As soon as Jesus heard the news, he went off by himself in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed by land from many villages. - Matthew 14:13
Even if we try not to overload the boat of our life, chances are we still are carrying a load. Troubles, burdens, and stresses are a part of life.
Jesus experienced all sorts of burdens and stresses, several of which are recorded in Matthew 14. First, he received news of John the Baptist’s murder. So he withdrew to a quiet place, but the crowds followed. He then fed those people, persuaded his disciples to go ahead of him in the boat, walked on the water, and then healed many people. Now I would say that’s a whole lot of pressure in a very short time!
So how did Jesus handle his pressures? He was not resentful of interruptions. When faced with others’ pain, he healed it. When encounter-ing his disciples’ lack of faith, he pushed them to grow. Jesus was God-focused rather than self-focused. His heavenly Father promised him power to do all he had planned for him to do.
How Jesus responded to the pressure of accomplishing his Father’s will shows us how Jesus turned to God as his source of power (Matthew 14:23). Jesus said, “I live by the power of the living Father who sent me” (John 6:57). We should take heart and allow our daily burdens to make us like Jesus: God-focused. That mind-set helped him focus on oth-ers and serve them. Pressures give us a grand opportunity to see God do what seems impossible.
For Further Study: Matthew 14:1-14
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.
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Everyone struggles with sinful desires and selfish motives. So how do you fight against those temptations—permitted by God and promoted by Satan—when your soul feels like a battlefield?
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