He tested him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do – John 6:6

Jesus had crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee and had gone up to a mountainside and He sat down with His disciples. Upon looking up, Jesus saw the crowds coming towards Him. He asked Philip a question upon seeing the crowds coming towards them, “where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” In verse 6 we read, “He tested him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do,” He asked him the question as a test knowing all along what He was going to do. He was not overwhelmed at their need. But He asks Philip if he knows a place where to buy food to feed them as the crowds draw closer. Philip answers “Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” -v 7. It was then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

The first man concluded eight months’ pay wasn’t enough to feed them all a bite! The second said there was a lad with a few fish and loaves, “but what is that for so many?” They both looked at the circumstances, the enormity of it, they were looking to themselves and ignored the One who could meet the need of the situation. It is not as though they had not seen Him do miraculous things already! He was with them and they related the problem to themselves and not to Him!

Think about some of your own trials you have been through. Think of the things you have seen God do. Help, comfort, emotional, physical and spiritual provisions for you. We have a track record of seeing Him meet us and yet… a new trial… a new problem… it may not even seem to be our problem in the first place, like the disciples, they saw the crowds coming, since when were they in charge of feeding multitudes. Since when was other people’s problems their problem. As long as they had something to eat, I am sure they were fine, a bit like us in our thinking, but the Lord does something wonderful in this circumstance, He asks a question … and He shows in the question He cares for…others. Indeed it has been well said if you could describe the life of the Lord Jesus in one word it would be “Others.” He asks them a question and they immediately relate it to themselves in how to solve the problem! He asks the question and He knows what He is intending to do, irrespective of the answer. He is about to do something that is way beyond anything they could have perceived.

The case to them looked so helpless. But one lesson for all of us is He is present in the trial with us. He is not surprised by the trial. He is not overtaken by the trial, as though somehow He did not see that one coming. He is not lost in regards what to do in the trial. What a comforting truth this is also… just as they were not alone in the trial….

You will never face a trial alone! 

They faced a trial, but they did not face it alone. Though they responded as though the Lord Jesus was not relevant to the situation.  The Lord Jesus was present with them… and they look away from Him in their seeking to find a solution!

In every trial you find yourself in, He is with you. These two men missed Him in their trial! They didn’t miss the problem. They didn’t miss their assessment, but they did miss Him! They, as we often are prone to do, leaned to their own understanding and concluded there was no remedy for the situation because they saw no way to meet it!

So often we are like the two men who first look at the enormity of the circumstances – and THINK, they conclude, if they cannot see how to SOLVE the problem- then it CANNOT BE SOLVED- Period! Even the “optimist,” of the two concluded the fish and loaves was something -“But…” realistically there was no chance of feeding the multitudes with them. Why not? Because they did not think it could not be done, because they looked to themselves and not the Lord Jesus. They looked at the problem and never looked to the Person who was present with them- the Lord Jesus.

Jesus listened to them, one by one… graciously, and they both ignored Jesus, was present and that based on their past history with Him, that He could meet the needs!

They ignored what He had done previously! So often we are like this. We ” lean” to our own understanding,” – we believe if we cannot solve it, therefore it cannot be done! How could it ? At that moment we elevate ourselves and in our mind we see how little we think of The Lord Jesus- and He is present with us in the moment, watching us, listening to us, and we ignore Him. We ignore our past history of His faithfulness. We ignore His past power displayed for us, in and through us. We simply choose to ignore Him. For many of us it is a habit we have. For so long we have panicked under pressure. We have responded by seeking to solve the matter ourselves. We have drained ourselves emotionally. Why? Because we look at the problem. We look to ourselves. We do not look in the rest of faith in the Lord Jesus.

We have short memories of what The Lord had done in the past!

  • We forget He is present!
  • We ignore Him.
  • We fail to remember Him, who He is, and His ability, that He is God and He is able to do what we are not because He is God

Here is this comforting confidence, this inspiring fact, – ” He tested them for He Himself knew what He was going to do”- John 6:6

  • In your trial, TRUST THE LORD who is present!
  • In your trial, TRUST IN THE LORD JESUS knows of the trial and Knows what He is going to do!
  • Jesus is sufficient for you in your trial!
  • You are never alone in your trial.

The Focus of Faith

What He was looking for in the two men whom He tested was …faith in Him! In the circumstance they missed Him because their view of their problem and themselves was too big! In the trial, Jesus knows what He Himself is going to do! Look to Jehoshaphat, “We don’t know what to do… But our eyes are on You, LORD.” The two disciples chose to FOCUS on the problem their own inabilities and never turned to the LORD. Jehoshaphat looked to the enormity of the problem and chose to FOCUS on the LORD!  They both exercised faith. One ended with themselves, the problem. Jehoshaphat ended with his FOCUS on THE LORD!   ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION IN THE TRIAL, WHO ARE YOU FOCUSING ON? SELF OR THE SAVIOR WHO IS SUFFICIENT FOR THE TRIAL?

For some of us it is a change of Focus we need, off of ourselves and the problem and unto Him who is sufficient for the problem or need-

And when the LORD Jesus took over, He took the few loaves and fish…. and had the multitude sit down and the disciples fed them out of their baskets and to what end? The Scripture says “…all were satisfied.” By the time Jesus had finished with this life lesson – there were 12 baskets left over! Jesus is more than sufficient and He showed them in the abundance of left overs. He took the two loaves and five fish and made much out of it. “All were satisfied” and the disciples had leftovers… 12 baskets. Now how are you going to do that? Only through the Lord Jesus! He is wonderful!!!

Life Lessons for me and you Today?

In our trials the FOCUS OF OUR FAITH is to be on the LORD JESUS! How can we do this practically?

  • He is present – RELATE the issue to Him
  • REST in Him – For “He Himself knows what He is going to do”
  • RECALL His past doings.
  • LEARN of Him.
  • TRUST His promises.
  • TRUST HE is greater than the obstacle, or problem!
  • He Himself KNOWS what He is going to do – in your trial!
  • A faith that focuses on Him is evident by a heart AT REST IN HIM