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Summary: Someday you will find yourself in a storm just as serious as Paul faced here, but we can look into the Word of God and see what to do.

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Help for the Hard Storms of Life - Part 1

Acts 27:4-26

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - May 14, 2008

*Storms: A loved one lets you down in a devastating way, the drunk driver swerves at you, your great job gets cut, the test results come back bad for you or someone you love. Someday you will find yourself in a storm just as serious as Paul faced here, but we can look into the Word of God and see what to do.

1. First: Attempt to avoid every storm you can.

*A lot of storms in life can be avoided, and this was one of those storms. The men in charge of this ship made some big mistakes, and that’s what put them in this awful storm. But we can learn from their mistakes.

1-Learn to be wise about leaving. The sailors’ first big mistake had to do with leaving. We see this in vs. 9-14:

9. Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them,

10. saying, "Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.’’

11. Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.

12. And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.

13. When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete.

14. But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon.

*There is a time to leave and a time to stay. These men left when they should have stayed. And many people are facing storms today, because they made a mistake about leaving. This is true of husbands and wives, of people who left school, and people who left jobs. It’s also sometimes true about people who leave their church. Don’t ever change churches unless you are sure that the Lord is leading you to do it.

2-Be wise about leaving. Also be wise about listening.

*Why do people make mistakes about leaving? Often it’s because they make mistakes about listening. That’s what happened here. In vs. 9&10, Paul tried to warn them that it was a mistake to leave. Paul told them, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.”

*Of course Paul was right, but in vs. 11, the centurion listened to the wrong people. You’ve got to be careful who you listen to. In vs. 11 we see that experts can be wrong, and in vs. 12 we see that the crowd can be wrong too. You’ve got to be careful who you listen to.

3-Be wise about listening. Also be wise about looks.

*The sailors’ third mistake was about how things looked. We see this in vs. 12&13, where Luke said, “Because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there. When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete.”

*Appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes the devil tries to make the grass look greener on the other side of the hill, so, in vs. 12, that little harbor didn’t look good enough, and in vs. 13, the weather looked too good. They did not see what was right around the corner, so they sailed out of that harbor -- right into harm’s way, right into a storm that could have been missed.

*The Titanic did the same thing on her maiden voyage in April of 1912. It was a classic case of a tragedy that could have been avoided. The ship was originally designed to carry 60 lifeboats, but they were so sure it couldn’t sink, they cut that number to 40, then 32 and finally to only 20 lifeboats. Then they sailed full-speed into an area known to have ice. The Ship California tried to warn them, but the Titanic cut-off their message, because it interfered with regular communication from Newfoundland. After they hit the iceberg, many of the life boats pulled away only half full. But the biggest error was their attitude, “Not even God could sink this ship!” Of the 2,200 people on board only 700 survived. One thousand five hundred people died -- and it all could have been avoided. (1)

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