Believe It! See It! – Part 3 (02 Mar 2008)

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

Morris Robinson

Special Music

Joyful, Joyful
My Hope is Built on Nothing Less/Trusting Jesus
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
God is My Strong Salvation

Solo/ Anthem
Morris Robinson – Going Home
Lord, I Want to be a Christian in My Heart
My Shepherd will Supply My Need

The Message

Message by: Robert A. Schuller

Well this morning, I want to share a few stories with you and share a few things that I think can help you through very tough times in life because one of the things I’ve recognized as I read through the bible is that Jesus comes into people’s lives when they need it the most. He does. Consistently touches people’s lives when they need it the most. I’ve been going through Matthew, actually for the past few weeks. I haven’t even told you that. But we have been and one of the things that takes place in Matthew is very early in Christ’ ministry, is He hops in a boat and He decides to take a boat ride to the other side of the lake. A very uneventful thing. Beautiful day. His apostles, fishermen, men who were raised on that lake; they started fishing when they were boys. Their father would put them in their boats with them and they would go out and fish. They fished several days a week their entire life! And they couldn’t predict what was going to happen because events are unpredictable. And they climbed into that boat and as they were heading across the sea, suddenly the winds came howling through the valleys, which is very common there. It’s not uncommon at all. The Sea of Galilee is six hundred feet below sea level. As a result of that, that has a way of bringing those winds in and the storm came up.

Interesting thought: the Greek word for storm is seismos and we know that word today. We know the English derivative is seismic or a seismograph and it means something that’s going to shake and hit hard. And that’s exactly what was taking place. The winds were coming, the storm came and these men who left that seashore full of confidence. I mean they were confident that hey this is a nice little boat ride across the sea. We’ve been across the sea a million times, this is just another walk in the park; all of a sudden riddled with fear. Riddled because the storm had come up. And they came to Jesus and they woke Him up. And Jesus stood up and He raised His arms and He said, “Peace be still.” And the winds and the waves obeyed Him. And He looked at the apostles and He said, “Oh ye of little faith. Why are you so afraid?”

Victor Hugo, the author of the classic book entitled, The Hunchback of Notre Dame wrote another story that people aren’t as familiar with, its entitled Ninety-Three. And in this story, it’s a story of ship that takes place in the 19th century so it’s a tall ship. And this ship is caught in a storm and it’s manned by very seasoned sailors and they weren’t too concerned about the storm even though it was fierce and it was ferocious. They never the less knew how to handle this. They’d been in storms before. But what made their fear arise suddenly was the sudden and dramatic noise they heard under deck. They heard this crash. And when they heard it take place they realized what had taken place. A cannon had broken loose and this thousand pound sphere was slamming against the sides of the hull and as the ship would be tossed back and forth so this cannon would slide slamming the insides of this hull. And they knew that their greatest danger was not the storm without, but the storm within. And two brave men had to go down into the hull, under the interior of the ship and secure the cannon or they would all perish.

And today when we look at the accounts that took place in the life of Christ with these apostles, we suddenly realize that the unexpected events that take place in our lives can often be handled from without. But it’s the ones within that takes their toll and becomes the dangers within us because we have to realize that even though events are predictable, emotions are undependable.

As the apostles left the shore with conviction and confidence and no worries really at all, suddenly all of those worries turned to tremendous fear. “Oh ye of little faith. Why are you so afraid?” Said Jesus. And here these confident men suddenly were men full of fear. And how often don’t our emotions like a roller coaster slide up and down from the heights to the depths? Especially when we receive these unpredictable events, these storms that slam into our lives. You have cancer. Your son was killed in a traffic accident last night. The words ‘I want a divorce.’ The words ‘you’re not going to make it. You’re going to have to file bankruptcy.’ The shifting of unpredictable economic times, the shifting unpredictable political environment in which we live all helps generate emotions within us that are just undependable. And like the cannon within, our emotions have that ability to tear us apart. But then we have to realize something: Jesus is there.

Like the apostles taking the trip across the sea, they’re in a boat and this boat had a special visitor on it. It wasn’t a seasoned sailor, it was a carpenter. It wasn’t an individual who knew how to deal with the nautical situations. But He knew how to deal with the heart and He knew how to control the winds and the waves and He stood up and He said, “Peace be still!” And the waves died down and the winds were calm and there was peace. Events are unpredictable. Emotions are undependable, but enthusiasm is undepletable. Enthusiasm, Entheos: God in you! That’s what enthusiasm is all about. The Greek words are Entheos: in God. And when God comes into our hearts and fills that void within, it is literally, absolutely undepletable. You have to realize that Jesus was there in the beginning with God.

And Jesus was with God when the voice was spoken, in fact He is the voice. In the beginning was the word and the word was God and God spoke and the heavens were created above and below and He created the seas and He created the winds. And for Jesus to speak and control the winds and the waves is nothing. After all He created them. And He’s in the boat with us. He’s living life with us and together as we cross through the seas and go through life, He is there to help us through the toughest of times. All we need to do is call out to Jesus and He’ll come. And He’ll help us through. Enthusiasm is undepletable.

Do people under the age of thirty know a guy by the name of the Lone Ranger? Is that something that anyone under the age of thirty knows? Is there anyone under the age of thirty who has ever heard of the Lone Ranger and Tonto? Oh good, there’s one person under the age of thirty who’s heard that. Well maybe a couple more. Oh good. Well for those of you who don’t know, because I know there are lots of young people I’m talking about who have never heard of the Lone Ranger and Tonto. The Lone Ranger was this crazy cowboy guy with a mask who would run around saving everybody and he had his sidekick and Indian that went with him. And the sidekick is named Tonto. It was an old TV show, black and white, no color. Can you believe that? And I’m old enough to remember that. Well Tonto and the Lone Ranger are setting up tent for the night and they do and they camp down and about, oh I don’t know, several hours later Tonto wakes up the Lone Ranger and says, “Kimosabi” that was his nickname for the Lone Ranger. It’s the same guy, okay? He says, “Kimosabi,” he goes “look up tell me what you see.” The Lone Ranger looks up and he sees just this beautiful night sky. He says “I see a billion stars.” And he says “Kimosabi what does that mean?” He said “Oh it means the handy work of God is alive and real. It means that astrologically there are billions of galaxies and stars. Meteorologically it means we are going to have a beautiful day tomorrow and it says it’s about three fifteen at night. Oh” and he goes “Kimosabi, I think you as dumb as a buffalo. It means our tent is stolen.”

When we stop and we realize that events are unpredictable, and that as a result of outside circumstances taking place in our lives, that our emotions will be undependable and they will slide up and down the scale from a high of ten to a low of one. There will be times in our life where we just don’t think we want to live another day. That in it all God is there. That He’s inside making the reality of His goodness easy to understand and real. His eternity is understandable. It’s not confusing, it doesn’t require higher mathematics to understand what Jesus Christ is all about and what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. It simply requires a heart. A heart that’s humble enough to call upon Jesus. And as the apostles called upon Jesus He stood and He said “Peace be still.”

A few years ago a dear friend of mine gave me a plaque. A brass plaque and this is the plaque he gave me, 46:10. Can you all see that? 46:10? He gave this to me because these numbers represent something to him that saved his life. He was going through a very difficult time and he went up on top of a mountain with a friend of his and he started praying. He says as we started to pray all of the sudden the winds started to howl and the more we prayed the wind grew some more and we could hear the clouds started to gather. He said it was one of those divine moments and when we said amen the winds completely died down. It was a turning point in my life. I said well what do the numbers mean? He says its Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still.

Allow your hearts to be still. And to know that the love of God surpasses all understanding, will come into your heart and into your mind and He’ll bring peace and He’ll bring understanding. That no matter what you’re going through, no matter what struggles you find yourself with today that God is there with you. Entheos: enthusiasm and there is a plentiful supply to supply all of your needs and there is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. Nothing.

And so this morning if you wish to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, if you’ve never been baptized and want to be baptized this morning, after the service, after the benediction I’m going to come and stand in front of the fountains here and I’ll baptize you. So I want to invite you to come forward and receive the baptism of water and to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior. Jesus stood up in the boat and He said “Oh ye of little faith. Why are you so afraid?” We have nothing to fear but fear it self and today we come before Jesus and we say Jesus help us with our emotions. Help us overcome the struggles that we face today. Help to fill that void within our heart that rattles around like a cannon in a ship and help us to realize that with You we can overcome even the most difficult of circumstances.

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