Sermon #26 Series: Mark
Title: Reasons For Good Cheer
Text: Mark 6:45-56
Readings: Office: Rex Bartley Auditorium: Merle Hart
Subject: Reasons Why Believers Should Be of Good Cheer
Date: Sunday Evening - July 20, 1997
Tape # T-90
Every step in the life of him who was “God manifest in the flesh” is full of deep meaning and spiritual significance. It is impossible for us to grasp the full meaning of his words and deeds until we see him face to face. Yet, it is easy to see that the events recorded in our text tonight have a very wide range of instruction.
These verses clearly show us a picture of every believer’s position here in this world and the hopeful prospect of our Lord’s glorious second advent.
1. Like the disciples in their little boat, we are often tossed to and fro by many storms and contrary winds.
2. Like these disciples, we are frequently without the enjoyment of Christ’s manifest presence in this world.
3. Yet, we shall see our Lord face to face. This is our joyful hope. Christ will come again and receive us unto himself.
4. Like these disciples tossed about upon the stormy sea, soon we shall see things changed for the better. When our Master comes, we will no longer be tossed about. Our storms will be over. All that is contrary to our happiness will come to an end. And we will enter into a great eternal calm!
However, for the present time, I want to call your attention to our Master’s words to us in verse 50. He said to his disciples, and he says to us, in all the storms and contrary winds we must endure in this world, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” I want to use the story recorded in these verses to give you Five Reasons For Good Cheer.
Before proceed, I must say that some of you have absolutely no reason for good cheer. The wrath of God is upon you. You are hovering over the very brink of hell. You are but a breath away from everlasting torment. Unless and until you flee to Christ for refuge, unless and until you bow to the Son of God in repentance and faith, trusting Christ alone as your Lord and Savior, you have no reason to rejoice in anything. Every breath you take in rebellion against God will increase your misery in the world to come! I plead with you in Christ’s stead, “Be ye reconciled to God!”
However, for you who believe God, though you may be required for now to sail through stormy seas and be tossed about by contrary winds, there are found in these few verses of inspiration Five Reasons for Good Cheer. Let me set them before you. May God the Holy Spirit seal them to your hearts.
Proposition: All who believe God have, at all times and in all circumstances, reasons for good cheer.
Divisions: Here are five specific reasons for good cheer set before us in Mark 6:45-56…
1. The Providence of God.
2. The Presence of God.
3. The Power of God.
4. The Pity of God.
5. The Path to God.
I. If I believe God, I ought always to find a reason for good cheer in THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD (v. 45).
Providence is God’s rule, government, dominion over, and disposition of all things for the good of his elect and the glory of his great name. Read the verses before us carefully and you will see that it was no accident that these disciples came into this storm and experienced the great distress recorded. They were compelled and constrained by Christ himself to sail into this storm.
No matter what the storm is which I am compelled to endure, no matter what contrary winds I must face, I am given these assurances in the Word of God…
A. My life and all the affairs of it are ordained and ordered by God my Savior.
B. My Lord will come to me and make himself known to me upon the raging billows in such a way as I could not otherwise know him.
C. I will sail through the storm and reach the other side of the sea, by God’s grace and in Gods appointed time.
“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows, like sea billows, roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
‘It is well, it is well with my soul!”
II. Not only are we assured of the universal providence of God over all things, we are assured of and should be of good cheer in the awareness of THE PRESENCE OF GOD at all times and in all circumstances (v. 48).
We are not always aware of him; but he is always aware of us. We do not always know his presence; but we are always in the immediate presence of God our Savior.
With those words the Holy Spirit tells us several things.
A. The Lord Jesus saw his disciples in the storm, though they could not see him.
We are never beyond the each of his eye. Our way is never hidden from him. He knows the path we take. Wherever we are, whatever our circumstances may be, the Son of God sees us. Alone or in a crowd, in sickness or in health, in perils at sea, in perils upon the shore, and in perils in the wilderness, his eye is upon us! The same eye that watched the tempest tossed disciples watches us. Our darkness is light before him. There are many times when we cannot see him; but there are not times when he does not see us.
B. The Lord Jesus came to his disciples in the midst of their great trouble and distress.
1. He came to them in the fourth watch of the night.
2. He came to them in a supernatural, unexpected, unexplainable way. - “”Walking upon the sea!” - The raging sea!
3. He came to them when they were in desperate need, after they had toiled all night in rowing.
4. Though he was coming to them, it appeared as though he would have passed them by.
Nothing could have been further from his mind, but he appeared to be entirely unaware of and totally unconcerned for his disciples. Yet, he was right there with them.
He who walked upon the water never changes! He always comes to us at the right time. He always comes when we most need him and are made to know that we need him, in the fourth watch of the night, after we have toiled long and hard and accomplished nothing by our toiling! When it appears that he would pass us by and cares nothing for us, the Lord is at hand.
III. We who believe should always be of good cheer because of the providence of God, the presence of God, and, thirdly, because of THE POWER OF GOD.
I can never make up my mind which is more comforting to my soul: the omniscience of God, the omnipresence of God, or the omnipotence of God (Ps. 139:1-18).
As soon as our Lord stepped on board their little boat the storm ceased! What power he possesses! What power there is with him! Even the winds and storms obey is mere will! Here me now, my brother, my sister, everything in God’s universe is completely, totally, and constantly under his dominion and subservient to his will. “The Lord God omnipotent reigneth!”
IV. Fourthly, believing God, we should ever be of good cheer, realizing THE PITY OF GOD.
Look at the disciples’ behavior in verses 49-52, and remember that God our Savior is God who has compassion upon chosen sinners and pities us in our weak, sinful condition in this world.
A. The disciples’ behavior is a fair, accurate, faithful representation of us all.
We ought not be proud, heady, and high minded. We ought never be too harsh in our judgment of these men or of other believers. These men were the Lord’s disciples, faithful men, gospel preachers. Yet,…
1. When they saw the Lord walking on the water, they thought they had seen a ghost, and were terrified!
2. They remembered not the miracles they had just witnessed and experienced.
3. Their hearts were hardened in unbelief.
B. The disciples’ hardness and unbelief did not prevent Christ from coming to them, delivering them, and using them.
V. Fifthly, we should ever be of good cheer because of THE PATH TO GOD (vv. 53-56).
There are many things which should be carefully observed in these verses; but I want to direct your attention to just three matters, as I bring my message to its conclusion.
A. The Sphere of Our Responsibility.
You and I are responsible to tell other eternity bound sinners who Christ is, what he has done for us, and where he may be found.
B. The Place of Mercy.
The place of mercy is the place where Christ is! Where his Word is preached, his name is honored, and his power is manifest.
C. The Path to God.
The path to God is Christ, faith in Christ. Look at the last sentence of verse 56 - “As many as touched him were made whole!” Touch him now, and you shall be made whole! Amen!