Navigating Storms In Our Lives

We don’t like the storms in our lives but we will all face them. Confronted with a storm, the Apostle Paul had to choose between trusting God or suffering the consequences.

But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. Acts 27:22

It seems at times that storms come out of nowhere. Sometimes we don’t even notice the sky darkening. Then before long, sounds of pelting rain are only interrupted by crashing thunder.

Paul and several other prisoners were taken onboard a ship to make their way to Rome. It wasn’t the best time of the year to travel by sea. Then to make it worse headwinds slowed them down.

We had lost a lot of time. The weather was becoming dangerous for sea travel because it was so late in the fall, and Paul spoke to the ship’s officers about it. Acts 27:9

The apostle voiced concerns about running into some trouble if they continued. He mentioned a possible shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to their lives. But no one wanted to listen to him.

But the officer in charge of the prisoners listened more to the ship’s captain and the owner than to Paul.  Acts 27:11

The men from the ship wanted to winter at a certain port. So they chose a day when a light wind began blowing from the south, thinking they could make it.

So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. But the weather changed abruptly. And a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. Acts 27″13-14

Some of the Storms in Lives are Unmanageable

Storms in our lives

They couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they had to just let it go. Afraid of being driven across some sand bars they decided to drop the anchor to slow the ship down.

This turned out to be one of those storms changed their lives. Some of them on that ship may have thought it was a life-ending storm. Because there seemed to be no end in sight.

The next day, as gale-force winds continued to batter the ship, the crew began throwing the cargo overboard. The following day they even took some of the ship’s gear and threw it overboard. Acts 27:18-19

As far as we know, Paul’s resume never included working as a fisherman or a sailor. Yet during this journey, he spoke with great authority. Amid the storm, he called a group meeting.

Paul called the crew together. And he said, “Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Crete. You would have avoided all this damage and loss.  Acts 27:21

Then he uttered the first three words in our verse for today, “But take courage.” At that point, he revealed why he could speak with such authority.

For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me. And he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ Acts 27:22-24

After he shared this information with everyone on board, he again stressed courage.

So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.” Acts 27:25-26

Storms of Life

The Fourteenth Night of a Raging Storm

On the fourteenth night of the storm, the crew sensed they were getting close to shore. They were concerned that the ship might smash into some rocks.

The next morning after their ship got stuck in a sand bar, they were all able to leave it to get to shore.

(The commanding officer) ordered all who could swim to jump overboard first and make for land. The others held on to planks or debris from the broken ship. Acts 27:43-44

Throughout our lives, we’ll will face storms. Storms are destructive, some worse than others. Not all storms are weather related but can be just as devastating.

While I was writing this article I received a phone call. The person on the other end made a statement and I responded by saying, I guess you are in the same boat as so and so.

Looking at today’s chapter in Acts we can make the following observation. You matter to God regardless of the boat you find yourself in. Look what they lost during this storm.

  • Then the sailors bound ropes around the hull of the ship to strengthen it. (To no avail.) vs. 17
  • The crew began throwing the cargo overboard. vs.18
  • They even took some of the ship’s gear and threw it overboard. vs. 19
  • Soldiers cut the ropes to the lifeboat and let it drift away. vs. 32
  • They cut off the anchors and left them in the sea. vs. 40

Verse 44 tells us what was saved. “So everyone escaped safely to shore.” As much as we love things, such as the boats we find ourselves in, God loves us!

Where do the Storms In Our Lives Come From?

In Paul’s case, he faced a literal northeaster. How about the storms that arise in our lives? Where do they come from?

Sometimes we walk ourselves right into one. Other times they are a product of the spiritual warfare brought on by the enemy of our souls.

We don’t need to fear the storms in our lives no matter what they look like or where they’ve come from.

Sometimes the Lord will use the boat we are in to take us to safety. Other times He’ll stretch forth His hand and ask us to take it and step out of the boat.

Take Courage and Trust God

Just like Paul said, we too can take courage and trust God. Remember through every one of the storms we face in our lives, our security is always Jesus.

And just like Paul, some of the storms in your life may break your boat to pieces. So if you are having trouble swimming to shore, use part of the wrecked boat to float to safety.

Lord, sometimes during the storms in our lives you supply the boat, while other times they break up. No matter what the case help us to take courage and always keep our eyes on you.

Check out these related posts on the storms of life.

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