Summary: This sermon deal with what we need to do in order to find the help we need in the storms of life and how we can honor and glorify God in the process.
HOW TO WEATHER THE STORMS OF LIFE
(Adapted from a sermon written by Ron Ritchie titled the same)
Anthony Perry Jr.
Acts 27: 13-26
Pastor Ron Ritchie once talked about a friend of his named Jack who called him one night many years ago. He sensed immediately that his heart was heavy with grief. A few months prior his wife Cindy had become pregnant for the first time after years of waiting on the Lord to start a family. Jack was calling to say that they had just been told by the doctors that their baby would have extreme and serious birth defects.
After genetic testing the doctors discovered a problem with the baby’s chromosomes. The child would be severely mentally handicapped and was not expected to live very long after birth. Jack asked Pastor Ritchie and the church to pray for them during their difficult time. They were feeling the effects of the winds of the world advising them to have an abortion and avoid the stress and strain that came from caring for a handicapped child.
During his conversation Jack never once mentioned his own personal storm. One year previously he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This Christian couple was facing a severe storm. They needed to be held up in prayer and supported so they could trust God and find the strength they needed to weather the storm. One of the greatest witnesses of God’s care and love comes when others see how God carries us through the difficult times.
All of us are familiar with natural weather storms. They can be unpredictable and dangerous. Violent weather can bring random death and destruction. Weather storms have always been a symbol of the personal and intense emotional and physical storms that blow in the hearts people. Today, even if you are not in the midst of some physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, business, family, or marriage storm, we all know of someone who has, or who is facing such a tempest.
This is the subject I want to address this morning. How can we weather the storms of life clinging to our Lord in such a way that others can see the goodness and mercy of the God who carries His people? The apostle Paul and his companions are good examples for us this morning
They are on board an Egyptian grain ship bound for Italy. Their passage has been paid by the government of Rome. The apostle was a prisoner of the Roman Empire for allegedly starting a riot in the temple area in Jerusalem. After being secretly moved to Caesarea he was accused by the High Priest before the Roman Governor Felix.
Many years after his arrest arrangements were made to ship him some 2 000 miles away to Rome.
This wasn’t a two-week cruise on a Caribbean Princess liner where people eat and dance and bask in the sun. This was a six-month voyage. Our storyteller Luke makes sure that we do not miss any of the details
As you hear the account you sense the storm clouds building and the winds becoming stronger and more violent and dangerous. Luke says the winds were contrary, the wind did not permit us to go farther, it was difficulty sailing, there was a moderate south wind, it became a violent wind, and that became a violent storm that tossed them about and neither sun, nor stars appeared for many days. He says it was no small storm assailing them and as they were being driven they hit a reef and their ship broke up.
How can we weather the storms of life when our lives seem to be breaking up on the reefs of life? First we discover that we must
I. Realize God’s Purposes Behind the Storms
This was not the apostle’s first voyage and it wasn’t his first shipwreck on the Mediterranean Sea. He had been in three wrecks already. Paul understood the seas and their weather patterns. He knew that because of the time of year that dangerous weather was imminent. This prisoner of Jesus Christ felt compelled to sound a warning to those in charge of the voyage.
However the Roman centurion Julius who had the last word was more persuaded by the pilot, the captain, and the majority vote of the crew. So they went on their merry way.
Their merry way ended them up in a place where Luke says all hope of making it through the voyage was lost.
We find the spiritual principles behind these events in Psalm 107.
Those who go down to the sea ships
Who do business on great waters;
They have seen the works of the Lord
And His wonders in the deep
For He speaks and raises up a stormy wind
Which lifts up the waves of the sea