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Summary: Jesus knew not to get discouraged when many refuse to believe and see the truth. John wrote, "Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.

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Eleven Ways Jesus Taught about Faith Affecting Perspective (John 20:15-31)

Illustration: Recently, many of us at Trinity College of Florida prayed for deliverance, protection and shelter from the four powerful hurricanes and each time God proved Himself to be a shelter in the time of storm. It reminded me of my favorite song we often sang in our seminary chapel of the Evangelical Churches of West Africa in Nigeria. Isa 25:4 taught me the necessity of relying on God as the shelter in times of all types of emotional, spiritual as well as physical storms:

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,

A Shelter in the time of storm;

Secure whatever ill betide,

A Shelter in the time of storm.

Refrain

Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,

A weary land, a weary land;

Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,

A Shelter in the time of storm.

A shade by day, defense by night,

A Shelter in the time of storm;

No fears alarm, no foes afright,

A Shelter in the time of storm.

Refrain

The raging storms may round us beat,

A Shelter in the time of storm

We’ll never leave our safe retreat,

A Shelter in the time of storm.

Refrain

O Rock divine, O Refuge dear,

A Shelter in the time of storm;

Be Thou our Helper ever near,

A Shelter in the time of storm.

Illustration: There we saw the giants . . . and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight. --Numbers 13:33

In my garden I have four rows of everbearing strawberries--a fact that evidently has been proclaimed from the housetops to all the robins, starlings, and brown thrashers in the neighborhood. They have been having a picnic! So I spent quite some time building a scarecrow from broomsticks, an old coat, a pair of trousers, and a white hat.

I was in for a surprise, for one morning soon afterward, a wise robin was perched on top of the hat and seemed to be singing at the top of his voice, "Free strawberries here!"

I saw two kinds of birds: wise ones and foolish ones. The foolish birds sat in the trees, afraid of the scarecrow. The wise birds knew that the scarecrow was simply an advertisement in disguise.

The Bible tells us about some wise and foolish people. Moses sent 12 spies to check out the Promised Land, a land of fabulous fruits and blessings. Ten of them feared the "scarecrows"--the giants and the walled cities. Two wise "birds," Caleb and Joshua, believed God had given them the land. They weren’t fooled. They said, "Let us go up at once and take possession" (Num. 13:30).

God richly blesses those who live by faith and are not stopped by the scarecrows of doubt and fear. (Our Daily Bread)

The foolish see giants when troubles appear,

They tremble in weakness, their hearts filled with fear;

The wise are undaunted when trouble they scan,

They go forth to battle, for God’s in their plan. --DJD

Our God is bigger than any problem.

John 20:15-31

1. Jesus knew that many things will never be understood or appreciated about truth, but the Scriptures are adequate to help everyone grow in complete faith. John wrote, "Jesus did many other miraculous signs which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (Jn 20:30,31) Ask God for greater wisdom to teach scriptural truth to help people mature in faith and perspective.


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