The way to respond to difficulty is to confess my part, confront it and then claim a promise.
There are over 7000 promises in the Bible that you can claim when you’re going through tough times. Acts 27.25 (NIV), “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in GOD that it will happen just as HE told me.” This is the Apostle Paul as a prisoner talking while on a ship in a terrible storm.
GOD will keep His promises. GOD did not say the ship will make it. GOD said you will make it. HE even said the ship will crack up and fall apart.
Some of you are going through a storm right now. Your ship may not make it. You may lose the house. You may lose the car. You may lose the career. GOD has never promised to keep all of your comfortables around you. HE did say, “You will make it.”
Acts 27.41 (NIV), “But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf. Now the soldiers’ planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land in safety.”
GOD said the ship isn’t going to make it but you are. And it began to break up in little pieces. Some of you are in a storm right now. You’re going to have to get to shore on a broken piece. You may have to dog paddle. But you’re going to make it. You may have to get there on a broken piece of the ship, but you’re going to make it. None of us have completely whole lives. We are all broken individuals. But you’ll get to shore on a broken piece. You may have a broken heart but you’ll make it. You may have a broken home, but you’ll make it. GOD says, “I will be with you.”
Is there a storm threatening your ship of state? Do you feel battered and bashed around? Do you feel like that little ship in the Mediterranean and haven’t seen daylight for 14 days? And you feel like you’re going to pieces, going to crack up, fall apart? You don’t know what to do.
What do you do? You don’t give up. You don’t become anxious and afraid. You don’t allow yourself to drift and give up on your dreams, your ambition and drift through life. You don’t discard and throw away those valuables and values and relationships that you know are important. You don’t throw away your convictions, your relationship to GOD, going to church and being in a small group, meeting with GOD on a daily basis to read your Bible. You don’t drift, you don’t discard and you don’t despair. You don’t give up hope.
The interesting thing about this story is that everything was falling apart in this storm except Paul. Why wasn’t Paul falling apart? Because his confidence was in GOD, not in the ship.
You're going through some storms. If I brought the storm on my own life, I should repent – change. I admit it and ask GOD to help me change. If Satan brought this problem in my life, I need to resist it – do a little spiritual warfare and resist what he’s trying to do to me. If GOD brought this problem in my life, I need to just relax. In fact, I need to relax regardless of what the source is and trust GOD. Ask GOD, “What do you want me to learn from this situation?” Put my confidence in HIM.
Just a thought from the front porch...