There are two passages I want us to look at. The crossing of the sea of Galilee by Jesus and his disciples and the the voyage of Paul to Rome with over 276 people. First, we will look at the voyage of Paul to Rome. Turn your Bible in Acts chapter 27.
When the storms of life hit, that's when you will discover the level of your spiritual maturity. You will never know how strong your faith is until you go through a period of trials. What is a storm of life? A storm of life is (1) anything that threatens our safety. (2) Can be a situation that could endanger our lives. (3) Storms of life could be an adversity, it could be a natural disaster, a tragedy or a terminal illness, etc.
In this world, we will go through storms of life. how we react in the storm is important. In the passage that we read, we saw how Paul responded in the storm. What made Paul so hopeful and peaceful a midst the raging waters at sea? When all hope for survival is gone, what kept Paul so peaceful and hopeful?
1. Use Discernment Wisely
There are two voices here? Which one is right? Who has the best discernment of the situation? Sometimes disaster or problem can be avoided if we practice the power of discernment. In this story, if only the centurion had obeyed Paul's discernment of the situation, they could have avoided the storms. Many young people today are in so much trouble because they had not listened to the advice of their parents. Many people today faces consequences of their own choices simply because they had not God's command.
(1) Before they hit the storm, Paul knew the problem it's dangerous to continue the voyage (v10).
(2) After Paul assured the people of their safety, he told them, "We must run aground on some island" (v.26)
(3) When the sailors attempted to escape, Paul told the centurion and soldiers, unless these men stay in the ship you cannot be saved. In other words, Paul was saying don't abandon the ship. (v 31)
All of these tell us that faith in God does not negate personal responsibility. In the storms of life, doing your personal responsibility is necessary. Do what's needed to be done and don't sit waiting for the waves to drown you to death.
2. Trust God's Promise Completely
Let's read verse 23-24 again. Paul Said, "For this very night there stood before me an angel of God to whom I belong and worship, and said "Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold God has granted you all those who sail with you." God is saying, Paul, you cannot die here because your mission is not over.
Acts 23: 11 says this, "The following night, the Lord stood near Paul in said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome". When Paul and others are in the middle of nowhere and all hope for survival is gone, God appeared to Paul and reassured him that he will fulfill His promise. Sometimes, when the storms of life hit us, we may lose our possession but if we still have breath and us, there is hope.
4. Speak Hope to Others Boldly