“WHAT YOU REALLY NEED”                         By Pastor Yau

Matthew 14:22-33                                             February 15, 2004

 

INTRODUCTION:  The passage listed above is the closing part of a long and busy day of ministries by Jesus and His disciples near the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  According to Mark 6, they really needed to have a time of rest both mentally and physically. What followed between Jesus and His disciple in this passage offers us many important lesson in our Christian walk in this world.

 

When life is being crushed from all sides, YOU NEED TO PRAY: (14:13; Mark 6:30)

       In general, we know that the life and days of Jesus was never easy, but few were as busy and packed as the one in this chapter.  After the disciples had ministered with words and miracles and had reported to Jesus, they needed time to eat and rest.  But before they could do any, they faced the multitudes and their needs.  After Jesus tough them on the Kingdom of God and fed the 5,000 with unnumbered women and children, their needs of rest became even more urgent.  After Jesus commanded the disciples to board the boat and sailed to the other side of the sea, He went up to the mountainside and spent the night in prayer to His Father.

       Too often, we heard honest Christians say they were just too busy that they really had no time to be with God: to worship, to have personal quiet time, to study the Bible, etc. but it is so wrong to have this terrible attitude. While life is being burdened with extra loads and pressures, it is more urgent for us to be with Jesus than ever. When Jesus said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing,” in John 15:5, He gave us a warning we cannot ignore: without Jesus and His presence, whatever we may try to accomplish, they will all come out nothing: no value, no results, and no lasting benefits.

 

When life is in a storm, YOU NEED TO KNOW JESUS IS NEAR: (14:24-25)

       In these 2 verses, the Bible says as the disciples were trying so hard to row the boat forward, the winds were “against” them, blowing in opposite direction.  Many of us had been in situation as this: while we try so hard to get thing going, we find that everything we try just falling part—everything is working just the opposite way, not for us but against us, and we just absolutely have no control of them.  But in verse 25, it says that Jesus was walking toward His disciples—Jesus is never far away when we are in trouble. The worst kind of thought when we are in trouble is the thought that God is gone, and He just can’t hear our cries.  Too many earnest Christians got so discouraged with this faulty mentality to the point they lost hope and faith in Him. The truth is: God is never far away. He is only a prayer away. Don’t become a victim of those who lost their faith as stated in a popular book: “Where is God When It Hurst.”  God is right here with you.

 

When the bottom is falling, YOU NEED THE VOICE OF JESUS: (14:26-27)

       As Jesus was approaching the boat, the disciples thought that’s a ghost and cried with fear.  Immediately Jesus told them, “It is I, taker heart, don’t be afraid.”  If you are in a place like that of the disciples, you will appreciate that voice of comfort, reassurance and encouragement from Jesus.  Too often, we will seek words from people, from those we think they may be helpful, and we may hear many different opinions, suggestions and even “good willed” criticisms. Sometimes, people whom we trust so much turn out to be the most vicious critiques behind our backs when the bottom of our lives is falling. To hear words of these people, like that of the three friends of Job when his life was in uncertain turmoil, can be devastating.  In time like this, all you really need to hear is the voice of the Lord Jesus, that voice of assurance and comfort.  Be still, anchor your faith in Him, listen to Him in a quiet place, and you will hear Him saying to you: “It’s I, Jesus.”

 

When all that you have are sinking, YOU NEED THE HANDS OF THE LORD. (28-31)

       After recognizing the voice was Jesus’, Peter was ready to be with Him.  He asked Jesus to allow him to walk on water toward Him and Jesus told him to come.  I don’t know how many of us will do like Peter did, just jumped out of the boat in a storm and started to walk on water to Jesus.  He might have walked for a few steps facing Jesus, and suddenly he looked at the waves and became so much afraid, then he sank.  It was not the waves which were always there, that made him sank.  It was his loss of heart, his fear that made him sank.

       Jesus immediately grabbed Peter with His hand and pulled him up from sinking. That is a very comforting thought.  No matter how bad your situations may be, or how weak and afraid you may become, as long as you cry out to Jesus for help, He is there to grab you hands to safety.

 

When things go back to normal, YOU NEED TO CONTINUE WORSHIP JESUS: (14:32-33) When Jesus boarded the boat, the crazy winds died down, and all things were back to normal, and the disciples worshipped Him.  This is one thing many Christians fail to do. They will promise Jesus the whole world if Jesus will just help them get out of that terrible situation: find a good new job after laid off for more than a year.  Restore their health back to normal after a long and struggling disease.  Getting the immigration problem resolved when faced with an imminent deportation, and the list goes on and on. The problem is: when things do get back to safety, many of these people forgot what they had promised God, ranging from believing in Him, get baptized, being more faithful and dedicated, give more faithfully, etc. etc. And they think it doesn’t matter if they don’t fulfill their promises. They are so wrong.  The truth is: whatever God can give, He can take them back, any time, any place, anything.

       So, it is so important that we continue to worship God, be close to Him, fulfill our promises, be faithful and loyal to Him who is all that we have. No one can cheat on God and win. No one ever does.

 

CONCLUSION:

       Do you know what you really need in different stages of your life? Don’t waste time or energy in pursuing things you think you need but not.  Neither should you be scared or hopeless when life gets turned upside down.  There is always Jesus who is more than willing and happy to lend us a voice and a hand.  Trust me, all that you may need to make your life easier, more comfortable and secure are in Jesus, and in Him alone.  We certainly cannot control what comes to our lives. But we can control how we face them in time of needs with Jesus on our side.