Storms are a part of everyone’s life. Storms very in size, power, and location, but no matter what, they all form some type of discomfort. Whether you have to stay inside because of the rain or your property is damaged in a hurricane, storms always find a way to inconvenience us at some level.
The same is true in our spiritual life! From time to time we find ourselves in a spiritual storm. While physical storms often provide some discomfort, spiritual storms are often far worse! These spiritual storms can be minor by way of some discouragement but they can also be as severe as the death of a loved one!
In Acts 27, we find Paul being transported to Italy with other prisoners via ship.
“And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band.” – Acts 27:1
After they leave port, the Bible says that they will be traveling through a great storm. So, what do we do in these storms? Or more importantly, what do we not do?
“(9) Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,
(10) And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.
(11) Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.” – Acts 27:9-11
God puts preachers in our life to help us! Here, God gave Paul the wisdom needed to warn the centurions about the storm and the damage that would be done, but the centurion chose to believe the master of the ship (because of his experience) instead of Paul!
“(13) And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.
(14) But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.
(15) And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.” – Acts 27:13-15
Throughout the Bible, the wind is symbolic for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit tries to blow us in the right direction, but we often fight it! They initially fought the wind because it wasn’t going the direction that they wanted it to go, but once they realized that the wind was too strong, they “let her drive.” Storms are much easier to handle when you don’t try to fight the Holy Spirit along the way!
“Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.” – Acts 27:31
We need to remember that God puts us through these storms to strengthen our faith and walk with him. We don’t need to get scared and jump ship! We need to trust God and stay in the ship and see where the wind takes us! There is safety in the ship! Just hang in there, the end is near! (4th watch of the night)
“And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.” – Acts 27:37
No matter the situation… Paul was still concerned about souls! While the rest of the boat was concerned with their physical lives and the things of this world, Paul had his eyes set on winning souls! Soul-winning is crucial to Christians but its easy to neglect soul-winning opportunities when we are distracted by the things of this world!
Conclusion: No one likes it when a spiritual storm comes into our life, but if you handle them properly, you will make it through just fine. We need to remember that these storms are here to make us better, to strengthen our faith, and get us closer to God.