Summary: Most of the worst storms we’ll face won’t have anything to do with the weather. But someday, you will find yourself in a storm just as serious as Paul faced here.
Help for the Hard Storms of Life - Part 2
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - June 4, 2008
*I’ve been in a few bad storms. In 1982 I was flying to Korea to help negotiate a contract for the Air Force, and while we were out in the middle of the Pacific, we went through a terrible storm. I looked out the window and the wings of that 747 were flapping like a bird. It was so rough, the stewardess had to sit down in the aisle. And let me tell you, she was scared. My rule of thumb on an airplane is this: If the stewardess is happy, you’re fine. -- But if your stewardess is scared, you’ve got a problem.
*Storms. Most of the worst storms we’ll face won’t have anything to do with the weather. But someday, you will find yourself in a storm just as serious as Paul faced here.
*What are we to do? As we started looking into the Word of God last time, we saw three strategies:
1-Attempt to avoid every storm you can.
2-Then strive to survive the storms you can’t avoid.
3-And trust God to take you through the storm.
*Now as we finish this chapter tonight, we can get more insight from God’s Word. Here’s what to do in the storm
1. First, keep defining your life by your connection with God.
*Who am I? How do you define yourself? There are a lot of ways to answer that question. But if you are a believer, this is the most important thing about you. And being a believer has got to be the central focus of your life, especially in the storm. In vs. 21-25 Paul defined his life by his relationship to God.
21. After long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, "Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss.
22. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
23. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve,
24. saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’
25. Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.
*Here Paul defined himself with 3 simple statements. In vs. 23 he said, “I belong to God,” and “I serve God.” Then in vs. 25 Paul said, “I believe God.”
*What a great definition of life for the believer! “I belong to God. I serve God. I believe God.” Let that be your definition -- especially in the storm.
2. Keep defining your life by your connection with God. -- And keep praying through your darkest night.
*Never give up on God! Things seemed to go from bad to worse in vs. 27-29. It was a long, dark night, but the believers prayed through. Luke tells us:
27. When the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors sensed that they were drawing near some land.
28. And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms.
29. Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come.
*They kept on praying and so should we. Yesterday I got a thank you card from Maxim Ammosov, the man from Jews for Jesus who showed us “Christ in the Passover” last March. That card from Jews for Jesus reminded me of the day six years ago when Katie and I pulled into Wal-Mart and saw the Jews for Jesus bus. I used to get their newsletter, so I knew about these Christian Jews and how they put on musical programs to raise awareness and support for reaching more Jews with the Gospel. The tour group had sung at the Senior Citizens Center that day. And they stopped at Wal-Mart on their way to Shreveport.
*Katie about died when I went over to the bus and knocked on the door. But I thought it would be a blessing to meet these people, and it was. We had a great visit with Rivka -- a beautiful young lady from Israel. I asked her how she got saved. She told me it was through the prayers and witness of other Jewish Christians. Rivka came to see that Jesus is the Messiah of the Jews. And she said something very important: “If you are praying for someone -- Don’t give up! That man prayed for me for two years before I got saved.”