Mar 10

Sunday Recap: Tripp, “The Difference Between Amazement and Faith”

2013 | by Tim Ragsdale | Category: Clarus 13

Editor’s Note: Tim Ragsdale is Pastor for Local Missions at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of Paul Tripp’s message from Sunday morning at Clarus, March 10, from Mark 6:45-52.


God will take us where we have not intended to go in order to produce in us what we could not achieve on our own. That is grace.”

After a weekend of substantive teaching on the practice of every-believer personal ministry and its critical role of in God’s sanctifying work in the community of believers, Dr. Tripp drew the focus clearly back on the source of our hope and object of our faith—King Jesus.

Faith does not come naturally.  On the other hand fear, doubt, envy, etc. are all quite natural to us.  How does God transform his disciples into people of faith? Jesus extends grace.  It isn’t always the kind of grace that brings immediate relief or jubilation, but instead it is often an uncomfortable grace. The typical way that Jesus would teach his disciples is by putting them in a moment of difficulty where there was some circumstance or need that was beyond their ability. Just when they were coming to a point of confusion or despair, He would reveal His glory—the glory of His power, the glory of His compassion, the glory of His grace. It was that combination of difficulty and glory that was meant to change them. They weren’t just to be informed; they were to be transformed by His grace. Dr. Tripp explained the gospel equation found throughout Mark’s gospel: “Divine Power + Divine Compassion = Everything you need

And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.  (Mark 6:47-48a)

In context we know that this occurs immediately after Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five thousand.  As he walked on the water toward the disciples, he was yet again revealing himself as Lord over creation—God incarnate. And although they were again witnessing his majesty and glory, he knew his disciples were prone to fear and doubt.

He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.   And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.   (Mark 5:48b-52)

He was not there to relieve the men from their difficulties but was there to redeem them in their circumstances.  Those in the boat were completely unprepared for this moment. They had hardened hearts and a lack of understanding of the very things they had seen. Yet the Lord Jesus graciously moved towards them with compassion and assured them that ” I AM” was there with them.

Members and attenders of Desert Springs Church have often been encouraged to preach to themselves.  Dr. Tripp asks an important question:  What is the gospel that you preach to yourself?  Is it powerless? In times of stress and difficulty do we, like his disciples in the boat forget who we are (and who is with us!) in Christ?  Are we identity amnesiacs?  What identity do we assign ourselves?  Do we remember that I AM is with us just as David the shepherd boy did when he faced the champion of the Philistines and trusted God to deliver him?

Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.  (1 Samuel 17:36)

When you are faced with various difficult situations, remember that I AM is with you in those moments.  Know that it is by God’s uncomfortable grace that we are being transformed.  “Sometimes you need the storm in order to see the glory.”