Storms are a part of our life. They can be anything from a simple hail storm to a devastating tornado that brings a community to its knees. Storms vary in size, power, and location, but no matter the storm, they all provide some level of discomfort. The same is true in our spiritual life!
From time to time we find ourselves in a spiritual storm. These spiritual storms could be the death of a loved one, stresses in a marriage, financial pressures, and more! While physical storms provide some discomfort, spiritual storms are often far worse! So, what do we do in these storms? Or more importantly, what do we not do?
In Acts 27, we find Paul, being held as a prisoner, preparing to be transported to Italy. During this time, the most efficient way for them to travel to Italy was taking a ship across the Mediterranean Sea… but this wouldn’t be their typical day on the water… a storm was coming!
“(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
We need to realize that God gives us a Pastor and preachers to help us during spiritual storms. When our house is on fire, we call a firefighter to put out the fire. When we see a crime being committed, we call the police to handle the crime. But too often, when we are in a spiritual storm, we try to handle it on our own. Be sure to use your Pastor!
The problems we face are a result of our sin and the choices that we make. God created Adam and Eve in a perfect world without only one rule… and they still found a way to sin against God! God’s plan was for them to have a relationship with him and live a perfect life… but sin ruined that, not God.
“(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
Wind represents the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Often times, the Holy Spirit tries to blow us in the right direction, but we fight it with our own plans. Too many Christians spend their whole adult lives fighting against the wind, when it would be much easier to let the wind show them where to go.
“(17) Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.
(18) And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;
(19) And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.“ – Acts 27:17-19
Spiritual storms can often cloud our judgement and make it more difficult to proper make decisions. Instead of trying to fix the problem, we tend to try and fix all of the symptoms of the problem. Want to fix your marriage? Look unto Jesus! Want help raising your kids? Look unto Jesus! Need help with temptation? Look unto Jesus! Don’t waste your time trying to fix every small area of your life… restore your relationship with God and most of your problems will fix themselves. Keep the main thing the main thing!
“(21) But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
(22) And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.
(23) For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,“ – Acts 27:21-23
It’s time to realize that God is in control! It’s easy to get discouraged during spiritual storms, but with God in control, what do we have to worry about? God will let storms come into your life, but he will also put limits on that storm. God allowed the storm to do great damage to the ship… but no the people! The same thing with the story of Job… God allowed the devil to attack everything around Job, but he wasn’t allowed to touch Job’s life! Praise God that he limits the storms in our life!
“Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.” – Acts 27:31
Too often, we get scared and jump ship right before the storm is over… but we need to realize something. Safety is only guaranteed for those that stay 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
Despite all that Paul just went through… he was still concerned about souls! He didn’t say 276 people. He said 276 souls! It’s so easy to stop soul-winning when storms hit our life. We focus on ourselves and forget about the lost world around us. Be sure to have a soul-winning mentality on the mountains and in the valleys!
You are either in a storm, just got out of a storm, or getting ready to go through a storm. Storms are just a part of life! When the next spiritual storm comes, be sure to remember these 7 things not to do in a storm!
Husband, Father of two beautiful girls, Assistant Pastor at Hillcrest Bible Baptist Church in Arkansas City, KS, Founder of Baptist Manna