Above The Circumstances

Written by gregdenham on October 18th, 2012

Do circumstances have to dictate our sense of well-being and outlook? Is it possible to live above the circumstances? These are important questions because life is not easy. Life is a struggle. There are growing pains and there are a bunch of moving parts to life. There are relationships that involve differing age groups, cultures, past experiences that influence our outlook. Life and relationships require a lot of patience, humility and communication. But what about being a Christian? Do all our troubles go away? It would be a big mistake to think so! In fact, becoming a Christian presents many other challenges in life. It’s important that we understand this and that the Lord actually wants to capitalize on them in our life.

The story of Jesus walking on the water helps us see this (Mark 6:45-52).

We read that Jesus had instructed the disciples to get in a boat and cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. What happened? They faced a horrible head-wind. They fought it by rowing as best they could but it drove them to the middle of the lake. What did Jesus do? In their struggle and fatigue, Jesus came to them walking on the water.

I want to encourage you in four ways …

First, there will be times that the Lord will give you a directive that will result in a struggle. In other words, the Lord will say, “I want you to get in the boat of forgiveness … caring for another … remaining committed to your marriage … giving the Gospel away …” etc and in doing so, it will be a struggle. You will face a head-wind. It will not be easy! In fact, to expect otherwise can lead to incredible disillusionment. You might be thinking, “Why even get in the boat if it’s going to be a struggle?” The main reason for you to continue fighting the good fight of faith, is that it’s a demonstration of love for Jesus! “If you love me, obey me” Jesus said. (John 14:15)

Secondly, you need to know right now that Jesus is acutely aware of what is going on in your life, and what your struggle is. He is not indifferent. He cares. He is aware. He saw the disciples rowing against the head-wind from the mountain top as He was praying. He sees what is going on in your life. In fact the Bible says that Jesus, “lives to make intercession” for us (Heb 7:25).

Thirdly, Jesus is not only acutely aware of your struggle, He will involve Himself in your struggle and bless you with Himself! This is what Jesus did. Jesus came to the disciples walking on the water and stepping into their boat, blessing them with His presence and peace. I ask, are you struggling at this time? If, so, I want you to pause for a moment and get this: your struggle is the Lord’s footing. He’s walking on it. He is capitalizing on your struggle to bless you with Himself. It may be hard to see now, but He’s with you and He will work all things out for the good!

Now, put yourself in Peter’s shoes because I want you to think like Peter did. When Peter sees Jesus on the water the Bible tells us that he wants to walk on the water too. So what does Peter do? He seeks the Lord’s approval to step out of the boat. Peter figures that as long as Jesus “signs off” on approving walking on the water he’ll step out of the boat and walk on the water too!

I love this picture, and here’s why: God has not given us the spirit of fear/ paralysis/ “deer in the headlight” existence. Christianity is a “no-parking zone.” And there are many areas the Lord has already “signed off on” that we need to simply step out and lay hold of. We don’t have to wait for approval to love, forgive, share the faith, be generous etc. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he remained above the circumstances. He enjoyed walking on the water.

The final and fourth point is that in your struggles Jesus gets involved! He blesses you with His presence and you come to learn that your life is not dictated to by circumstances, but rather you find yourself above the circumstances as you keep your eyes on, Jesus! 

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