STORMS DO COME IN LIFE
Having to deal with hurricanes and tornadoes has become a part of our life. We are getting pretty good about preparing for bad weather. The early warning systems that have been put in place have made it possible for us to prepare for or avoid many disastrous. What should you do when you find yourself in one of life’s storms? Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, had been arrested for preaching Jesus and His New Covenant. He was a Roman citizen so it became necessary for him to appeal to Caesar in order that his life might be spared. As a prisoner Paul was taken on dangerous voyage from Caesarea to Rome. It was a treacherous time to sail but Paul and certain other prisoners were put on a ship for Rome. Storms do come in life and Paul and those who were with him found themselves in a terrible tempest. What do you do when the storms come in life? Read Acts 27:13-44 and observe what Paul did.
Do not be deceived by the gentle breezes that blow in life. At times the gentle breeze does blow in life. (Acts 27:13) Often, when things are so easy people do not see a need for God. They fail to honor Him or to call upon Him. When the gentle breeze blows we get things backward. We begin to think and act like everything should revolve around us. When will we learn that life is not about us; it is about God.
The storms of life will come. The ship that Paul was on became caught up in a terrible storm. (Acts 27:14-15) The storm was named Euroclydon. So to call a storm by a name is not a new thing. The ship was in serious trouble in this storm.
Prepare for the storm. Those on the boat did their best to keep it under control. They also used helped to under gird the ship. (Acts 27:16-17) They lightened the ship by throwing overboard everything they could. They even threw the tackling of the ship into the sea. (Acts 27:18-19) They did everything they could do to deal with the storm.
The storms of life can be extremely difficult. For several days those on the ship could not see the sun or the stars. The storm kept raging and they gave up all hope of being saved. (Acts 27:20) They would have used the sun and stars to navigate. Now they are in a storm, but even worse they are lost in a storm. They had given up because they felt that they were without hope. Paul had not given up hope because he believed in God. He said, “I belong to God, and I worship him. Last night he sent an angel to tell me, “Paul, don’t be afraid! You will stand trial before the Emperor. And because of you, God will save the lives of everyone on the ship.” Cheer up! I am sure that God will do exactly what he promised.” On a boat of non-believers in a storm Paul spoke up for God.
Even in the storm be thankful to God. Paul thanked God even in the storm. “And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.” (Acts 27:35-38) Paul stood for Jesus as a light in a dark world. God gives us what we need in the midst of storms. God does not forsake or abandon us; but journeys on with us.
“When the storms of life are raging, stand by me (stand by me); when the storms of life are raging, stand by me (stand by me). When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea, thou who rulest wind and water, Stand by me (stand by me.) In the midst of tribulation, stand by me (stand by me); in the midst of tribulation, stand by me (stand by me). When the hosts of hell assail, and my strength begins to fail, thou who never lost a battle, stand by me (stand by me). When I’m growing old and feeble, stand by me (stand by me); when I’m growing old and feeble, stand by me (stand by me). When my life becomes a burden, and I’m nearing chilly Jordan, O thou “Lily of the Valley,” stand by me (stand by me).”
We need God as we face the storms of life. To become a Christian, you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), you must believe in Jesus (Mark 16:16), repent of every sin (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized to be saved (1 Peter 3:21). After baptism the challenge for every Christian is to remember that, “The LORD will never leave you or forsake you.”
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street,
Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA