Jesus put Philip and his disciples in an impossible situation when he asked, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" (John 6:4-7). Jesus brought an impossibility to Philip.
Do I look at my challenging circumstances this way - that Jesus brought them to me? It might help if I did. But why would he bring them?
It seems clear that Jesus sought to build their confidence in Him when they faced something impossible. His agenda often included facing "categories" that rattled their hearts and blew their minds.
When Jesus sets the agenda, it appears that He wants faith to influence action. He wanted them to act according to His intentions and power, and not by what seemed normal to them.
It may have helped Philip if he would have remembered two things - Jesus' heart and Jesus' capacity. Jesus' heart is revealed in His desire to feed the 5,000. In the Mark 6 account of this story, Jesus saw this crowd as sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). Jesus' capacity is on display in feeding the 5,000 from meager resources - He brought a super abundance out of thin air (John 6:9-14).
Jesus was testing his faith - He was looking for a certain response. Philip overlooked both Jesus' heart and His capacity.
If I see God's heart and remember His capacity, I'd face difficulties and challenges differently. If God's heart is seen and appreciated, and I remember God's capacity to provide beyond all known resources, my response will be lighter when confronting the confusing.
God's heart and capacity can be forgotten or unnoticed. In that case, my response will be some form of complaint. If it is remembered and understood, it will lead to adventurous and delighted submission.
Philip could have said, "I've seen you raise people from the dead, turn water into wine and bring health to a leper. What do you have in mind this time, Lord? I'm on board. You can provide an abundance from nothing."
His heart and capacity are expected to be understood by those who follow Him. Let's let Him grow our faith, and see His heart and remember His capacity in every surprising, new and difficult circumstance.