Things Jesus Never Said: Part 5
“I can’t handle your situation.”
I love to hear people quote the words of Jesus! However, sometimes they may quote it wrong or conveniently live their lives ignoring some important teaching Christ laid out for us. Today we present Part 5 of our Sermon Series “Things Jesus Never Said: “I can’t handle your situation.”
Let me ask you a question - What does it mean for a “situation” to be handled? Does it mean this situation has to improve? Go away? Be solved? Be resolved? Or… does it mean you can not just survive the situation, but thrive even if it continues or even worsens?
When asked, “how are you doing?” and the response being; “well, under the circumstances…” - I once heard someone say; “well, what are you doing under there?”
Just what is your situation today? Are you “under” it? Are you muddling through it? Does it have you pinned down? Does it have you devastated? Does it have you wounded? Does it seem insurmountable? Do you feel that God can’t handle your situation and that things will never improve?
If you’re human, you have or have had feelings of despair – even hopelessness. I want to assure you, based on the Word of God, that He can handle your situation and you can flourish - thrive in spite of anything this world can dish out.
How is this possible? It involves perspective, understanding and divine involvement.
John 9:1-7: As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” 3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.[a] The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. 7 He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!
It was a commonly held belief during that time period that people had sickness or birth defects, etc. because of sin. Some people believe that even today. But as this story unfolded, we see Jesus’ explanation of this man’s “situation.”
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Why can God handle our situations? Let’s check with Paul.
Romans 8:16-28 - 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. 18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,[j] including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) 26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Let me emphasize a few things from this passage. In this last verse, Paul gives us the most important perspective to trust God to handle our situation.
God works in everything… for our good! Obviously not all that happens to us is “good!” This promise enables us to not only let God handle every situation, but to be able to know and quite possibly see the long-range good these difficult situation will bring us.
It is not God’s purpose to make us happy, but rather to fulfill His purpose in us!
That my friends, is called “handling” the situation.
Think about a situation past or present in your life for a moment. Do you believe Jesus has the power to see you through it? Let’s put ourselves in the blind man’s place for just a moment. This Jewish carpenter’s son, referred by the guys hanging out with him as “Rabbi” or “Teacher,” SPITS. His spittle lands in the dirt. Consider the thought process that immediately forms inside the brain of the man. Spitting is normally an act of repulsion. To add to it, this ordinary looking man reaches down mixes the spit with the dust and scoops up the mud and promptly smears it on the blind man’s eyes! Wow – self-esteem issues anyone? As if the blind man hadn’t been ridiculed because his condition, passed over – given to a life of being abnormal – and now your eyes are covered in spit/dust-made mud!
So, Jesus then tells you to go wash it off – of course you’re going to wash it off. But then what? You’ve already heard that you’re blind so God can get glory… did He get glory from the embarrassing mud incident? But wait – as the caked on spit-dust mud begins to dissolve – light begins to flicker and images take shape – something you’ve never ever experienced before – and you can see!
Can Jesus handle your situation? If you believe He can, will you let Him? Will you trust Him even if your situation isn’t resolved the way you would like it to be? Jesus has a constant supply of “mud” waiting to use – to bring glory to God – in your situation. What if the blind man, repulsed by the spit/dirt mud would have failed to obey Christ’s instructions, scraped the mud away or asked for some water from another source to wash away what he viewed as “smelly, gag-producing” mud?
God supplies a mud-pack for every situation in our life. How many of us struggle in our situations, the mud-pack immediately accessible – or even more, having had the mud-pack applied and we just don’t follow through with complete trust and obedience and go wash it off?
Let’s take this trust in God to handle our situations to the deepest level! Your exponential growth in your ability to do this will mark your progress as a follower of Jesus Christ!
There is an old song by Lizz Wright that goes like this:
Have you any rivers that seem uncrossable?
And have you any mountain that you cannot tunnel through?
God specializes in things thought impossible
And He will do what no other no other power but holy power can do
When your body is full of disease - And your medicines - don't give you no ease
God specializes, Yeah, God specializes
Are you friendless and in despair? And nobody, nobody, nobody - Nobody seems to care - God specializes - Oh, He'll be right there – God specializes, Yeah, God specializes!
1 Corinthians 3 - Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. 2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? 4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? 5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. 10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 18 Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.” 20 And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise; he knows they are worthless.” 21 So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Peter,[f] or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
You belong to Christ & Christ belongs to God. Still think He can’t handle your situation? Let’s encourage one another to remember whose child we actually are – then act like it – every situation!