When the Storms Come

“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.” Acts 27:10

As we read through Chapter 27, I cannot help but think that the Apostle Paul knew something about sailing on the seas and the potential for storms and shipwrecks.

In 2 Corinthians 11:25, Paul writes, “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.”

Paul had to have been one of the more traveled human beings on the planet by the end of his life.

Despite Paul’s warning, the ship sets sail and then runs dead into a severe storm and all those aboard are indeed shipwrecked.

The interesting thing is how God uses the situation to get Paul to where God wants him to go – to the island of Malta.

Paul wants to go to Rome, yet God still has a plan for Paul along the way.

I am mindful that many times on our journey we can see the big picture and yet miss out on the harbors and rest places that God stages along the way.

Other times, God uses storms to get our attention. Storms are a way of life.

I was reading Courson’s New Testament Commentary and was reminded how God uses storms for correction and direction.

Sometimes we face storms for correction, a great example is the story of Jonah.

After being called by God to minster to the people of Ninevah – Israel’s dreaded enemy, Jonah flees in the opposite direction.

God uses a storm and a whale to deliver a message to Jonah and Jonah half-heartedly complies by going to Ninevah to speak to the people.

Sometimes storms come from nowhere, even after a season of blessing.

After preaching a sermon and adding 5,000 to the kingdom, a storm of persecution begins for the followers of Jesus. Scattered across the countryside, the disciples carry the gospel with them, creating and expanding the church.

These type of storms help prune us – help us to mature and grow spiritually.

Here in our text, God uses a storm for direction.  Storms of direction help us to get to where God wants us to go. Paul is heading to Rome but God wants Paul to minister in Malta along the way.

How many times have we been in a situation we did not understand, a time of uncertainty that God used to get us to a specific place at a specific time?

It is only after looking back on it that we see God’s hand, He was there all along.

We may not always understand what God is doing in the midst of the storm, but when the storms come, we need to hold on to our life raft – our hope in His promises and the knowledge that God is in control.

Until next time… Keep reading!

Jim

 

 

 

Easter Devotional – March 3

Matthew 8:23-27

23 When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. 25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” 26 He *said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. 27 The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

You’re in a boat and Antelope Valley-like winds kick up. Instead of tumbleweeds blowing across the freeway, waves are crashing over the boat. How can Jesus be sleeping?! He wakes up and makes it clear that He’s disappointed in their lack of faith. Then He commands the wind and the sea to stop. Seriously? Who is this guy that thinks just His words could rescue them from their dire situation? Then, the storm is just gone. The question quickly turns from “Who does He think He is?” to “Who is this man?”

Do you ever feel like you need to wake Jesus up to rescue you? Do you have the faith to believe that He’s got the wind and the sea under control?

Prayer: Lord of the wind and the sea, strengthen my faith…help me to follow You whatever the circumstances, wherever You lead.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)