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His Idea

By Tony Evans
Guest Columnis"He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber." --- Psalm 121:3

Read It: Matthew 14:22-24

God's Word has some great lessons for us in this classic story of a trial-by-storm the disciples underwent. We'll deal with it the rest of this week , because I don't want to shortchange you on the good stuff God wants to teach us.

Notice first that Christ controls the very existence of a trial. Matthew says, "He made the disciples get into the boat" (my emphasis). This whole trip was Jesus' idea, not theirs. The disciples wanted to stay where they were, because Jesus had just miraculously fed five thousand men. The disciples liked this action.

See, they were just like the crowd who wanted to make Jesus their "welfare" King. As we saw last week, Jesus wanted no part of it. But from the disciples' standpoint, this king business sounded like a good idea. But what the disciples wanted and what they needed were two different things. They wanted royalty, but what they got was a rowboat in a storm, because that's what Jesus wanted them to have.

So there were the disciples being battered by the waves and wind. The harder they rowed in one direction, the harder the wind pushed in the other direction. Mark pictures them "straining at the oars" (Mark 6:48). These boys were sweating. And they didn't even want to be out there.

Are you in a storm today? Can you feel the wind pushing against you? You say, "Tony, I'm not only in a storm, but I'm being pushed backwards."

I hear you. I've been in those kinds of trials too. The first thing I want to tell you about trials is that for a Christian, there is no such thing as random, pointless trials. If Jesus sent you into the storm, His authority is reigning over it even though it may be raining on you.

If you are in trial, God has a point to it. God can even hit the target with a crooked arrow. He can take a trial caused by our sin and failure and still make something out of it. The power and authority of Christ are not threatened by trials.

Think About It

Since that rowboat ride was Jesus' idea, He must have known what He was doing -- just like He knows what He's doing in your life today.

From Time to Get Serious by Tony Evans, copyright © 1995. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois 60187.


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