Summary: Everyone faces storms in their life. Sometimes these storms are life-altering, sometimes they seem impossible to overcome. Many of the greatest heroes of the Bible went through sustained storms that challenged their faith.
-ACTS OF DISCIPLESHIP-
DISCIPLES ENDURE STORMS TOGETHER
Everyone faces storms in their life. Sometimes these storms are life-altering, sometimes they seem impossible to overcome. Death, disease, marriage problems, financial problems, loss of income, disappointment, loneliness … the list is long. Many of the greatest heroes of the Bible went through sustained storms that challenged their faith.
Whatever storm you are facing now or may face in the future, remember that God will see you through that storm without fail. Leonardo da Vinci wrote, “Fix your course on a star and you'll navigate any storm.” The star upon which we fix our course is Jesus Christ.
Apostle Paul endured many storms in his life - including a physical tempest described in Acts 27. Paul was on his way to Rome, having appealed to Ceasar as a Roman citizen. The ship was under the supervision of a centurion named Julius. We know that Luke and Aristarchus were with Paul. The weather on this journey made travel hazardous. Verse 14 says they were ‘winds of hurricane force”. This terrifying situation lasted for many days.
The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. 16 As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure, 17 so the men hoisted it aboard. Then they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Because they were afraid they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor[a] and let the ship be driven along. 18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.
We gave up all hope - been there? It is here that Paul encourages those around him that God has told him that no one would be lost - only the ship. After days of hurricane conditions, Apostle Paul spoke to the crew words of encouragement and hope. What can we learn from Saul about enduring storms? In moments of extreme distress, Apostle Paul spoke words of strength and endurance that will help us as well.
Four Exhortations to Give Endurance in the Storms
1. Keep Up Your Courage
Acts 27:22 …I urge you to keep up your courage…
Paul was no stranger to courage. Nor were the first Christians who were baptized into Jesus and into a firestorm of persecution. Christians need courage to face storms: From those who do not appreciate our conviction, From the Enemy who works against us, From our own struggles and temptations, From the events of life that are difficult for us. Being courageous does not mean we have no feelings, no worries, no concerns - it means that we hang on to Jesus in all our storms and never let go. He never lets go of us!
DT 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with
you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Don’t give up in a storm. "Never make a permanent decision based on a temporary storm. No matter how raging the billows are today, remind yourself: 'This too shall pass!'' -T. D. Jakes
2. Listen to God
Acts 27:23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me …
Paul’s source of strength was not in himself, but God. We may not have an angel come and speak to us, but we have the powerful Word of God.
1 Thess 2:13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.
How many times have we faced a storm and tried to do it without a word from the Lord?
We listen to God primarily by consulting His Word, but also by spending time in prayer and silence, and by consulting strong Christians who can give us guidance.
3.Do not Fear, Trust God
Acts 27:25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.
Paul is a great example of trusting faith. He devoted himself to God and would not give up in his commitment.
Trust is belief that God exists and that he blesses those who seek him - also called Faith. Trust goes beyond our vision - what we can see now - and knows that our ever-present God is aware and working through our situations.