Dear God. Thank you for letting us gather here today. please help us so that we
and please help us so that we can hold on to you and rely on you through the hard times that we're going through. Please help us so that everyone can stay safe from the flu and the Coronavirus. And keep us healthy in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Today's hostage is John 6:16 to 21 hours today. When evening came, his disciples went down to the Sea, got into a boat and started across a sea of californium. It was it was now dark and just had not yet come to them to see if they became rough. Because of strong wind was blowing when they had the road about three or four miles. They saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat and they were frightened, but he said to them, it is, I do not be afraid. Then they were glad to take him into the boat. And immediately, the boat was at the land to, which they were going to still world word of God.
So, a lot has been happening in our world. As all of you may very well know, since you have access to so much more information than your parents ever had at your age. And so a couple of things that have happened is that after about two weeks of deliberation yesterday, the negotiators of about 200 Nations. They signed a deal to help move the world in a better Direction in regard to climate change. I don't know how familiar with how familiar you all are with climate change, but you probably are aware that it's a big deal and so as Leaders maneuver and work with each other, to discuss, all of these different ways to ensure that the Earth doesn't warm more than 1.5 degrees.
Above the pre-industrial levels. We see a lot of uncertainty surrounding this topic, right? We see a lot of the effects and whether it is or not. I don't know, but it's November right now and it's in the 90s. I don't know that in my particular lifetime, which is of course, very short in the grand scheme of things I've ever seen that. And so there's a lot of uncertainty with this particular topic and they work hard to fight some people, totally disregard climate change as a hoax. Also over the past week, the federal appeals court. They halted the Biden administration's vaccine or testing, requirement for private businesses. And the primary reason for rejecting that right. The reason they cited for rejecting that is that it is an overreach in authority. Right. We've had in Arizona so far, A little over 1.2 million cases of covid without 22,000 death. If you can think of 22,000 people, that is how many we've lost in Arizona alone and the numbers that we had reported today. Is that nearly 4,000 new cases in, Arizona, and 51 new dad's pay. Again? If you want a picture of 51 new deaths. That is everybody at this church about one day. And so covid 2 has brought to the Forefront of our Consciousness. The many different views that exist in this world. The men different views that we as human beings can carry. And it highlights a lot of the fears that people have that you can see based on the differences of those. It's right. In addition to these two particular issues, right? Climate change and the vaccine covid, all of that. We have been and we continue to be confronted with racial inequality, the opioid crisis, the lack of affordable healthcare, the lack of affordability of a college education. Those of you in college know how expensive that is the United States budget deficit in general building mental health, the ramifications of all, of these things happening on mental health, and the rising housing costs that have made houses, and living unaffordable for many, many people. Write a note on top of all of those societal issues you and I we have our own issues, right? What classes should I take? What school should I go to? Which colleges should I apply to? What job should I choose? What major should I choose? What career path should I take? Should I try and do the things I enjoy? But maybe won't make me go to mount of money. Or should I pick the path? That is, may be safe, but not necessarily that. I want. What I want to do. Should I do what my parents want me to do? Or should I do what I want to do? If they're not the same, they might be the same, might be one of the very few lucky people in which that's the same. We all have this bundle of questions and issues that we personally face, in addition to all of the societal issues and their Interlink. Right now, even outside of that professional realm, if you will school in work, I would consider to be a professional realm of sorts outside of that. We have even more questions. Who should we marry? I should we date a bunch of people to find the right person. What about sex before marriage? What about smoking or drinking like these personal level decisions, human sexuality, gender, identity morality and ethics. So on and so forth, right. That list goes on. And so we could probably discuss these topics. These endless topics for a long amount of time and never really come to any final conclusions about any of them. because, All of these issues, most, if not all of these issues or well outside of our own control. Right. And that is the situation that are disciples find themselves in today. So these disciples they are in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. They're fighting against a storm and they've been fighting that storm for about 6 hours at this point. Right? And Jesus had told them to cross the Sea of Galilee and go to Best Buy. That's why they're there. And not only that right on an emotional level. Jesus had just turned down the offer, to be made King. We talked about that last week. The people, they saw that Jesus could feed them.
And Jesus turned that down, right? He just just kind of walked away ran away.
Meaning that the disciples lies hadn't really changed much, right there, were still probably pretty poor. Jesus didn't seem to have any intention of saving Israel, from Roman rule. Nothing really seem to be going the way they thought it would. All of that and now because they obey Jesus because they did what Jesus ask them to do, their stuck fighting for their lives in the middle of a big Lake hours. And it's like, really should have if you if you look at the size of Galilee and you take into account their level of Technology at the time, this Lake should have only taken 2 hours to cross yet. We see that it had been. About 6 hours, and they only had made about 3 to 4 miles of progress.
My Wonder is that situation sounds somewhat familiar to any of you? Don't we find ourselves in that? Kind of a situation sometime in that similar of a position? Right? Don't we find ourselves, asking ourselves, asking God? Why is this happening to me? Why is this happening to my family? I've done what I perceived to be your command. I've, I've done what I can to live my life to the best of my ability. I've tried to make good decisions.
Yet, here, I am. Facing struggles after struggle after struggle. Why, why would you allow that to be the case. And I think the fascinating thing about this part a particular situation. and this type of situation in general, is that the underlying emotional fuels all of those thoughts is fear. Although, on the surface, we experienced frustration with experience anger, right? Maybe that kind of bubbles into a type of depression. Or anxiety, but the actual in motion that underlies all of that is fear. Because uncertainty breeds fear. Uncertainty causes us to fear. The reason why it's so hard to choose a major is because we're afraid, we'll choose the wrong one. The reason it's so hard to make sacrifices for other people is because we're afraid we'll lose out. We don't know if it'll be worth it. The reason why we never wants to miss out is because we fear will never have that opportunity again fomo.
The reason why we obsessed about having friends and being like this because we fear that we might be unworthy or unlikable. And the reason we strive for wealth by and large is because we fear powerlessness. If you're the ability to not be able to make the choices, we want to make an End, again, that list goes on that, that just goes on. Now, the ironic thing about this is that when we add Jesus to the picture of all of this.
It doesn't seem to help. If we don't look deeper anyway, it doesn't seem to help, right. Let's look at verse 19, if you'll read this. With me. When they had Road about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. I jesus enters this picture. And the disciples are now even more frightened in Mark, when Mark writes about the same incident Mark, says that the disciples thought it was a ghost and they cried out. They were that fearful. Jesus showing up, didn't help. It made things worse. Another reason it didn't help though doesn't have anything to do with Jesus. It had everything to do with the disciples, right? They thought it was a ghost. They didn't see that. It was Jesus. They didn't recognize Jesus. And in the flurry of things going on, when you have conceivably, they say that with the wind that you get around Galilee, you could have potentially a, a 20 ft wave. When you have that going on around you, of course, it's hard to clearly see what's going on. But these are professional fisherman. These are people that have been fishing since they were a kid and when they saw Jesus, they couldn't tell what or who it was. They couldn't see it clearly and it's the same for us, right? When we don't know Jesus, when we don't know God. His presence is totally unhelpful. If you're a nonbeliever, the presence of God, the presence of Jesus is totally unhelpful to you. And in fact, it almost seems to make things worse. Brightness, God is good. Why would all of the pain and suffering in this world in my life? Why would that happen? But it almost amplifies the pain and it can make it almost even scarier because it's kind of like saying that God is good. He's supposedly good. He exists and all of that but the situation is still bad. Meaning that It can continue to be so much worse. And that's why so many people are comfortable with saying that they're okay. Going to hell because living as hell anyway. People say that.
And for us to though, just like the disciples the problems not Jesus.
The problem is not recognizing Jesus. And of course, there's a little bit of a difference here and application for for non-believers. But the general, appoint, the general Point applies the same.
Everything changes when you recognize Jesus, you know, Jesus and you trust Jesus. Absolutely, everything. First 21.
If you'll read it with me, then they were glad to take him into the boat. And immediately, the boat was at the land to, which they were going. Right? Everything just totally flip. They had, they saw Jesus and they were even more afraid. And now suddenly in verse 21, the disciples are no longer afraid. They'd gladly take Jesus into into the boat. And not only that they quickly arrived at their destination without any further issues. They made it to where they needed to go without any further problems. The moment, they recognized knew and trusted Jesus, right? If we look at the other gospels, for more information, you get a little bit more details where it says that Jesus calms the storm so that they probably made it very easily to the other side. What happened? The difference between the fear and then the sudden Gladys. That entire answer, lies in verse 20. But he said to them, Jesus, speaking, it is, I do not be afraid. The first. Let's talk about that recognition piece. The disciples recognize Jesus right? When Jesus called out to them and said it is I didn't see him clearly. Maybe they couldn't quite tell if it was a human being or a ghost or if it was Jesus or whoever what they would have definitely recognized with him for at least a year at this point. And so the question of application for us, then is, do you recognize Jesus when he's coming to you, in your life circumstances? Can you recognize Jesus in your life circumstances? The disciples they had to recognize Jesus to make that stuff. Now the second part of the disciples know, Jesus not only did they recognize him, they knew him, which is where you get the value when Jesus said it is I There is a lot more contained within that, then just it it's me. It's it's Jesus. It's all good. Right? It is, I in the Greek, that Jesus would have used, is a direct Act of God statement to Moses. And the Israelites, when God said, I am who I am, right? It is, I am who I am. The statement of divinity. The statement of power of authority. Right, and it also gave the disciples and it gives us today to the opportunity to run what God did for the Israelites. When we think about the disciples.
By the Egyptians and they got stuck at the Red Sea, with nowhere else to go, God miraculously through, Moses opens the Red Sea so that the Red Sea to the other side without being killed by the ocean. It's as if to say that Jesus was there to bring the disciples through to the other side of the lake, much like God brought the Israelites through to the other side of the Red Sea. It is, I is I am who I am. Jesus is Divinity, Jesus's power, Jesus's Authority being critical there. And so the promises that God gave to the Israelites. They're given to us to feel. Look at Deuteronomy. 31-6 with me. You'll read that with me. Be strong and courageous do not fear or be in dread of them for it is, the Lord, your God who goes with you? He will not leave you or forsake, you Isaiah 41:13? For I the Lord. Your God, hold your right hand. It is. I who say to you fear, not I'm the one who helps you. And finally, for Isaiah, 43 1 and 2, but now. Says the Lord, who created, you owe, Jacob. He who formed you of Israel. I've called you by name. You are mine when you pass through the waters. I will be with you and through the rivers. They shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire. You shall not be burned and the flame shall not consume you. That's who God is. And in this moment. Jesus is saying that's who I am. And so again the question of knowing Jesus being do you know Jesus? Do you know what Jesus is capable of? Do, you know, Jesus has intention behind his actions, his words. So you have to recognize Jesus and you have to know him and just a quick points to make here. Because you recognize something doesn't mean that you will automatically know them, right to recognize something. You only need very basic info. I can know that. That is me not. But if I said, I know me not through and through that would be a very false statement. And so knowing god and recognizing God are two totally different things. So you have to recognize, you have to know and then we get to the final piece of the disciples trusting Jesus. Jesus told the disciples there do not be afraid. So many times in the Bible, God tells a person or a people group fear, not don't be afraid. And in most of these circumstances in the Bible, they're filled with faith to move far, right? That they don't act. I just like our disciples here. They clearly didn't feel they gladly accepted.
I don't know about you. But I often find that reality doesn't seem to work that way for me.
Because it's not like you don't know this, right? You, if you, especially if you grew up in the church, you know, that God says, don't fear fear. Not trust in God, trust in God. I trust in God. All the time. We still have fear, we still have anxiety and we still worried about life. Part of that part of that is because we misunderstand God. Fear not, or do not be afraid, right? Is not a direct command from God. It's not God. Mandating us ordering us to say. Don't Be Afraid. Don't Be Afraid, right? Cuz if you and I could control our fear in response to that command. If we could hear God, say, fear, not interfere. I'm just worried about life anymore. We would never be afraid. We wouldn't struggle with it. We wouldn't have a problem with it. We would just do it, right? None of us shoes beer. We will just come into ourselves. Just don't be afraid from self.
But didn't work that way.
And for us as human beings, it doesn't work that way because we look at where that statement is coming from. I did it all depends upon the context. It depends upon who sang. We think about an easy example, mistake cancer. If you have cancer. It doesn't work to tell yourself. Don't be afraid. Because you don't have any power over the cancer. There's nothing you can do about the cancer, you're going to die. And so to tell yourself, don't be afraid anymore. It also doesn't work to have friends, or family, tell you, I don't be afraid. Don't worry about it. Because, you know that they too can't do anything about your cancer. The only human possibility that would possibly get rid of your fear, get rid of your worries. If you had cancer is if a doctor, your doctor came to you and said you absolutely will be 100% healed of this cancer. Do not be I thought it might work. That's to say that it's not about the words. Do not be afraid. It's not about the command is about, who is saying it. And so what we discovered here is that what changed the situation for the disciples. If you put all of that together as we've said is that they recognized Jesus, they knew Jesus and so they trusted Jesus in a way that they were able to conclude for themselves. We're going to be okay. Do not be afraid of Jesus saying, do not be afraid worked because it is. I came before it, right? I Jesus Son of God, the Son of God. Who loves you and here for you. I see you. I understand your problem. I understand your circumstances, and so I'm here don't be afraid. Right, if you recognize know and trust Jesus, it changes absolutely everything in your current circumstance. And so the final piece of logic here that you can think there is that you can't trust Jesus if you don't know him. And you can't know Jesus if you can't recognize him and you can't recognize Jesus if you're not looking for him. Deuteronomy 4, 29. But from there, you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart. And with all your soul. The only way that any of us are going to get to any sort of permanent, peace permanent Joy.
Is if we trust in God, if we trust in Jesus and the only way you're going to get there is to take the step of searching after him with all your heart and with all your soul. That's where it all begins. And so regardless of what stage or faith is in, whether you believe already, whether you don't believe at all. The practical application Remains the Same. Seek the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul, then as he promises here. He'll reveal himself to you. You'll learn about him. You'll know him. And you'll discover a God that is so faithful and so trustworthy. And so loving. That's when God tells you do not be afraid. You'll have it within yourself. To trust in that and live with an inexplicable peace and calm, that will allow you to live your life with poise and confidence.
It's my prayer that our church would be filled with people like that. And I'd like to end with just one. Last Bible verse Jesus. Again, talkin to us. If you'll read this with me, John 16:33. I have said these things to you. That in me you may have peace in the world. You will have tribulation, but take heart, I have overcome the world.
May we be able to trust in those words? May we be able to look for God with all our hearts and all our souls so that all of the crazy circumstances of life. Would Not Shake us to our core. May we be able to live in that peace and not in fear? Trust over fear each and every day. If you'll stand with me for a final praise song.