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Faith in the Oil Press

Faith in the Oil Press
Words of Faith 10-31-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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John 7
[25] At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, "Isn't this the man they are trying to kill? [26] Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ? [27] But we know where this man is from; when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from."
[28] Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, "Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, [29] but I know him because I am from him and he sent me."
[30] At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.
[31] Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?"
[32] The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.
[33] Jesus said, "I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. [34] You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come."
[35] The Jews said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? [36] What did he mean when he said, 'You will look for me, but you will not find me,' and 'Where I am, you cannot come'?"

The conflicts between Jesus and the religious leaders in Jerusalem were contentious long before He finally was arrested, tried and crucified during Holy Week. At the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus was gathering a great deal of attention. Many were already coming to the conclusion that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah of God. This was terribly threatening to the religious leaders who attempted to seize Jesus.
It might have been a very worrisome time, but Jesus had divine protection. He trusted that protection. The text says that “no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.” Jesus pointed out that they could look for Him but they would be unable to find Him. He knew that the Father was in charge of every detail of His life. He knew that the Father had appointed the time of His passion, death and resurrection. Unless the Father had ordered His capture, Jesus could be invisible to those pursuing Him.
There are several important points here. Jesus trusted absolutely in the divine and sovereign protection of the Father. Though Jesus was careful about His movements at this time, He never worried that things might move ahead of schedule. God was always absolutely in charge. God was capable of miraculous protection when needed.
Even when the Holy Week finally came, Jesus trusted that the Father was correct in His timing. Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
The word Gethsemane means "oil press". When Jesus prayed those words, He was in the oil press. His arrest was imminent. Yet Jesus had exactly the same trust in the Father whether He was being divinely protected from enemies, or divinely delivered into their hands. That is faith, Jesus’ faith.
We must admit that it is easy to trust God when He we afforded the divine protection we desire. It quite another thing when we are in the oil press. It is another level of faith that sees us through the Gethsemanes of life knowing that it is for His will and purposes that we are sometimes delivered into the hands of an enemy or allowed to experience persecution.
God is sovereign in both situations. God is in control both in the times of peace and the times of calamity. God is ordering daily events toward His purposes even when life seems out of control. That is the faith of Jesus. That is our faith as we are conformed to the image of Christ.

Father, I surrender my worry to You. I trust that You have this world that You created well in hand. I trust that if you need my help You will let me know. I am listening. I will follow. I will trust. In Jesus’ name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.