Summary: How will you respond when your storm hits? During Paul's storm, 4 anchors kept them from going under. Our four anchors are 1. Relationship with God, 2. the Word of God, 3. the People of God, and 4. Patient Endurance.
FOUR ANCHORS FOR LIFE’S STORMS
1. There was a farmer who had three sons: Jim, John, and Sam. No one in the family had ever attended church or had time for God. The local church and pastor had tried to reach them, but to no avail.
2. Then one day Sam was bitten by a rattlesnake. The doctor was called and he did all he could, but the outlook for Sam looked slim indeed.
3. So the old reprobate farmer called the Pastor and asked him to over and pray for Sam. The preacher arrived and prayed for Sam thus…
4. “Dear Father, I thank you that You in your wisdom sent the rattlesnake to bite Sam. He’s never been inside the church and it’s doubtful he’s ever prayed or acknowledged your existence. This may lead to his genuine repentance. And now Lord, will you send another rattlesnake to bite Jim and another to bite John and a really big one to bite the old man. We’ve tried to reach them for years and it seems that what our combined efforts could not do, this rattlesnake has done in 2 days. It appears the only thing that will do this family any good is rattlesnakes; so Lord, send us bigger and better rattlesnakes! Amen.” [Victor Yap]
B. TEXT [chapter greatly abridged]
1. When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius…. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium…and we put out to sea….9 Paul warned them [at Crete], 10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” 14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island. 15 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. 21 Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” 27 On the fourteenth night…about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 39 When daylight came….41 the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. 43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life… ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 In this way everyone reached land safely.
1. We all face storms. Some are physical, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods. Other storms are personal – such as death in the family, job problems, marital difficulties, child-raising headaches, etc.
2. Storms are a part of life. The question is not IF they will come or WHEN they will come, the question is “How will I respond to the storm when it comes?”
3. Paul found himself in a life-threatening storm. For 14 days the ship was in a raging sea. When the crew panicked, Paul stood and shared the anchors that held his life secure.
4. That night, “they cast four anchors…and wished for the day” KJV. Those four anchors kept them through the storm until daybreak.
5. I want to suggest FOUR SPIRITUAL ANCHORS that will keep you and I through all life’s storms:
I. 1ST ANCHOR: RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
A. KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S CHARACTER
1. What kept Job from turning against God when he lost his family, his possessions, and his health? He knew his God!
2. What kept Joseph during the years of slavery and prison? His relationship with God!
3. What kept David during the years that Saul pursued him?
4. When writing the Book of 2nd Timothy, Paul had been arrested by Rome the second time.
a. The grim specter of death was before him. The executioner’s ax would soon fall. But Paul was not afraid.