'With Christ in the Vessel...' John 6:16-21

Text:  Then (in spite of all fear) they willingly received Him (Christ) into the ship; and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
                                                                                                             John 6:21.

Good morning, fearful Christian!  Sunday school children here in Northern Ireland, UK, are taught a simple little chorus, but one which has profound implications for every Christians life.  If we can sing it, and mean it - it will turn our darkest daily fears into utter fearlessness.  They sing the following:

With Christ in the vessel, we can smile at the stormsmile at the stormsmile at the storm.  With Christ in the vessel we can smile at the stormas we go sailing Home…”

In todays Bible reading we find Christs disciples, some of them very experienced fishermen, crossing the Sea of Tiberius (or Sea of Galilee, or Sea of Chinnereth) in a ship.  (John 6:1)

The Holy Spirit speaking through the Apostle John informs us that, as the disciples sailed up the coast towards Capernaum in the ship - ’…it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.  And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. (Vs. 17-18)

Are you, even as you read this weekly Bible Lesson, seemingly left in the dark concerning some grave situation that seems impossible to overcome?  Are you, like Christs original disciples in our reading, beginning to feel abandoned, left without hope, and sore afraid? 

Well, take heart if this describes your circumstances, dear brother.  Lift up your spirits and be encouraged if this be your situation, beloved sister.  The Lord Jesus says unto you personally, It is I, be not afraid.  (V.20)

Let me encourage you to use your sanctified imagination, dear believer.  Make this passage of Holy Scripture really come alive for your personal needs.  Pray to God, and think this Scriptural scene through for yourself.

Here we have a group of Christs closest followers, tired from serving the Living Lord Jesus, having just been engaged in miraculously feeding five thousand plus hungry people.  They are now cramped into a small ship sailing across a very large lake - the Sea of Galilee. Christ Jesus is not with them in the ship - they are left feeling  very much in the dark.

With the wind raising, and the waves splashing into the small ship, these tired disciples are also probably wet, and getting cold.  They are becoming somewhat disorientated - the small ship beginning to plunge down into the trough of each wave, then, thrust up and over the crest of the next one - the less sea-worthy of them could also have been feeling somewhat sea-sick!

Despair thrives and heightens when one is mentally and physically weary; when illness, or disease, or anxieties, or burdens of all aspects of life suddenly threaten to pull us down into a vortex of Spiritual depression and discouragement.  This then, was some of what the disciples were experiencing at this given time, and it could well be your present experience - ‘…and they were afraid.  (V.19)

However, look what happened when once they heard the Masters Heavenly voice!  Look at the change that came over them in such a short time!  This same Living Lord Jesus speaks to YOUR heart and soul right now: It is I; be not afraid.

“…I will NEVER leave thee, nor forsake theethe Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.  (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Then they willingly received Him into the ship; and IMMEDIATELY the ship was at the land whither they went.  (V.21)

Let me hear it, beloved Christian:  With Christ in the vessel we can smile at the stormsmile at the stormsmile at the storm.  With Christ in the vessel we can smile at the stormas we go sailing Home…”  Hallelujah!

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.  (Isaiah 54:17)

Do YOU really believe Gods Word, my friend?  Do you actually have the faith to fully trust King Jesus and take Him at His Word?  If so, then you and I will go through all the promised persecutions, illnesses, enemies, and fearful situations.  But THROUGH them we shall surely go!  Praise the Lord!

Ultimate Victory over all things was fully achieved for us at that place called Calvary.  Listen for the still small Voice of your Lordsmile at that storm.

Thought:  I will not leave you comfortless; I (Jesus) will come to you.

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