Desperate Situations Call for Drastic Actions

John 11:14-15 – Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless, let us go to him.”

  • Joseph in Genesis 39 faced a desperate situation as Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him.  He ran and ended up in jail.  Yet in all his desperate situations – sold as a slave by his brothers, falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, in jail, he trusted God.

Genesis 39:2 – The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian

Genesis 39:23 – The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.

  • Paul and Silas found themselves in a desperate situation when they were beaten and put in jail in Philippi.  But they trusted in God and sang praises to Him.

Acts 16:25 – But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

  • The three Hebrew children were in a desperate situation when threatened with the fiery furnace if they would not bow down and worship the image of King Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel 3:17-18 – If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.  But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

  • In Acts 27 Paul and those with him faced a desperate situation when they were shipwrecked.  But Paul had already prayed and had God’s assurance that all would be safe.

Acts 27:39-44 – When it was day, they did not recognize the land; but they observed a bay with a beach, onto which they planned to run the ship if possible.  And they let go the anchors and left them in the sea, meanwhile loosing the rudder ropes; and they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore.  But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves.  And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape.  But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.

  • In Acts 28 Paul faced a desperate situation when a poisonous snake bit him.  But he knew that God had sent him on this journey and no snake could kill him.

Acts 28:3-5 – But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand.  So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.”  But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.

  • Lazarus and his sisters faced a desperate situation when Lazarus became sick – and died.  They wondered why Jesus did not come and heal Lazarus.  But Jesus had a better plan.

John 11:14-15 – Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”

What is happening right now in your life?

  • Are you facing a desperate situation?
  • What drastic act do you need to take?
  • Do you have loved ones who are not ready to meet the Lord?
  • Do you have problems that you do not know how to handle?
  • Are your children, grandchildren in need of making right choices?
  • Are you failing to do what you know is right?
  • Are you desperate enough to take those situations to God? 
  • Will you be like Joseph and trust in God no matter what the situation?
  • Will you be like Paul and Silas and praise God in spite of the situation?
  • Will you be like the three Hebrew children and refuse to bow down to other gods but keep on serving the one true God no matter what difficulties may come as a result of that decision?
  • Will you be like Paul and be prayed up before the desperate situations come and then trust Him in that situation?
  • Will you trust that, like Lazarus, Mary and Martha, even though God may not seem to answer our prayers as want them answered, He is in control and He will make all things right in His time and in His way?  Are you willing to let your desperate situation bring glory to God?

Don’t Worry About the Storm

Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.  And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.  But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.  Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”  And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”  And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

This story is also told in Mark 6:45-51 and John 6:16-21

Jesus “made” His disciples get into the boat – this indicates it was at His direction that they left in the boat.

There are other Bible stories that tell about the safety of being in a boat.

  • Noah and the ark
  • Baby Moses in the basket set in the River Nile
  • Paul and those with him in a great storm

When you are alone in a boat in the middle of a storm.

  • There are no multitudes to impress
  • It appears that Jesus is not with you
  • Fear and doubt can quickly arise

Question:  Why did Jesus not stop the storm earlier?  Could it be that in the storm our faith is made stronger as we learn to totally put our trust in Him? It was as Jesus calmed the storm that the disciples realized who he really was. Many times it is in the storms of life that we learn more about the power and the love of Jesus.

As I think back over my life and the storms I have weathered – death of a grandson and a son; heart attack; brain bleed and my wife’s battle with cancer – I see how God was with us and how He kept us. I have truly learned the true meaning of this verse in Proverbs.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Rejoice Now – Cry Later or Cry Now – Rejoice Later

(Seven Rules for Personal Revival)

James 4:7-10

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Submit to God – Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.He will direct your paths.
Resist the devil – James 4:7 – Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from youThe devil must go in the name of Jesus.
Draw near to God – James 4:8 – Draw near to God and He will draw near to youHe will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands – James 4:8 – Cleanse your handsHe will bless the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 28:12
Purify your hearts – Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.He will cleanse and restore – Psalm 51:17 – The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.
Lament, mourn, weep – James 4:9 – Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  1 Corinthians 4:17
Humble yourself – 1 Peter 5:6 – Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,He will exalt you – in His time.


James 1:21-22 – Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.


2 Chronicles 7:14 – If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

God Gives Joy, But You Must Rejoice

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica that they should rejoice always and give thanks in everything.  Note:  Not “for” everything, but “in” everything.  We may not be thankful for trials and difficulties we face in this life, but we can be thankful that God is with us and gives us strength for the day.

Jesus gave us one main reason why no matter the situation we can rejoice.  We have a precious promise from Him that this life is not all there is.  He is coming again and we will be with Him. 

John 14:1-3 – “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Luke 10:20 – “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

Romans 12:9-13 – “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”

The Psalmist made it clear that rejoicing is a choice.  Over and over he said “I will.”

Psalm 101:1 – “I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O LORD, I will sing praises

Psalm 104:33 – “I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.”

Psalm 116:17 – “I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.”

Psalm 118:21 – “I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation.”

Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice.”

Nehemiah told the Israelites as they returned from captivity of Babylon to Jerusalem that it was joy of the Lord that would give them the strength they needed as they began to rebuild their country. 

Nehemiah 8:9-10 – “Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’”

Isaiah wrote that because we can trust in the LORD and gain strength from him, because we have salvation through Him, we can have joy and praise the LORD.

Isaiah 12:2-6 – “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;  for YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation. Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.  And in that day you will say:  ‘Praise the LORD, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.  Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!’”

It is in His presence we can find complete joy.  If your joy is running low, spend some time in His presence, reading His word, listening to songs of praise, praying developing that close relationship with Him. 

Psalm 16:11 – “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

  • Joy is contagious – START AN EPIDEMIC!
  • You can stay depressed, oppressed, possessed, suppressed if you want to.  But as for me, I WILL PRAISE THE LORD!!!

1 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”