Summary: successfully standing in a storm is the ability to realize that God has everything under control. (1)Keep your eyes on god (2) Refuse to blame God (3)Focus on the eternal.
Shipwrecked but not destroyed
We listen to what happen to Paul and all of us at one time in our lives understand what he went through. Some may be sitting here right now , and they are saying to themselves- pastor, you don’t get it, I’m floating on a plank right now as you speak.
Maybe your here:
you punch your time card in the morning, and it is a battle until you go home.
Someone you love has died, and the house is empty.
Parents, waiting late at night for their kids to come home, fearing that they are doing something they should not be doing.
Everyone faces storms:
Some are physical, like earthquakes, floods, tornadoes.
Some are personal: death, family, set backs.
Unfortunately they are a part of everyday life.
The question is not if the storms will come, the right question is how you handle them when they come.
Let me set this up:
Paul is imprisoned and is on his way to Rome to stand trial with Caesar.
Has centurion guard Julius watching every move. They bounce around on a couple of corn ships sailing for Italy.
Paul warns them that the weather will be a factor as they are sailing close to the winter months.
They hit a Noreaster and the ship is getting the beating of their life. (Weatherman thinks they invented the Noreaster)
They threw their cargo off.
they threw the tackle overboard.
27:20 “when neither sun or stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.”
Anybody know what I’m talking about?
Paul was walking with God- “stuff” happens. He was facing a storm of life.
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to go on in spite of it. Wednesday night Bible study, great time, go into my office afterwards and find on my cell phone that our daughter is on her way to the hospital with fluid on her heart. She is 31 years old, that shouldn’t be.
Noreaster’s blow in, they blow in on everybody at different times. If I was to ask you , a lot would be able to share their Noreaster’s. 14 days the storm raged, Paul did what he knew to do. The crew panicked, he put his trust in the Lord. The Bible is full of examples of people not panicking. Goliath was David’s Noreaster, the lions were Daniels Noreaster. Job had several Noreaster’s.
Noreaster’s are the situations that we have to trust our God because we have done all that we know to do and the battle is still raging. Paul by losing sight of the sun and the stars, could no longer navigate. He lost all direction. They did not have GPS systems then.
Jesus says John 16:33
“In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
God is our refuse and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(V30)- “In a attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors left the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. Then Paul said to the centurion and the sailors, unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved. So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away.”
You get that
Sometimes those that are in charge, the ones who we put our trust in, let us down. They bail out. They think only of themselves.
Jesus is looking for a few good believers to let people know that, stuff will only take you so far. Bailing out in the midst of a storm without the hand of God being with you is more dangerous than the storm itself. Unless you stay with the ship, as beat up as it might get, bow stuck in the sandbar and destroyed. The stern was broken and destroyed by the surf. But in the middle where they were, just like the Angel of the Lord said to Paul: not one life will be lost. If they stay with the ship.
The swimmers swam and those hurt in battle floated, but they all got out alive
The world is putting their anchor in stuff.
The Christians put theirs in Jesus
A widow may face a empty bed, but Jesus will fill the house if you let Him.
Paul is a man of God. He understood that nothing happens to him unless it first goes past the desk of Jesus Christ. His confidence is strong in the anchor of his soul.
I serve a risen Savior
He’s in the world today
I know that he is living
whatever man may say
I see the hand of mercy