Shep Johnson
Sunday, September 11, 2016

Overwhelmed!  Do you ever feel overwhelmed?  Swamped, buried, flooded, conquered, and crushed?  The word “overwhelmed” comes from a Middle English word meaning “turned upside down.”  Imagine a turtle turned over on its back and left by the roadside.  He could use some help, couldn’t he?  Sooner or later all of us feel like that turtle.  Sooner or later all of us feel overwhelmed.  Read the Psalms and you will see that truth over and over again.

Jesus has a heart for the overwhelmed.  In Mark 9:17-27 (NASB95) we read about a desperate father with a son who suffered seizures time and time again.  The Bible says the desperate father said to Jesus, “‘Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.’  And He answered them and said, ‘O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!’”

“They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!’”

Here was a father who was desperate and overwhelmed.  His life had been turned upside down and he had been left at the roadside in a helpless state.

The Bible continues, “And Jesus said to him, ‘If You can? All things are possible to him who believes.’”

“Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief.’”

What a comfort it is to know that no problem is too great for Jesus to solve.  No obstacle is too big for Him to overcome.  All He asks us to do is believe and pray, even if our faith is weak and floundering.

“When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.’
After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead!’  But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up.”

Did you catch that?  Jesus took the young man by the hand and RAISED HIM UP.  Remember the upside down turtle left by the roadside to flounder?  Maybe that’s how you feel about your life right now.  Your legs and arms are spinning, but you are getting nowhere.  Panic is beginning to set in.  You’re thinking, “Will I ever get out of this mess?” 

Listen friend, Jesus can take you by the hand and RAISE YOU UP.  He specializes in rescuing the overwhelmed.  He only asks that we put our trust in Him, pray, and keep praying.  The father in our story had waited a long time to see his son healed.  He had undoubtedly prayed often for a miracle and then one day it happened.  Whatever is overwhelming you today, don’t give up.  “Pray without ceasing”1 Thessalonians 5:17. 

Moses told Israel as the time came for them to take the Promised Land, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NASB95).  Don’t give up, the Lord will not fail or forsake you either. 

Brother Shep

[P.S.  Don’t worry too much about the turtle, God has provided many turtles with a way to get righted if they ever get turned upside down, although it takes quite a bit of effort.  Check it out on the internet.]