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Jesus Is the Answer When Life Is Hard

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Jesus is God's Answer to Man's Despair.

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Jesus is God's Answer to Man's Despair.

John 6: God’s Plan Provides as We Go Through the Storms of Life

It was evening, that most tranquil time in Galilee. Jesus had just fed the 5000. He withdrew to a mountain to pray, to get away from the clambering miracle-mongers, and sent His disciples to go across the Sea of Galilee.

Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing (John 6:16-18).

If you have smooth sailing now, sooner or later things will reverse, and the wind is going to blow. Life is hard. But here are anchors that will help you ride out the storm.

God’s Providence

When you find yourself in the storms of life, the first thing you need to say is this: “I am governed by God’s providence.”

This storm in John 6 did not take the Lord Jesus by surprise. As matter of fact, “He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea” (Psalm 107:25).

The disciples were not in the boat because they were “out of the will of God.” They were there because they were in the will of God. Nothing comes to you that He does not cause. Whether you can understand it or not, it is a fact: God has not relinquished His rule upon His Universe.

God’s Plan

What is God’s plan for you? God wants to enlarge you, not indulge you. God is not merely interested in making you happy and healthy; He is making you holy. So, God will put you into trouble.

The Lord Jesus engineered these problems for His disciples, because He wanted to develop them.

Think about the times when you have grown the most; when you have been developed spiritually is when your old friend trouble came along. We never want trouble to happen, but it does. And you will be a better person because of it. Faith is developed best in the dark.

You will never grow until you eat the bread that God sets before you—and often, it is trouble. To grow, you have to have difficulty.

God’s Prayers

And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them (Mark 6:46-48a).

When Jesus sent the disciples down to the sea and He went up to the mountain, He had a vantage point. He saw the whole thing. He saw them rowing. He saw the clouds begin to roil. He saw the waves begin to rise. The disciples may not have known Jesus had His eye upon them, but He did.

And what was He doing up there? Jesus was praying. He was interceding for them.

Are you in the midst of the storms of life?

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:25).

Jesus knows you. “The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30). You are not an accident. Trust in God.

God’s Presence

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. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid” (John 6:19-20).

This is at the fourth watch of the night, between 3:00 and 6:00 AM, when Jesus comes. (See Mark 6:48.) Why did He not come sooner? Was He cruel? Was He wanting them to suffer? Imagine the disciples, with their backs aching from rowing, looking into a watery grave and asking, “Where is Jesus?”

He had His eye on them all the time. He was praying for them all the time. He had not forgotten them.

The problem was that they had forgotten Him.

He waited a while before He came to them. He came strategically, at the right time. “Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you” (Isaiah 30:18a).

When Lazarus was sick, people sent for Jesus, and Jesus held back until Lazarus was dead. “Then Jesus said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe’” (John 11:14-15a). Glad! Yes—because He had something greater. He had a plan, and God’s plan was the greater glory.

God waited 4000 years before He sent Jesus Christ into this world, after promising that He would do so. “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4a). God is never late, never ahead of time, never in a hurry.

God’s Power

Jesus had said to these disciples, “Go over to the other side.” (See Mark 6:45.) He had a plan for them.

When all of these waves rise, here He comes, walking on the water.

And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:26-27).

What He literally said was, “Do not be afraid; I AM.”

He used the name Jehovah, the most sacred name to the Jews. It was the name God used for Himself with Moses.

Moses asked God who he should say sent him to tell Pharoah to let the people of Israel go.

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’” (Exodus 3:14a).

Yesterday, He was I AM. Today, He is I AM. Tomorrow, He is I AM. This name is a proclamation of God’s presence, and a promise of abundance. He is the I AM in the midst of your storms.

Why did Jesus walk on the water? Theatrics? No! There is a message in the miracle. The disciples’ biggest problem was the water. Christ was saying to them, “What you think is going to be over your head, is already under My feet.” Jesus is the answer.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

God’s Purpose

God has not promised you smooth sailing. But, Christians, He has promised you a safe landing.

Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going (John 6:21).

He suspends the law of gravity and also rules over the laws of time and space. Just like that: they were at the shore.

Jesus had a purpose. He brought them to the destination.

You may have trouble, you may have tears and heartaches, but here is a promise on the authority of the Word of God: you are predestined to be like Jesus.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Roams 8:28-29).

One of these days, your destiny will be fulfilled.

List of Scriptures Referenced in This Article

John 6:16-21, 11:14-15, 16:33; Psalm 107:25; Mark 6:45-48; Hebrews 7:25; Matthew 10:30, 14:26-27; Isaiah 30:18; Galatians 4:4; Exodus 3:14; Romans 8:28-29

More Bible Verses About God’s Plan for Hard Times

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (James 1:2-3).
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:12-13).
Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O LORD—how long? Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!...Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; for the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD has heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer (Psalm 6:2-4,8-9).