"Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, 'Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?' But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do." John 6:5-6 (Read John 6:1-15)
Why does God test us in seemingly impossible situations? It's certainly not because God doesn't already have a plan in mind. And, it's not to see what we'll do, for God already knows that too.
So why does God test us? To teach us to trust Him in every situation! That's exactly why Jesus questioned Philip as to where they could buy bread to feed a multitude of more than five thousand who had followed Jesus to this remote spot along the Sea of Galilee.
Philip's answer illustrated the seeming hopelessness of the situation: "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little" (John 6:7).
When Andrew mentioned the lad with five barley loaves and two small fish, Jesus had the men sit down. He gave thanks to God for the food He had provided. Then Jesus distributed the food to His disciples and His disciples to the people. All ate to the full, and they gathered up twelve basketfuls of leftovers.
In the book of Exodus, we see that God also fed the people of Israel in a seemingly impossible situation, providing manna in the mornings and quail in the evenings. But God also tested the people and taught them to trust by providing only enough for each day, that they might learn to trust in Him for their daily bread (cf. Ex. 16; Matt. 6:11; Luke 11:3).
When we consider the feeding of the five thousand with only five barley loaves and two small fish, we certainly see a miracle and proof that Jesus is the almighty Son of God in human flesh. But we also learn that God would have us trust Him in seemingly impossible situations, give thanks for what He has provided, and rely upon Him to care for our every need (cf. Matt. 6:25-34; Prov. 3:5ff.). We may find the situation impossible, but God already has a plan in mind!
And, certainly, our sinfulness puts us in an impossible situation before the Lord. We have sinned and come short. God's Law condemns us to eternal suffering in hell! Cf. Rom. 3:23; Ezek. 18:4; Gal. 3:10; Eccl. 7:20.
But God had a plan! He sent His only-begotten Son into the world as a man to fulfill the Law for us and then to suffer our just punishment (cf. Gal. 4:4-5). God laid our sins upon Messiah Jesus and punished Him in our stead (cf. Isa. 53:6; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Gal. 3:13; 1 John 2:1-2). And, through the preaching of the Gospel, He brought us to faith in Christ Jesus and declared us just and righteous in His eyes (Rom. 1:16-17; 3:19-26; 4:23 - 5:2; John 3:16).
Dear Lord Jesus, forgive us for failing to trust in Your power and willingness to help us in every situation. Teach us always to come to You and to trust in You for all our needs, both earthly and heavenly. Amen.
[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]Religion on 04/04/2019