Summary: A promise for those going through the storm! Praise God.... He is alive and He is good!
Good News in the Midst of the Storm
And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.
I was reminded, afresh, this week of the fact that God’s word is a LIVING WORD.
Not that I fail to believe or recognize that... but sometimes God causes things to happen that reinforce our beliefs.
This week was one of those times.
I visited William Andrews in the hospital where he is perhaps living his last hours.
I visited in the hospital with Mordecai Andrews and watched him gasping for air after walking about 15 steps.
I stood in the hall of the hospital and listened to a woman tell me about her splintering family where her daughter has refused to speak to her for four years just because the grandmother helped the grand daughter by taking her in after a divorce.
Then I go back to my office and read this in God’s word... And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.
I put down the book and shook my head in wonder... blown away by the living word of God.
I had spent that day ministering to individuals and families that are going through trials, problems, and hard times.... STORMS OF LIFE!!!!!!!
And what does God send to me? A promise for those going through the storm! Praise God.... He is alive and He is good!
Let me give you some background on this passage. Paul was arrested on trumped up charges of desecrating the temple by bringing in gentiles. Much like the case of Jesus, Paul was passed from one Roman official to another in order to render a judgment. In this verse, Paul is in route to stand trial before Caesar. He is being transported by sea. The journey becomes very difficult due to bad weather, contrary winds and the arrival of winter. In an Ill-advised move, the centurion in charge of Paul and the other prisoners decides to make it all the way. The ill-fated cruise is beset by a winter storm and all looks lost. The crew throws everything overboard in an attempt to lighten the ship and make better headway. They have no food for 11 days... the storm blocks the sun, moon and stars making navigation impossible, and all hope is lost. Then Paul, by the word of God, tells them all that His God has promised that he will protect them, not one life will be lost, but the boat will be destroyed. It all comes true just as Paul had said.
From Paul’s experience in the storm.... I want us to learn some lessons.
1. GOD SENDS SOME STORMS AND ALLOWS OTHER STORMS IN OUR LIFE.
I wish that were not true.
I wish all of life could be smooth and trouble free... but IT AIN”T SO!
Life is full of troubles like
Medical storms sickness, disease, accidents, birth defects
relational storms divorce, abuse, wars, financial reversals, emotional storms depression, loneliness,
financial storms unemployment, bankruptcy,
Paul did not say... Relax, God will take away the storm, calm the seas, and cause the winds to be with us.
He said, “Fellows, I’ve got good news and bad news, which do you want first?” They obviously said, “Give us the bad news first.” So Paul said, there is going to be a terrible storm. In fact, it is going to get worse.”
Did God send the storm? Or did he allow it? Is there a difference?
Not really. When you are standing up to your ears in the storm waters and about to drown it does not matter where the storm comes from.
But NOTE: Some storms He allows... they are the result of sin. He does not cause sin so he does not cause the storm.
You choose to drink and drive... you have a wreck and your child is nearly killed. As you stand in the ER Did God send the storm or allow it. He allowed you to make your own decision... you caused the storm!
At other times God steps into the situation and CAUSES a storm to come into your life. He sends the pain and suffering.
But in one sense it does not matter whether he sent or allowed it... as for God they both have the same design.... He is going to use it for good.
As long as we have free will and can choose to do wrong... there will be storms in life.... IN THIS WORLD!
When we get to heaven there will be no storms. Why? God won’t need to send them and we won’t make the bad decisions that bring them. He won’t have to work it for good. THERE WON”T BE ANY.