Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #41

Acts 27:23

“Last night God’s angel stood at my side, an angel of this God I serve…,”

 

STRONG IN A CRISIS. (Part One)

 

A funny thing happened in Darlington, Maryland, several years ago. Edith, a mother of eight, was coming home from a neighbour’s house one Saturday afternoon. Things seemed too quiet as she walked across her front yard. Curious, she peered through the screen door and saw five of her youngest children huddled together, concentrating on something. As she crept closer to them, trying to discover the center of attention, she could not believe her eyes. Smack dab in the middle of the circle were five baby skunks. Edith screamed at the top of her voice, “Quick, children…run!” to which each kid grabbed a skunk and ran.

I am well aware that crisis’s vary in intensity and severity. You decide where this one ranks.

This morning we will begin a three-part devotion on the keys to remaining strong in a crisis. (I thought this might be appropriate because of the crisis the world is in right now with COVID 19.)

A bit of background to the scripture quoted above from Acts 27. The scripture passage  puts us on a prisoner ship. This ship is heading for Rome, Italy. One of the prisoners is a man by the name of Paul.

Paul had appealed the charges against him and was now on his way to the highest court to stand before Caesar. On the way, however, the ship encounters a storm of hurricane force, so much so that they loose their bearings and are afraid of sinking. No doubt about this being a crisis of epic proportions.

The amazing part of this story is Paul’s reaction. It is a 180-degree turnabout from the way the sailors responded to the crisis. The sailors are in despair; they say things are hopeless. They are discouraged and depressed, and have tossed everything overboard.

But contrast that with Paul. He is calm and confident. Nothing seems to be fazing him. The sailors’ reactions were the natural responses that we tend to have in a crisis. Paul however, was not acting naturally, and neither should we as Christians when ever a crisis hits.

One of the big tests of our Christianity is how we handle a crisis. This is when you can determine whether your faith is authentic or not. Anybody can be a Christian when things are going great, when all your prayers are being answered, when you’re in good health, and when your income is rising. The test of our faith is when the problems rise up. When we are faced with a crisis. Character is REVEALED in a crisis, not MADE in a crisis.”

Because our story involves a ship at sea this morning, lets talk about some spiritual anchors that God has given us so that we can ride out the storms of life in peace and purpose.

ANCHOR #1 – GODS PRESENCE.

In the midst of the storm Paul says Acts 27:23  “Last night God’s angel stood at my side, an angel of this God I serve…,”

            The foundational truth is that the storms of life can never hide our faces from God. We may not see God in the crisis, but we can be assured that He sees us. We can also be assured that His presence will never leave us.

            God sent an angel to Paul in the middle of the storm. When everyone else was frantic with fear and trying to survive in their own strength and wisdom, God came down and comforted Paul with His presence.

            In this time of great and unprecedented “fear” of COVID 19, how are you doing? As Christians we can be assured that despite how the world reacts, we can know that we have the presence of God with us, all the time. Heb 13:5 “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. “NKJV

            Tomorrow, the 2nd  anchor will be dropped in this storm we call life.