Summary: This sermon looks at three ways people make bad decisions - three wrong moves in a crisis - and four anchors during a crisis.
How To Be Confident in Crisis
The Bible teaches that there are three kinds of storms in life:
1. Storms that we bring on ourselves (as Samson and his self-induced troubles)
2. Storms that God causes (as Jesus stilling the storm on Lake Galilee)
3. Storms that other people cause (as Paul and Silas thrown into prison). When you’re the innocent party in a crisis – that last kind of storm is especially hard to take.
Storms don’t play favorites – Christians experience storms too. We all have problems. The Bible says:
“For man is born for trouble, As sparks fly upward.” Job 5:7 (NASB)
So how do we deal with these crises? How do you stay calm and maintain your confidence and courage in the midst of crisis? We are going to look at a story in Bible that deals with crisis. It is the story of Paul’s journey to Rome. He was a prisoner and he was being escorted to Rome. Part of the journey was by ship and on their journey they had come to the Island of Crete and to a harbor called “Fair Havens”. The season for sailing was past – the weather was changing – Paul gave his opinion on whether not they should continue their journey or stay there for awhile – that is when Paul said:
"Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives." But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was being said by Paul. Because the harbor was not suitable for wintering, the majority reached a decision to put out to sea from there…” Acts 27:10-12 (NASB)
Paul told the sailors, “Men, I don’t think it’s a good idea to sail right now. I think it’s very dangerous to sail – you could lose the cargo and we all could lose our lives.” But they decided to sail anyway. A bad decision was made. Why? I think there are three common reasons why people make bad decisions. It happens today – it happened 2000 years ago. People make bad decisions. Human nature has not changed!
Three Reasons People Make Bad Decisions
The first reason people make bad decisions is:
1. Bad Advice From EXPERTS
“But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was being said by Paul.”
The centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice given both by the pilot and the captain of the ship. The first reason we get ourselves into a mess is that we listen to the wrong experts.
Folks – there are a lot of crazy ideas out there in the world. It seems that everyone wants to give you advice. It takes a lot of wisdom to sort through all that “stuff”. But listen to what the Bible says:
“Hold tight to good advice; don't relax your grip. Guard it well--your life is at stake!” Proverbs 4:13 (Msg)
Good advice is Godly advice.
Consider the source of your advice.
The second reason people make bad decisions is:
2. Wrong Perception Of The CIRCUMSTANCES
Those who were with Paul looked at the circumstances:
“Because the harbor was not suitable for wintering…..” they did not consider it a good place to stay and –
“When a moderate south wind came up, supposing that they had attained their purpose, they weighed anchor and began sailing along Crete, close inshore.” Acts 27:13 (NASB)
Notice that it says there was a moderate south wind. Some translations say, “a gentle southerly breeze came up” (Msg). What could be better for a nice Mediterranean cruise? The sailors thought they had obtained what they wanted because the circumstances looked favorable.
Folks let me ask you, “How many of you live in Kansas? How many of you have seen the weather change in a flash?” It can be calm in the morning and a tornado in the afternoon. That’s Kansas. (Note: the church I preach at is in Kansas – this may be true to other parts of the country also.)
But it is crazy to ignore what God says, even if circumstances tend to contradict it. Things may look good right now, but you may be sailing right into a storm.
I’ve heard people say, “Well, this decision must be OK because I feel so good about it.” Let me ask you – “Don’t your feelings change?” Feelings can change faster than the weather.
If God says, “Wait in the harbor,” you’d better wait in the harbor – it should not matter what the circumstances say.
The third reason people make bad decisions is:
3. Follow The CROWD