"Feelings, Figuring and Faith," Matthew 14: 13-21, Pastor Richard Strode
Despite past affirmations that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Php. 4: 13) we, like the disciples, can panic when what is asked of us seems beyond our abilities and control. For example, the disciples in Matthew 14 had previously used the authority of Jesus' name to heal the sick and cast out demons but were dumbfounded when Jesus asked them to feed 5,000 men and their families. The people had traveled a distance into the desert to be healed of their infirmities and receive Jesus' teaching which took the entire day. In their feelings the disciples decided that they could do nothing to feed these people and that the people should look out for themselves. Jesus felt compassion for these hungry people and purposed to feed them. The disciples' emotions blinded them to the truth about what was miraculously possible through the Lord. Within their intellect they had figured it was mathematically impossible to divide five loaves and two fishes into enough food to feed the hungry masses. Jesus uses the faith of a child's surrendered lunch to demonstrate that God's math will multiply our little contributions into something grander than we can imagine. We find this reassurance in Eph. 3: 20--"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that works in us." Let us inventory the blessings we do have, pray and trust that the Lord never asks us to do something without the assurance that we will succeed if we keep the faith. When faced with doubt look to the Lord, trust His response, timing and be thankful that He chose us to demonstrate our faith to others.