God is greater than your storms (1)
(Message given on October 22, 2022 in Clermont-Ferrand, by Stephanie Reader and summarized by Nicole)
We are in a boat that we want to leave at times when the storm is raging. This could be when we are struggling with aspects of our life (like our married life, our emotional life, our personal life, our professional life, our physical life, or our relationships).
The things that could cause a storm to come about can sometimes be our bad decisions… Other times, it could be the result of other people’s decisions… In either case, we suffer the consequences!
This was the case for Paul. While he was on board a ship for Rome (Acts 27.9-44): he warned the owner of the ship and his captain that it had momentarily become perilous to continue the journey, but they did not listen to him. How did that turn out? Despite themselves, Paul and all the passengers found themselves in the heart of a storm… They didn’t see the light of day for several days! Would they survive?
A. God is greater than all storms, so fear not!
God reassured Paul with a promise by sending him an angel:
“Do not be afraid!”
God is with you in your storms. Yet, even if we have received the promises of God, it is not easy to be hopeful when we are in complete darkness! As soon as some passengers in our story felt that there was a possibility for the situation to improve, they had the idea to escape using the lifeboat. (Acts 27.24-25)
Sometimes I feel like God isn’t answering my prayers and that my scenarios are better than His! The fact is that I think that I can save myself by my own strength. Similarly to some of the men in this story, I want to leave the ship by jumping into a lifeboat. However, it was said that if they were to leave the ship, all shall perish.
In other words, don’t leave the boat! Leaving the boat would be losing victory. It takes faith to stay in the boat and see God move.
B. What does “wanting to jump in a lifeboat” mean?
To want to jump into a lifeboat is to seek to escape a situation by all means. No matter what those means are, as long as they change your situation. To do so, is to put oneself in greater danger. This can take several forms. For example: if you stop praying for a situation or if you stay married to someone, all the while thinking of another possible spouse… Of course, if you are a battered woman, you should not stay, but often, when we find ourselves in difficult situations we let ourselves be driven by thoughts of a “rescue”, that in reality, is not there.
Lifeboats are obvious solutions, that are prompted by destructive thoughts.
C. Cut the lifeboat ropes
To stay in the boat, it is necessary to cut the ropes attached to the “lifeboat”, such as negative thoughts. So instead of entertaining such thoughts, let’s declare what is true. Don’t trust feelings, because feelings can lie.
What is true is what is written in the Word of God. Jeremiah wrote: “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.” (Lamentations 3.19-20); and he added:
Therefore, speak the words of the Bible instead of believing your feelings and harbouring negative thoughts! This is how you will cut the ropes.
Continued in: God is greater than your storms (2)
God is on your side! Have a beautiful day!