Summary: What are you anchored to when your world turns upside down in the storms of life?
“Anchors During Adversity”
I’m glad you’re here tonight. You know, one of the things that has always been kind of a mystery to me is why more people don’t come to church on Wednesday night. I know that some people get home late and can’t come and I know that some people work at night and can’t come. Then there’s sickness or disabilities and all kinds of legitimate activities that keep us from coming. But folks, I always enjoy our time together on Wednesdays when we pray and open God’s Word. I think it’s special every time we do that as a church family. And I know we come home tired from the stresses of the day. But to me I need that middle of the week shot in the arm, so to speak, to get through the rest of the week most of the time, don’t you? Please say yes!
It’s probably no secret to you and certainly not to me that when I get an opportunity to share from God’s Word, I am more of a teacher than a real fireball from the pulpit. I know that! And I’m not ashamed of that because that’s how God has used me my whole Christian life. As a preacher I have things to say that I feel God wants you to know and to me just to present them and not show you how to apply them, doesn’t do you or me much good. So when I have the privilege of bringing a message, I want it to be something you can relate to and apply, because that’s how we get through life in this world until we go home. So tonight I want to speak about something we all face as believers in Jesus Christ.
I’ve entitled tonight’s message, “Anchors During Adversity.” Turn in your Bibles to the book of Romans chapter 5. The writer of Romans, the apostle Paul, certainly knows this subject well and I think if we were with him in his day all we would have had to do was follow him around for a little while to see why. Look at chapter 5, verses 1-11 (Read / Pray).
We’ve heard a lot in recent months and we hear particularly at this time of year coming up a lot about hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and floods. In one part of the world hundreds of thousands lost their lives in a devastating tsunami that people in that nation are still trying to recover from. In a way those storms are symbolic of other storms we face in life.
We have physical storms, we have emotional storms, we have financial storms, we have family storms, and certainly as believers we have spiritual storms. But sometimes it seems they all hit at once and when they do, it seems unbearable at times. I remember in 1997 this was the case with me (Brother hurt, lost my job, my mom died after a long battle with cancer, my dad had a heart attack, and on top of everything else I was about to turn 40 years old). Folks, if I didn’t have Christ in my life I couldn’t have gotten through that, but I did! One of my favorite songs is a song called “The Anchor Holds” by Ray Boltz. Christ was my anchor during that time. What does an anchor do? It keeps a boat or a ship steady in a storm but it also keeps it in place. It’s a source of security and stability. It keeps the boat or ship from drifting into waters you want to keep away from.
How many times have you heard someone say during some crisis in their life, “Oh, what’s the use” and just give up? An anchor won’t let you do that! It holds you in place during the storm you’re going through until there is calm water again in your life. We all have storms in our life but you know what? God has given us spiritual anchors, and they are truths that can help us stay steady during whatever storm we are in the middle of. In Romans 5, verses 1-11 that we read, there are 5 anchors that help us through adversity. The first one is,
I. Realizing Our Present Position – Verses 1-2
If you’ll notice in verse one, it begins with therefore, which points us back to the four chapters that are before this one. Now, if you read the first four chapters, you see two things. First of all, you see the reality of human sin and the depravity that goes along with that. Then you see atoning work of the Lord Jesus on the cross for sinners. Now when Paul gets to the first verse in chapter 5, he looks at where we are now in Christ. We are justified through faith in what Christ did. And because of that, we have two things,