Sermon Notes - Building Hope and Confidence. John 6:14-21
Never more is Hope and Confidence built than when you’re in a boat and a storm is going on around you.
The disciples are at sea in these moments, they’re totally overwhelmed by life, they’re totally exhausted by what’s going on, they’re emotionally drained, because of all that they’re going through, and maybe that’s exact how you’re feeling. Maybe you’re wondering how you’re going to get through what you’re going through? You’re wondering when this trouble that you’re in, will come to an end?
And the Questions won’t go away! Will these storms ever cease? Will these waves ever calm? Will this darkness ever turn to light again in my life? And somehow, we feel that God has let us down, that He has not been there!
When the disciples in John Chapter 6 were out on the lake in total darkness, feeling totally overwhelmed v17, battling head on into the wind and wrestling through the waves, surely, they must have felt in their distress that Jesus wasn’t there, did He care? They couldn’t see Jesus and they certainly could feel Him near. In Mark’s account of this story we know that Jesus was actually watching over them, indeed praying for them and holding them up before His Father in prayer. And from Matthew and Mark’s account we know that they’ve been battling for a long time, at least 9 hours, and they are totally exhausted with rowing and going nowhere in their own strength.
And when Jesus does come to help, the time He came and the way He comes was totally not what they were expecting. God’s timing and God’s ways are not ours! As they are battling against the winds and the waves, suddenly they see what they think is a ghost, making its way through the darkness. But it’s not a ghost, it’s Jesus, trending across these stormy seas. And if they were terrified before they are absolutely petrified now, out of their minds v19.
God is here, Jesus is near, far, far closer than they would ever image, or we could ever image when we are distressed and helpless. And He comes to you in unexpected ways and often when you get to absolute breaking point.
And God speaks to us, and that’s why it’s so important to learn how to listen. He speaks to His disciples v20, and what He says is so simple, that it can be so easily drowned out by the sheer noise of the winds and the waves, the circumstances and the fears that often play so louder in our minds, than His still small reassuring voice.
And the words that He says are literally – ‘It is I’. I am Lord – I am in charge – I am faithful – I am caring toward you – I am loving you – I am your God – I am your friend – I will not fail you or forsake you – I promise, you can base that on who I am.
V20-21, ‘They were terrified, but he called out to them, ‘I am here! Don’t be afraid.’ Then they were eager to let him in, and immediately the boat arrived at their destination.’
They’re at that point where they were ready and willing to invite Jesus to come into their lives, their pain, their fears, their situation, their distress, their boat!
When we’re upset, when we’re distressed, when we’re in pain, do you know the hardest thing to do, even as a follower of Jesus? Is to actually open up those painful places inside you and let Jesus reach into those inner places of pain in our lives. We can build walls and we can put up defences and not let anybody in, not even Jesus!
But it takes time for these disciples of Jesus to come to the place and point where they are willing to open up and allow Jesus to come into the boat – step into their circumstances, open up their fears and allow Jesus in.
It takes time and trust to come to a place where you say: Jesus I am willing for you to come into the boat of my life, come into my fears, my circumstances. The disciples get to the point where they are willing!
Question: Are you willing to open up that area of fear and pain in your life?
What a different Jesus makes when we let Him in, because then He gives us Hope and Confidence so to move on.