How Can I Be Confident In A Crisis?
No matter how well we plan or how careful we are, we will all eventually face a crisis. How do we respond when our lives are filled with uncertainty? How do we stay calm and maintain our confidence and courage, regardless of what happens?
God put the apostle Paul, as a prisoner, on board a ship headed from Palestine to Rome. After the ship ventured through the Mediterranean Sea and docked at the island of Crete, God told Paul to advise the crew not to leave the harbor because there was going to be a great storm. But the sailors were impatient to get to a better harbor, so they ignored what God had told them through Paul (Acts 27:1-10).
How Do We Get Into A Crisis? READ: Acts 27:9-12 (p. 1109).
- How did Paul and the sailors get into this crisis?
- What other ways could we get into a "crisis"?
What Not To Do In A Crisis. READ: Acts 27:13-20 (p.1109).
When we get into a crisis, we typically react in three ways—the same three ways the sailors did. Their reactions were typical—or "average"—of people under pressure. These are reactions we want to be aware of and try to avoid or NOT do in a crisis.
- Don't ______________________. (vss. 15 & 17) The first thing that a crisis can cause us to do is to let go of our goals. We forget where we are headed and let the crisis drive us.
- Don't ______________________. (vss. 18 & 19) The next thing we do is start throwing off the very things that are important to us, the values that we have hung onto in better times.
- Don't ______________________. (vs. 20) In an extreme crisis we eventually get to the point of despair and give up all hope.
DISCUSS: Share any modern day examples of thesereactions to the "storms of life" that you have seen.
*Adapted from "God's Answers To Life's Difficult Questions" by Rick Warren.
Paul's Reaction To The Crisis. READ: Acts 27:21-26 (p.1109).
The amazing part of this story is Paul's reaction. It is a 180-degree turnaround from the way the sailors responded to the crisis. The sailors were in despair; they said the situation was hopeless. They were discouraged and depressed and tossed everything overboard to try to keep the ship afloat.
Paul provides a model for us. He was calm and confident. He had courage in the crisis. Absolutely nothing fazed him.
Why was Paul so confident? Because he was encouraged by three tremendous truths, three foundational beliefs of the Christian life, that serve as "anchors of the soul". These three truths can anchor you on the rock of stability, so that when the winds blow you back and forth, you will have confidence. These are the truths you can build your life on, that will stabilize you in the storm.
READ: Acts 27:23-26 (p.1109).
- God's ____________________. (vss. 23 & 24) Storms can never hide us from God. We may not see Him but He sees us. See Hebrews 13:5b (p.1194) and Matthew 28:20b (p.989).
- God's ____________________. (vs. 24) God told Paul he was on board the ship because He had a purpose for him. God has a purpose for your life that is greater than the storm you are in. See Jeremiah 29:11 (p.780).
- God's ____________________. (vs. 25) God keeps his promises without fail. Storms cannot change the purpose of God, because it is ultimate. See Hebrews 10:23 (p.1191).
DISCUSS: How have you experienced one of these "anchors for the soul" during a recent crisis?
- What shall we do while we are waiting for the crisis to end? (vs. 29)
- In verses 35 and 36, Paul did something that turned the mood of the sailors from despair to encouragement even though they were still in the midst of the crisis. What brought about the change and how can we apply this principle to our own situations?