He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. John 6:6 (ESV)
What will the New Year bring you? Will it bring joy or hardship? Will it bring a lot of encouragement or many challenges? Will we face problems that we cannot handle or needs that we cannot meet? With regard to all these unknowns, there is a comforting truth in our memory verse!
Jesus Himself knew what He would do. As the large crowd was coming towards Him, the disciples may also have foreseen the approaching problem that Jesus put into words, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” The disciples couldn’t see any solution. Jesus however was able not only to anticipate the trouble; He also knew what He would do!
Jesus always knows what He will do! He already knows about the challenges you will face this year. And He also already knows what He will do! You may not face a lack of bread, but perhaps a lack of money or a lack of helpers or encouragement. It’s so natural then to focus on what is missing. It’s so much better to focus on Jesus, who knows what He will do – for you! With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? – (A. W. Tozer)
Why did Jesus ask Philip where to buy bread when He Himself already knew what He would do? He said this to test him. Jesus tested Philip’s heart and Philip’s faith. He tested his way of approaching problems and his method of dealing with difficulties.
When the way God guides you through this year includes troubles and tribulations, be sure you understand why He allows these things to happen. He is “testing you to know what was (is) in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deut 8:2). He is testing you to know whether you trust Him or not; whether you believe in His care for you or not; whether you follow His Word even under difficult circumstances or not.
Will you ask the Lord to give you the kind of heart and the kind of faith that stands the test? And if necessary will you confess your mistrust and unbelief that fails?
Memorizing is not just learning the verse; it’s living the verse.
Therefore the real work begins after we know the words.
Repeating a verse for a fortnight may change you for a whole lifetime.