Summary: What are you toiling with today?
Question: What are you toiling with today?
“Toiling” : Doing arduous or unpleasant work; effort to the point of exhaustion; especially physical effort; Taxing to the utmost; testing powers of endurance; Difficult to accomplish; demanding considerable mental effort and skill.
Background: Having fed 5,000 men, the Lord sent His disciples away, across the Sea of Galilee to the other side while He remained and went to a mountain and prayed. On the sea, the disciples encountered a violent storm – they tried to row but got nowhere. We can learn from this biblical example:
(v45-46) Notice: the Lord sent them.
The Lord allows temptation in our lives at times (see Matthew 4:1; Comp w/ Matthew 6:13), trials and tests; but we are to “count it all joy” (James 1:2) when we do because it works in us “patience (James 1:3).
But it can also be chastening (see Hebrews 12:11).
(v46) So, they were at the center of God’s will for them.
They obeyed the Word of God / Christ’s command to go ahead in the boat, although it didn’t make sense (comp w/ Proverbs 3:5). And where God leads us, mey we have the grace to follow.
We should hope that we suffer for good and not for evil (comp w/ 1Peter 3:17).
(v47-48) But in the darkest times, we tend to toil rather than trust.
How many times has been the case in your life? My life?
The world says, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” It says, “try harder;” or give 110%!” But no thought as to the end of our efforts – total exhaustion.
(v48) The Lord knows/sees our struggles/problems/hardships/concerns: “he saw them toiling in rowing.”
The wind was contrary to them. And so too often, the “wind” seems contrary to us and what WE want, but we struggle and toil over it, when it would be best if we “rolled” with it.
Nevertheless, we cannot fault the disciples, for they perceived their own destruction in this storm, as would any fisherman I suspect.
But, we can share our trials with the Lord: Compare with 2Corinthians 11:11; Compare with Hebrews 4:15 . . . God
“knows” our struggles from the inside out and from the top down. Not only does He see our struggles, He also knows them because He was also tempted, yet without sin. Therefore, from the heart and mind outward, and from a view from above, the Lord knows our struggles.
They toiled all night (fourth watch = 3-6am).
So often when we have exhausted our efforts; Have come to the end of ourselves; Are without strength . . . The Lord comes to us!
That the Excellency of His power and glory are more clearly seen (Compare w/ 2Corinthians 4:7).
The Lord “knows” our “stones” (last week’s message); but makes a way out for us (1Corinthians 10:13) – He delivers us, “out of all our troubles” (compare w/ Psalm 34:6).
The Lord let them exhaust themselves; Come to the end of themselves . . . That they would perceive their need for Christ!
He came to them and He comes to us: when we were yet without strength (in salvation) . . . when no one else can help (as the case with the woman with the issue of blood who had exhausted all effort to cure herself) . . . when we can do no more – then we know that we need help outside of ourselves, Jesus Christ, God, can be clearly seen.
Would that we would look to him FIRST rather than last; rather than after we have caused so much grief to ourselves by our futile efforts to deliver ourselves from the problem.
And here was the Lord, coming to them, breaking the laws of physics, outside of the laws of nature which He Himself created, bending them at His will . . . walking on water!
(v49) When God moves (in a way we do not expect), we tend to be afraid (“they supposed”).
To try new things (they “cried out” and were “troubled”); To think outside of the box;
God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8), so we become surprised and afraid when He moves in our lives. We think we are going to die, but God means it for good.
(v50) Leads to the peace and joy found only in Christ. His deliverance.
Question: Have you experienced His deliverance? A trial or struggle? In salvation?
Jesus Christ, God is our Deliverer!
(v51) “he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased” . . . in HIS time.
When Christ is in the boat, there is peace (compare with Revelation 3:20)
He’s in control of it all.
Let Him be in your boat – stop toiling in your own strength. Let Jesus Christ do His work.