There is no peace in thinking that you can control life to avoid trouble and sorry. There is no peace in trying to figure out why God does or doesn’t do particular things. Although God reveals himself to people, we cannot truly understand him. In the end, understanding and illumination will only take us to the threshold of relationship with him. What we need, even more than understanding, is to trust him.

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Trust Beyond Understanding. Isaiah 40:21-31; Psalm 147:1-11; Mark 1:29-39

Whenever I preach on the Lectionary, I read all of the passages, and pray, and listen to see if the Holy Spirit is bringing up something in one or more of the readings. It’s a slightly different thing than preaching through a book of the Bible. Anyway, I trust that this time, the Spirit has been speaking, and has also been making me able to hear what he is saying.

Some of you may know all about the Church Year, and some may not. The lectionary readings are organized around the themes of the church year. Presently, we are in the church season of Epiphany. Epiphany is all about God revealing himself to human beings. It is about the Lord illuminating His Truth and His personality to all the people of the world. So there are themes of wisdom and understanding; themes about the mission of taking the gospel into all the world. But this week, which is technically the last week of Epiphany, the Holy Spirit seems to be saying something slightly different: that although God reveals himself to people, we cannot truly understand him. In the end, understanding and illumination will only take us to the threshold of relationship with him. What we need, even more than understanding, is to trust him.

I strongly encourage you to read all of the scripture passages I have listed above. Please take time to do that now.

I want to begin with the gospel reading for this week from Mark, which is familiar to many people. Jesus came to Peter’s house, and found his mother-in-law sick. Jesus healed her. Word spread rapidly, and then from all over the town, people brought sick people for Jesus to heal. He worked at it all evening. The next morning he got up early, and left, and the disciples found him in a lonely place praying. So far, all that is good and familiar. Jesus heals the sick. Right on! Jesus got up early, and went out by himself to pray. A generation of Christians insisted that this means we should have our quiet times in the mornings. But none of that is what this passage is about, in context. Listen to how it goes down:

36And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” (Mark 1:36-38, ESV2011)

I think we often miss how shocking this incident was for the disciples. Here he was, in their home-town, healing their friends and neighbors. Mark says he healed “many” (Greek: “pollous”)  but he doesn’t use the word “all” (Greek: “panta”). In other words, he wasn’t done healing people. But the next day, instead of getting up, having breakfast, and resuming the healing ministry, he slipped away before dawn, to get away from everyone. When the disciples found him, he wouldn’t go back there with them. The impression you get from reading the Greek is this: “I’ve come to preach in many places, and that is why I came away from there.” What is implied is also this: “I haven’t come mainly to heal, or make life easier for people. I’ve come to tell them about something more important than that.”

But what could be more important than physical healing? I mean, if we don’t have physical health, how can we serve God? Jesus took the same strange attitude about feeding people, also. After he fed the five thousand, they were ready to make him king. But he hid himself from them, and later told them, basically, “There’s something far more important here than food,” (John 6:26-35). Though Jesus healed the sick and fed the hungry as he went along, that wasn’t the reason he came. His primary mission was something different, and that perplexed many people.

The truth is, sometimes God behaves in ways that we ourselves don’t understand. Perhaps it seems like Jesus turns away, and moves on to another place, just as you needed him. It must have seemed that way to the people in Capernaum. Maybe you need healing, but he doesn’t give it. Maybe you need financial help, and none seems to come. Maybe you have simply asked him to show you some kind of a sign, just to let you know that he sees you, but if he sent it, you certainly missed it. Maybe you are reading the scripture, and you find some passage you just can’t wrap your head around, and you can’t make sense of it even after you pray and ask for insight.

Let me make myself clear. I absolutely know (not believe, but know) that God answers prayer. I know that many, many times if you pray for help, you will find it, just as you ask for it. I know that there are many wonderful promises in God’s word, and many people fail to take hold of them by faith, and so they miss out on great things.

I could tell you story after story of how God showed up when his people prayed. But there is a kind of shallowness to a relationship when it is all about what one person does for the other. We scorn someone who “uses” another for their money. We find it contemptible if someone is in a relationship  only in order to get something from the other person. And properly speaking, God doesn’t exist to help us: rather, we exist to bring glory to him. It’s easy to start to love God’s blessings more than God himself. It’s easy to become arrogant about your faith, and cold and hurtful to those who struggle.

Ultimately, God wants to take us beyond the place where we need his blessings in order to feel good about Him. This is what the Spirit is saying today through the  reading from Isaiah:

25 “Who will you compare Me to,

or who is My equal? ” asks the Holy One.

 26 Look up and see:

who created these?

He brings out the starry host by number;

He calls all of them by name.

Because of His great power and strength,

not one of them is missing.

 27 Jacob, why do you say,

and Israel, why do you assert:

“My way is hidden from the LORD,

and my claim is ignored by my God”?

 28 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

* Yahweh is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the whole earth.

He never grows faint or weary;

there is no limit to His understanding. (Isaiah 40:25-28)

These texts today tell us that God can do whatever he wants. We can’t use the Bible as some sort of legal document, and say, “God you must heal in every situation. God you must provide.” I know this is really difficult. I know it might challenge, or even offend some of you. But I encourage you to look beyond a shallow reading of scripture, and beware of arrogance. Job’s friends thought they had it figured out, and they had a very hard time with Job, who challenged there simple view of God. When they saw him suffering, they decided it must be because he wasn’t trusting the Lord, or praying in the right way, or… something. Because they were afraid. But Job noted that they saw what they did not understand, and it frightened them. God agreed with Job, and rebuked his friends for thinking that they could control Him or understand him.

For you have now become nothing;
you see my calamity and are afraid. (Job 6:21)

Job understood better than his friends. He knew that God is always in control.

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?

In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:7-10)

Somewhere along the line, our Christian culture has decided that God needs our help defending or explaining himself. We hurry to say things like: “God didn’t want this to happen.” But that is a tremendously unsettling idea. Are things happening to you that God didn’t want? Then why? Is he unable to protect us, or unable to help us?

I know all about the consequences of original sin, as well as our own personal sins. And it is true that some people are in a fix because they have made poor choices; because they haven’t listened to God. But some people have followed the Lord faithfully, and they are still in a fix. It isn’t their own doing. And even if the problem is the result of being in a fallen world (like cancer), or someone else’s sin (like a drunk driver) are we going to say that God couldn’t stop it? Is he really that weak?

There is another way. I think it is the Biblical way. We are not called to defend God’s actions, or even explain them. He does not need to justify himself to human beings. We are finite, and God is infinite. Trying to understand him is like trying to empty a garden hose into a tablespoon. The tablespoon holds almost nothing, and there is no end to the water coming out of the hose.

The texts tell us that we don’t need to explain or justify God’s actions. We cannot understand God. But what we do need to do is trust him. Our Isaiah text puts it like this:

30 Youths may faint and grow weary,

and young men stumble and fall,

 31 but those who trust in the LORD

will renew their strength;

they will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary;

they will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31)

This doesn’t mean everything will go the way we want it to. It means that our strength and hope are found only in trusting God. The Psalmist agrees:

The Lord values those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His faithful love. (Psalm 147:11)

The great English preacher, Charles Spurgeon suffered greatly during his life. He battled very serious and dark depression. He had a kidney disease, as well as gout, and both were so intensely painful, that they often laid him up for weeks at a time. He was frequently harshly criticized, and even slandered, by others. But Spurgeon held to an unwavering belief that God was sovereign in all things, even the things that were difficult for him. He trusted that God was at work, even in his difficulties, and it made all the difference. He wrote:

“It would be a very sharp and trying experience to me to think that I have an affliction which God never sent me, that the bitter cup was never filled by his hand, that my trials were never measured out by him, nor sent to me by his arrangement of their weight and quantity” (John Piper, Charles Spurgeon: Preaching Through Adversity).

David Brainerd, that missionary who has inspired many generations of missionaries, wrote this:

In this world I expect tribulation; and it does not now, as formerly, appear strange to me; I don’t in such seasons of difficulty flatter myself that it will be better hereafter; but rather think how much worse it might be; how much greater trials others of God’s children have endured; and how much greater are yet perhaps reserved for me. Blessed be God that he makes the comfort to me, under my sharpest trials; and scarce ever lets these thoughts be attended with terror or melancholy; but they are attended frequently with great joy”

We will not always understand God. We cannot understand how some terrible thing could be part of his plan for us. We don’t know how he can make good out of evil. The only way to truly find peace about these things is to trust Him. Trust that he sees something that you cannot. Trust that even when it seems contrary to his very nature, he is so far beyond us that it can, and does, work for your good (Romans 8:28).

Kari and I often read from a devotional called “Streams in the desert.” While I was preparing this message this week, one of the readings went like this:

My child, I have a message for you today. Let me whisper it in your ear so any storm clouds that may arise will shine with glory, and the rough places you may have to walk will be made smooth. It is only four words, but let them sink into your inner being, and use them as a pillow to rest your weary head. “This is my doing.”

Have you ever realized that whatever concerns you concerns Me too? “For whoever touches you touches the apple of [my] eye” (Zech. 2:8). “You are precious and honored in my sight” (Isa. 43:4). Therefore it is My special delight to teach you.

I want you to learn when temptations attack you, and the enemy comes in “like a pent up flood” (Isa. 59:19)., that “this is my doing” and that your weakness needs My strength, and your safety lies in letting Me fight for you.

Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, never ask your opinion, and always push you aside? “This is my doing.” I am the God of circumstances. You did not come to this place by accident — you are exactly where I meant for you to be.

Have you not asked Me to make you humble? Then see that I have placed you in the perfect school where this lesson is taught. Your circumstances and the people around you are only being used to accomplish My will.

Are you having problems with money, finding it hard to make ends meet? “This is my doing,” for I am the One who keeps your finances, and I want you to learn to depend upon Me. My supply is limitless and I “will meet your needs” (Phil. 4:19). I want you to prove My promises so no one may say, “You did not trust in the Lord your God” (Deut. 1:32).

Are you experiencing a time of sorrow? “This is my doing.” I am “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Isa. 53:3). I have allowed your earthly comforters to fail you, so that by turning to Me you may receive “eternal encouragement and good hope” (2 Thess. 2:16). Have you longed to do some great work for Me but instead have been set aside on a bed of sickness and pain? “This is my doing.” You were so busy I could not get your attention, and I wanted to teach you some of My deepest truths. “They also serve who only stand and wait.” In fact, some of My greatest workers are those physically unable to serve, but who have learned to wield the powerful weapon of prayer.

Today I place a cup of holy oil in your hands. Use it freely, My child. Anoint with it every new circumstance, every word that hurts you, every interruption that makes you impatient, and every weakness you have. The pain will leave as you learn to see Me in all things.
–Laura A. Barter Snow




Sorry, there is no audio for this message at this time. As of the post date, I am battling a cold and severe laryngitis.


Matthew #34 . Matthew 10:16-31

Last time we began to look at this passage, where Jesus is essentially training his disciples for mission work. He is sending them out immediately after he finishes speaking, and so much of what he says applies to their immediate mission. However, it is clear that there is much within these verses that also applies to the ongoing mission that the disciples will have after he dies, is resurrected, and ascends to heaven. In fact, it applies to us also as we engage in the ongoing mission of Jesus in this world.

So for instance, when Jesus tells the disciples to go only to the towns of Israel, and to avoid Gentiles, those instructions are limited to this first training mission. On the other hand, there is no evidence that the disciples were particularly persecuted while Jesus was still on earth, and so his warnings about persecutions were given to prepare them for the future, for the time after he had returned to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit.

The point is, most of Matthew chapter 10 is still relevant for us today. As we learned last time, we are called to engage in Jesus’ mission just as those first disciples were. Jesus’ words here are therefore also for our training.

Jesus says that those who follow him can expect to be taken to court. We can us expect public floggings; public trials where everyone would like to see us convicted; ridicule; struggle and strife. Our persecutors may be religious people. They may be people of great worldly power. Following Jesus might even bring strife into our family relationships. It could cost us our lives.

I don’t want to minimize these things. Jesus said them, and he clearly meant them. In fact, these things have been coming true since the day he sent his Holy Spirit to his disciples. From that time on the historical record is filled with evidence that those who followed Jesus are persecuted. For the past 2000 years there have always been places in the world where Christians are persecuted. And it continues even today. Just this week, I have been reading about the severe persecutions of Christians in Iraq and Syria. One Christian couple sat down with their children and explained to them that they might be threatened, even physically harmed, even killed. But they told their kids to hang on, that was only temporary, that soon all of them would be together with Jesus. This happened just this past month; it isn’t just something from long ago.

So why does Jesus tell his disciples these things? Why is it here for us? I think in this day and age, it is very important for us to understand that following Jesus is not necessarily a path to an easy life here on earth. This whole chapter portrays a life that could be hard. If and when persecutions come we should not be surprised, or even dismayed.

In some small degree, I have even felt little bits of adversity myself. Someone in my extended family compared me to an Islamic terrorist for holding to my conviction that the Bible is the word of God. Twice, in my ministry as a pastor, I have been called “David Koresh.” Koresh was a depraved, wicked cult leader, whose actions led to the destruction of many lives. Those who said it obviously meant that I am controlling, wicked and depraved. I’m not perfect, obviously, but I know I’m certainly nothing like either a terrorist or David Koresh. I remember these words of Jesus:

A disciple is not above his teacher, or a slave above his master. It is enough for a disciple to become like his teacher and a slave like his master. If they called the head of the house ‘Beelzebul,’ how much more the members of his household! (Matt 10:24-25, HCSB)

“Beelzebul” was a common name for “ruler of the demons.” Some people said Jesus did miracles because he was in league with the devil (we read that in 9:34), and I think that is what he is referring to. He is reminding all of us that if we are ridiculed and insulted and slandered, we are in good company – his company. These words are a comfort to me.

And in fact, there is a lot more comfort here too. These words are not meant to scare us or depress us – they are meant to encourage us when hardship comes along, especially when the world seems against us for our faith in Jesus Christ. Listen to Jesus:

“Therefore, don’t be afraid of them, since there is nothing covered that won’t be uncovered and nothing hidden that won’t be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light. What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops. Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matt 10:26-31, HCSB)

I think this is a good place to stop and “camp” for a while. What I mean is, let’s give some attention and meditation to these particular verses. In the Greek, verse 29 says, literally: “Are not two sparrows sold for one penny? And yet not one of them falls to earth without your father.” Some English versions say “without your Father’s will” or “consent” or “knowledge” but the Greek is just “without your Father.” The picture here is that even when common a little bird dies, our Heavenly Father is there. To put it a different way: not even a sparrow dies alone. Sparrows do die sometimes. In fact, all them do die, eventually. The same is true of human beings. But the Father is there. He is with us, in every circumstance, even death. He isn’t distant, unaware of what is happening with you. He is right here with you. Not only does he know what is happening with you, he is right there with you in the middle of it. Paul understood this when he wrote this:

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Rom 8:31-39, HCSB)

You may look back on your life and remember times of trouble and say “where was God in that?” I encourage you to turn that into a prayer. Instead of complaining, come to him humbly, honestly in your hurt and say, “That was awful. Where were you in the middle of that, Lord? Will you show me?” If you are presently in the midst of trouble or suffering, I encourage you to ask him the same question, only about the present time.

I know someone who was not a Christian until she was fifteen years old. Her childhood before that included some tragedies – the kinds of things that can mess up a person for a long time. In her middle twenties, the Lord began to bring up her memories of the very hard things she had been through. Only this time, she could see Him there in the memories. Obviously, the Lord hadn’t prevented the tragedies, most of which were due to the choices of other people. But he showed her that he had been right there with her in the middle of those things; he offered her comfort in those moments in her memories, and when she was able to see that, she experienced a great deal of peace and healing.

One of my favorite fantasy fiction book series is The Riddle Master of Hed by Patricia A. McKilip. In the story, the main character, Morgon goes through many exciting and terrible struggles as he searches for answers to questions that will change the fate of the world. He suffers pain, loss and fear. He loves his friends, but loses some of them in his quest. Among his other questions, he wonders why he must suffer so much. And then, when he first finds the answer, this is what happens:

[Morgon] closed his eyes. His heart beat suddenly, painfully in his throat. He wanted to speak, but he could not. The harpist’s silence circled him with the peace he had found deep within living things all over the realm. It eased through his thoughts into his heart, so that he could not even think. He only knew that something he had searched for so long and so hopelessly had never, even his most desperate moments, been far from his side.

Even as I write this, Christians in the Middle East are suffering terrible persecutions, like the ones Jesus describes here. But none of it happens without the presence of the Father with them. If you live very long, you will experience hardship and suffering of one sort or another. The Lord is never, even in your most desperate moments, far from your side. Though Jesus warns of this, he also says, “Do not Fear!”

Let the Holy Spirit speak to you today.

Thanks again for making use of Clear Bible.

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To listen to the sermon, click the play button:

To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Matthew Part 28


Matthew #28 . Matthew 8:23-27

I want to do something different this week. If you normally read this, rather than listening, I want to strongly encourage you to take a little extra time this session, and listen to the sermon, instead of reading it. I also want to encourage you to listen at a time when you can be alone and undisturbed. Basically, rather than teaching about this passage, what I want to do is lead you in a meditation on it. It will help you enter in to the meditation if you can close your eyes and visualize with your imagination, just following the meditation part along with your ears.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button:

To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Matthew Part 28

I am going to provide a written version as well, because I know that some of our blog followers don’t have an internet connection that allows them to stream audio, and others may want to translate this into other languages. But for the rest of you who are still reading, I encourage you to stop, and click on the play button instead. If you insist on reading, please take time to pause and visualize, and then also pause and listen to how the Lord speaks to you.

There are many different ways we can internalize and absorb what God wants to say to us through the Bible. My default approach is to try to understand it thoroughly, and then “listen” for how the Holy Spirit wants to apply it to my life right now. Another way is to memorize portions that seem particularly important to you at this point in your life. Still one more approach, very useful for narrative parts of the bible, is to use your imagination, to put yourself right into the sights and sounds and smells of what is happening in a text. That is what I want us to do, today.

You are one of Jesus’ disciples. The last few days have been both thrilling and exhausting. He preached this awesome, thought-provoking, paradigm-busting sermon up on the ridge just south of Capernaum. Then when he came back to town, the circus started. He healed a leper. Then he healed some guy from a distance – you just heard about that one a few hours ago – a friend of yours who does chores for the Roman garrison heard that the servant of the centurion who talked with Jesus was healed while the officer was talking with him. Then the world went crazy, with crowds of people coming to be healed, and people getting more and more excited all the time. It’s hot and there are people pressing all around you for a chance to look at Jesus, or maybe feel his healing touch. It’s almost a relief to hear that Jesus wants to get away, across the lake the for a while.

Finally, Jesus finishes with the last sick person, and giving him a big smile, turns to you and the others, hops in the boat and says, “Let’s go!”

You never did travel much by boat until you started following Jesus. Peter and James and their brothers were all fisherman, so they are used to it, but it’s still a unique feeling for you – a little exciting, and a little scary too, since you don’t know how to swim. Once you start moving, the breeze across the water is incredibly refreshing, and you feel yourself relaxing. There are hours to go with nothing to do. After talking for a while, Jesus stretches out near the bow. He must be exhausted, after days of giving his full attention to hundreds of people each day. You don’t blame him when you notice he has dozed off.

Now you are a long way from shore. You look around nervously, but Peter, James and the other fisherman seem pretty relaxed, so you sigh and let go. You can smell the fresh water, mixed with the slight scent of fish, but it isn’t unpleasant. You turn and talk with some of the others for a while, wondering what Jesus will do next, and what it might mean for your lives.

Now you are almost in the exact middle of the lake – several miles from shore in any direction. You realize that the breeze has become stronger, without you really noticing. The boat leans over as the wind pushes harder against the sails. Quite suddenly, the sky darkens. John says something sharply to James, while Peter and Andrew scramble to their feet and start doing something with the ropes that hold the sails. They are experienced sailors, you think. They’ll handle whatever it is.

But whatever it is, turns out to be too big. A violent gust pushes the boat far over to the side, and it seems to last forever. The other men are shouting and Peter and Andrew are still trying to fix it with the ropes, and it looks like the boat is going to be turned all way over when with a flat cracking sound, the sail rips right down the middle; in a matter of minutes the wind has torn it to shreds. John shouts something about not being able to steer without any sail, and that is when you notice that the little vessel is starting to heave and buck like a young camel. A big cold wall of spray blasts you in the face. With no way to steer, you can tell that the boat is wallowing sideways and the waves, getting bigger all the time, are now starting to come over the gunwale of the boat. The wind is so loud that people have to shout to be heard. Nathaniel hands you a bucket, and says something you can’t hear.

“What?” You shout.

“Bail!” He shouts back. “Use this to scoop the water out of the boat.”

You jump to it, driven by a sudden surge of adrenaline and fear. For a minute, it looks like you and the other bailers are making progress, and then a big wave pours over the side, and just like that, the vessel is half-full, riding low, a sitting duck for one or two more waves to put it under. Some of the men are madly paddling with oars, trying to position the boat bow-on to the waves in the vain hope of preventing more waves of coming over like that. The others are bailing with all their strength. The wind is screaming across the dark sky, unbound ropes are whipping wildly in the air and the waves heave higher and higher as the boat sinks lower and lower.

And you can’t swim.

Your relaxing afternoon has become a nightmare. This looks like the end. And then the thought comes to you: Where is Jesus?

Where is Jesus indeed?

You glance around, expecting to see him bailing, or maybe helping Peter with the ropes, or paddling. But in between heaving water out of the boat as you bounce up and down like a cork, you notice a dim shape, still stretched out near the front. Jesus is still with you, but it looks like he is asleep.

“Jesus!” you call. “Jesus!” The others hear you, and they start shouting too. James is already in the bow, and he turns with amazement, noticing for the first time that Jesus is there. He drops the rope he is holding and shakes Jesus awake with both hands.

“We’re about to go under! Is there anything you can do?”

Jesus stands up, swaying and balancing with the insane rhythm of the waves, surveying the wild storm and the mad activity of all of you trying to save yourselves. Incredibly, while you watch, he throws his arms open to the wind and laughs.

“Why are you afraid?” he calls in a big booming voice that penetrates the roaring wind. “Don’t you trust me?” Then, in a different voice, he says, “Enough. Be still.”

You are thrown off balance because the next big wave you expected never appears or shakes the boat. The wind fades back into a gentle breeze. In a matter of minutes you are able to empty the boat of most of the water, while the fishermen hoist a new sail. Everything is calm and peaceful again, and you are safe.

Now, keep yourself in the middle of this story. But while you are there in the boat with Jesus, I want you to think about some things. What is the storm you are in right now? What threatens you? What howls around you like the wind? What do you fear like the deep water that will swallow you up and drown you? What security seems about to crumble and disappear like the boat beneath you? What loneliness or hopelessness pulls at you, threatening to suck you under the dark water? Pause and think about this. Be honest with yourself.

Now, ask yourself this: where is Jesus in all this? Have you forgotten that he is right there with you in the middle of it?

Does it seem like he’s gone? You know he won’t desert you, but maybe it seems like he’s…asleep. Go ahead and wake him up. Draw his attention to the storm. Now, how does he respond to your storm? What does he say to the storm? Pause and listen.

And then, what does he say to you? Again, pause, and listen.

To the disciples he said: “Why are you afraid, you of little trust?” What does that mean to you, in your situation right now?

Listen to His voice right now.

Thanks again for making use of Clear Bible.

I want to remind you again that we are a listener-supported ministry, and that means, first and foremost, that we are supported by your prayers. We need and value your prayers for us.

Please pray that this ministry will continue to be a blessing to those who hear it. Ask God, if it is his will, to touch even more lives with these messages. Ask him to use this ministry in making disciples of Jesus Christ.

Please also pray for our finances. Pray for us to receive what we need. Please pray for us in this way before you give anything. And then, as you pray, if the Lord leads you to give us a gift, please go ahead and do that. But if he doesn’t want you to give to us, that is absolutely fine. We don’t want you to feel bad about it. We want you to follow Jesus in this matter. But do continue to pray for our finances.

If the Lord does lead you to give, just use the Paypal Donate button on the right hand side of the page. You don’t have to have a Paypal account – you can use a credit card, if you prefer. You can also set up a recurring donation through Paypal.

You could also send a check to:

New Joy Fellowship

625 Spring Creek Road

Lebanon, TN 37087

Just “Clear Bible” in the memo. Your check will be tax-deductible. Unfortunately, we cannot do the tax deductible option with the paypal donate button, however the money does go directly to support this ministry.


Thank for your prayers, and your support!