Sunday, 31 May 2015
Pastor Joseph Silvanus
Crisis happens everywhere, we all know about the Ebola in Africa, the missing MH370, earthquake in Nepal, as well as the financial meltdown a few years back. These are things we hear day after day around the world. But today Pastor Joseph wants to remind us about the crisis in our everyday lives. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”
Jesus pointed out two things, first, He comes to give us life, and second, He wants us to have it to the abundance. Crisis can be some dramatic changes, tragedies, difficulties, financial struggles, broken relationships, challenges in ministries etc. in our lives that we might not be able to share with others and burden our hearts.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
God does not promise a trouble-free life, but He has already overcome the troubles for us. All we have to do is to look upon Jesus on the cross, and know that He knows our situations and struggles, and He will give us a way out.
(1) He HELPS us in our failures:
We are not living in a perfect situation, we need to perform, there are times we are successful and performing well, but there are also times we face failures, and become frustrated and discouraged. At the end we are not motivated to go further. Many times it may be because of our failures in the past that stop us to move on.
“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.” (Proverbs: 21:31)
All we have to do is to call out to God, because he has taken us this far. God will win the battle for us; all we have to do is to prepare for the battle. Often we focus on the horse and rely on it to win the battle but we forget that it is God, who wins the battle for us.
“When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”” (Luke 5:4-5) Peter was a skilled fisherman and he probably knew when and where is best for fishing; he would’ve have good days and bad days, but on that particular day Peter was a failure. Often we might be discouraged by the situations and think that nothing is working out for us, but if we do what Peter did, allowing Jesus to walk into our lives, to come to our boat, our lives will be different. Jesus asks us to surrender our lives completely and He will change our situations around.
“When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.” (Luke 5:6-7) God can bring abundance to our lives, He wants to help us.
(2)He HEEDS to our cries:
Sometimes we come through crisis situations we might lock ourselves in a room and cry, or we might consult our friends and family, but the truth is we have a God who heeds our cries. Heed means to listen, to notice, to give attention and to consider.
In Psalm 145:18, it says, “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth” God has promised us that He will come near to us when we cry out to him consistently. We need to humble ourselves and seek Him and the answers to our problems will be on the way.
Pastor Joseph shared with us the story about this person, who has been blind for so many years, and while he was sitting on the road side, he heard about Jesus and he shouted and cried out to Him, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:52) even when people around him was telling him to stop shouting.
“Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.” (Mark 10:48-52)
His desire was to have his sight restored and he found the best opportunity to shout to Jesus. Maybe we have been crying for a long time, and situations stopping us to call out. Maybe there is a delay, and we thought God is not listening to us anymore. But this man he cried out and believed that Jesus was able to hear him. God hears us and he will attend to our cries, but we have to make sure we build a good relationship with Him.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)
(3)He HEALS our Brokenness:
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147: 3)
Many of us might have experienced brokenness or might have been broken for a long time, but today Pastor Joseph reminded us that Jesus will come and heal us. This is the good news for us that the God we serve and believe in is a God who heals. Maybe our dreams have been shattered by situations but be bold and know that God has put us where we are for a purpose and He will make a way out for us and heal our brokenness.
“He himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
Because Jesus Himself has broken for us so we can receive healing. Pastor Joseph shared with us the woman in Luke, who has been sick for 12 years and spent all the money to get healed, but her situation never changed. When she met Jesus, He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:48) Jesus has honoured her faith. When was the last time Jesus honoured our faith? He knows our brokenness and He knows where we are. The women showed her faith to touch Jesus’ garment, despite all the failures in the past year. Maybe our faith has been challenged by the brokenness in our lives. But take a step to reach out to God’s Word and let God’s healing come to us.
“And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.” (Luke 8:43-44)
(4)He gives us HOPE in our hopeless situation
We heard about Jesus can help us, heed us, heal us, and He gives us hope. Maybe today we are in a hopeless situations but God can renew our hope. He can do new things. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
We need to know that as long as Jesus is still in our boat, there is hope. We can be easily discouraged, but Jesus is with us and can give us peace. We need to have Jesus in our lives and let Him be the head of our lives.
“The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”” (Luke 8:24-25)