Summary: 1. Reemphasize your relationship with the Lord (vs. 20-25). 2. Be persistent in your prayers (vs. 27-29). 3. Pursue God's plan for your life (vs. 30-32). 4. Make an effort to encourage other people (vs. 21-25; 33-38). 5. Rely on God's ability to rescue you (vs. 39-44).
Help for the Hard Storms of Life - Part 2
The Book of Acts - Part 90
(Initial reading vs. 20-29)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 12, 2015
*I've been in a few bad storms. In 1982, I was flying to Korea to help negotiate a contract for the Air Force. While we were out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 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, that 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 in life won't have anything to do with the weather. And someday, you will find yourself in a storm just as serious as Paul faced here. What are we supposed to do?
*As we looked into God's Word last time, we saw 3 strategies:
-Try to miss the storms.
-Try to manage the storms.
-And trust God to take us through the storms.
*Now as we finish this chapter, we can get more insight from God's Word. Here's what to do in the storms.
1. First: Reemphasize your relationship with the Lord.
*Who am I? How do we define ourselves? There are a lot of ways to answer that question. But if we are Christians, that is the most important thing about us. And it's got to be the central focus of our lives, especially when we are in the storms.
*That's why in vs. 20-25, Paul defined his life by his relationship to God:
20. Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
21. But 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." Paul emphasized and reemphasized his relationship with the Lord.
*And what a great definition of life for the believer! "I belong to God." "I serve God." "I believe God." Let that be the definition of your life, especially in the storms.
2. When you are in the storms, reemphasize your relationship with the Lord. Also be persistent in your prayers.
*We should never give up on God! Things seemed to go from bad to worse in vs. 27-29. It was a long, dark time, but the believers prayed through.
*Luke tells us:
27. But 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. George Mueller certainly did. Born in 1805, George Mueller was one of the greatest prayer warriors of all time. He kept an amazing prayer journal over his long life that recorded 50,000 answers to prayer!
*Dr. A. T. Pierson talked with George Mueller shortly before he died in 1898. Dr. Pierson asked George if any of his prayers had not been answered. George replied that for 62 years he had prayed for two men who were still not saved.
*Pierson asked: "Do you expect God to convert them?" George replied, "Certainly. Do you suppose that God would put upon His child for 62 years the burden of two souls if He had not purpose of their salvation? I shall certainly meet them in Heaven."
*After George Mueller died, Dr. Pierson was preaching in Bristol, England, and he told about that conversation. After church was over, a lady came up to Dr. Pierson and said, "One of those men was my uncle. He was saved before he died a few weeks ago." The other man lived in Dublin, and he was also won to the Lord. (1)