overrules the laws of time and space. Just like that, they're there. I mean, here they are. They're rowing. Their backs aching. Their brows mingle with perspiration and sea water. When Jesus comes aboard, immediately.

There they are at the shore. What does that mean? It means that He has a purpose. You can bank on it. No pun intended. He'll see you to the shore. Maybe there was a pun intended. I have to apologize.

Now, Andrew Murray said this. God is willing to assume the full responsibility for the life totally yielded to Him. God is willing to assume the full responsibility for the life totally surrendered to Him, and He brought them to their destination. You may have trouble. You may have tears and heartaches, but I'm going to promise you something on the authority of the Word of God. You are predestined to be like Jesus, and all things will work together for good to those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose. One of these days, one of these days your destiny will be fulfilled, for the Bible says in Philippians 1-6, He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it.

Let me tell you something. If you're in trouble right now, His eye is on you. He's praying for you. He will come to you, and I can promise you this. He is going to see you through.

Did you hear me? You say, Adrian, who are you to promise? I'm not promising.

I'm repeating a promise. He said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. He will see you through, and one of these days, soon and very soon, He is going to step down from the mountain of His glory, and then walking on water will be like child's play because He'll be stepping on the clouds, and He's coming to us as the barometer is falling and the winds are whipping and the storms are coming, and we say, what is the world coming to?

It's coming to Jesus because Jesus is coming to this world, and He's going to step out of the glory with the rainbow wrapped around His shoulders and with victory on His face as the great I am, and the trumpet will sound, and our little ship will leave the sea of time and immediately we'll be on the shores of eternity when He comes. He is the great I am. What a Savior. You need Jesus. You need Jesus. He is God's answer to your despair and every other need that you'll ever have, and I want to help you to invite Him into your heart and into your life right now. I want you to pray like this.

Dear God, just pray it from your heart silently but fervently. Dear God, I know that You love me, and I know that You want to save me. Jesus, You died to save me. You promised to save me if I would trust in You. I do trust in You, Lord Jesus. This very moment come into my heart. I want you to pray that, friend. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Forgive my sin, cleanse me, save me, and begin now to make me the person you want me to be, and Lord Jesus, because You died for me, I will live for You, and help me, Lord Jesus, never to be ashamed of You. I grant the courage this morning to make it public. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-02 11:19:39 / 2024-05-02 11:31:50 / 12

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