Overcoming the Storms of Life
Storms don’t last long, but they are very real. When we look at Scripture, we see that every storm in the Bible came to an end.
Now, there were three notable people in Scripture who went through a storm: Jonah, Jesus, and Paul. They each overcame it differently. Jonah threw himself overboard, and the storm stopped; Jesus spoke to the storm, and it ceased; And, Paul survived the storm by swimming to the shore. The one I want to emphasis on is Paul.
Going Through the Storms
When we look back to the story of Paul, we see that it was during the night, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him to not be afraid.
And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told meActs 27:22-25
Paul reminds these men of God’s promise to him–that no life would be lost. As you continue reading the story, you’ll see that God saved everyone but the ship. The ship was destroyed in the process of the storm.
It’s important to remember that when we lose our “ship,” God will still provide for us. The ship may represent our jobs or other blessings in life that allow us to feel safe or afloat. While that is important security is important, we must also remember that God is our source, and the blessings are simply a resource that He uses. God is the source of happiness, love, peace, and joy, and at times He’ll introduce happiness, love, or joy in the form or a new job, a friend, or a gift.
But when we lose our jobs, we don’t lose our God. He will always be there for us–just as it happened with everyone on that ship. When they lost their source of stability, God sent the natives to come along and provide for them. In the same way, during difficult seasons God’s provision, comfort, and help might come from the most unlikely sources. Keep in mind that during the storms of life, God’s provision is not seen in God necessarily providing in abundance, but in Him supplying for our necessities.
Affects of the Storm
While Paul and the people on the ship were going through a very hard time, the people on the island were unaffected by this storm. The natives, as Luke calls them, showed unusual kindness to those who were affected by the storm.
And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold.Acts 28:2
This is such a good example for us. If you know of someone who is going through a particularly difficult time, it’s a good time to show unusual kindness to those who have lost their jobs or are in emotionally difficult situations. It’s time to start lending a helping hand to those in need—just as the natives did.
Another thing to note in this passage is that very quickly things changed for Paul and and the prisoners–they had to swim where they used to sail. That might apply to us as well. Perhaps it is time to change environments, jobs, or even relationships. Don’t lose hope. Just because one door closed does not mean you should quick. Keep knocking, keep pursuing God. Don’t lose hope in Him.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11
We will need to swim where we used to sail.
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