The anchor of stability
Acts 27:29 “Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon the rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.”
In 1991, a fishing boat by the name of Andrea Gale was caught in a monster storm off the New England coast. The power-packed storm was the result of a collision of a high-pressure weather system, a low-pressure weather system, and the remnants of a dying hurricane. This storm sent hurricane-force winds, punishing rains, and Atlantic Ocean waves measuring as high as 100 feet all the way from Massachusetts to North Carolina. The Andrea Gale and her crew vanished without a trace, victims of what became known as “The Perfect Storm.”
In Acts 27, the apostle Paul found himself and 275 others in a very similar storm. The Bible calls the storm “Euroclydon” (v.14), meaning “a storm with an extremely strong wind blowing from all four corners of the earth.” It also says this storm had “a tempestuous wind” (v.14), meaning that it was like a typhoon. The storm was so intense that the ship and its crew were “exceedingly tossed” (v.18), that “neither the sun nor stars in many days appearedand all hope that they should be saved was then taken away” (v.20). They were “driven up and down the Adria Sea for fourteen days and headed for a crash into rocks” (v.27,29).
How do you handle the storms of life? When everything is rocking and reeling around you, clouds and darkness are hanging over you, and all hope is escaping you, what do you do? Today’s Bible reading says, “they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.” These four anchors reveal some powerful principles for surviving life’s mega-storms. The next few days shall identify these anchors.
The first anchor for your storm is the anchor of stability. Today’s cruise ships have built-in stabilizers that will automatically engage to counter rough seas and choppy waves in an effort to keep the ship upright, and to provide smooth sailing to its crew and passengers. You, too, need stability in the storms of life. As with storms and ships at sea, your storm can take out your communication system, your radar system, and more. It’s easy to lose your bearings in the storm. You need the anchor of stability to hold firm when your navigation system fails.
Like stabilizers are to cruise ships, the Word of God is your anchor of stability. In the midst of panic, and at a time when hope for being saved was lost, Paul received the Word of the Lord and revealed the word of the Lord! He said, “For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and lo, God hath given thee all of them that sail with thee” (vv.23-24). Paul got a word from the Lord; he received! In your storm, you must seek God for a now word! Paul then revealed the word of the Lord to those bound in fear and panic by exhorting them to “Fear not.” He then said, “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (v.25). See, Paul knew three things in the midst of his storm: He knew Whose he was, Who he served, and What God said. Friend, when you belong to God, serve God, and know that He has a plan for you, you can be stable in your storm because God’s Word will always come to pass! Isaiah 43:1-2 says, “Fear not: for I have called thee by name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow theeFor I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour” God is faithful! He promises, “I will be with you”! In your storm, throw out the anchor of stability. Receive and reveal the Word of the Lord!
A Blessing for You Today: I bless you, in Jesus’ Name, with the anchor of stability for life’s storms. May you persevere and overcome. I bless you to receive a now word from the Lord and to reveal that word to anyone in panic and fear. May you always ride on top of the storms life may throw at you.
Your Declaration for Today: In the Name of Jesus, I declare that I will always be a storm survivor. Winds cannot destroy me and waves cannot drown me. I have an anchor of stability in the Word of God. I will receive and reveal. The Lord is with me! Amen!
(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)