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When Hope Is Lost (part 2)

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Introduction

We are continuing our look at the first 38 verses of .
From this passage we began discussing “When Hope Is Lost.”
Paul and his companions are in a desperate situation.
Last week we talked about how they got into that situation.
Today we will look at what to do when hope is lost.
One of the things we are learning from this passage is that as believers in Jesus Christ.
From here to the end of the book we have our final section which I have titled
The Adventures That Will Lead Paul To Rome 27:1-28:31
For the next couple of weeks we will look at Adventure on the voyage to Rome 27:1-28:10
PRAY
As human beings, we forget.
We forget that we serve a sovereign God.
We forget that He has a reason plan and purpose for all things.
We forget to trust Him.
This is true in my own life.
Over and over again God has provided my needs. Yet far too often when a need arises, I panic. I question. I lack faith.
We need to have hope in trials. Why? Enduring trials with our faith intact attracts people to Jesus.
So. How can we do this? How can we have hope in trials?
Here is the bottom line.
Trials come. Only through dependence on the Lord can believers have hope in trials.
We are going to learn about the breakers and builders of hope this morning.
This passage teaches of two circumstances that steal our hope.
AND
This passage teaches of two choices that strengthen our hope.
Today we learn to depend on the Lord and have hope in trials.
When we have hope in trials a lost world is attracted to Christ.
Last week we learned about the breakers of hope.

1. Hope Is Lost When God Is Ignored vv. 1-12

How many of us have heard about King Josiah?
Josiah began his reign at 8 years old and he was responsible for incredible reforms that brought the Jewish people back to the Lord.
What we often don’t hear about is what happened in the end of his life.
Josiah illustrates what we learned last week.
We learned that God is ignored when we are experiencing blessing, and when we are blinded by desire.
Turn to (p. 533).
(p. 533)
2 Chronicles 35:20–24 NKJV
20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. 21 But he sent messengers to him, saying, “What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you.” 22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, and did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the Valley of Megiddo. 23 And the archers shot King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am severely wounded.” 24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot and put him in the second chariot that he had, and they brought him to Jerusalem. So he died, and was buried in one of the tombs of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.
Josiah ignored God by going into battle. Why? Because everything was good! He was experiencing blessing!
He also was blinded by his desires.
He wanted to fight, so he did. The end result was that he died.
This brings us to the two lessons we learned from these circumstances that steal our hope.
Circumstance #1…

a. God is ignored because of blessing vv. 1-8

What’s the solution? What do we do?
When life is good, keep seeking Jesus.
That’s circumstance #1. God is ignored because of blessing. Circumstance #2…

b. God is ignored because of blindness vv. 9-12

Again, what’s the solution?
Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible Chapter 27the day of atonement, answering to the end of September and beginning of October, about which time the navigation is pronounced unsafe by writers of authority. Since all hope of completing the voyage during that season was abandoned, the question next was, whether they should winter at Fair Havens, or move to Port Phenice, a harbor about forty miles to the westward.
When desire rises, submit to the will of God.
In a very interesting twist, Paul, the prisoner, is included in the conversation about what they should do.His advice is to stay where they are.He gives this advice because of his perception.The idea behind this word is that Paul has this understanding.If they sail on their way destruction will be the result.How does Paul have this understanding? I would argue that Paul is speaking here from his experience in sailing on his previous journeys.Why would I say that? Because it is only later that God sends Paul a message about this voyage. What Paul says here and what God says later doesn't match. Therefore, I believe this is Paul offering an opinion based on his experience.By the way, This is one of the reasons God gives us experiences. So that we can share them with others.Again, we are the body of Christ. We are supposed to help and support one another. One of the ways we do that is through sharing our experiences.Those who have been married a long time, share how you have made it. Those who have had marriages end, share what went wrong. Those who have already raised kids, share the things you did wrong and right! If you have suffered loss, share how God got you through it. Sharing our experiences helps to equip one another to do life Biblically.Paul is sharing his experience.READ v. 11In some ways this makes sense.Paul is not a professional sailor.Yet we have also seen that Paul has earned the respect and trust of the centurion.Regardless, the centurion is persuaded by the helmsman and the owner.READ v. 12Here we find the motivation. The harbor they were in wasn’t the best place to winter in.The rest of the verse suggests that the way this harbor faced made it more susceptible to storms. Basically, it wouldn’t have been as comfortable.The decision was to try and reach a different harbor with a more favorable placement.What we have here is a blindness to what is best. We can be blinded by our own desires.That is what seems to be taking place here. They want to spend the winter in a better port. So they ignore warnings to make their desires happen.We do this with God.Our desires blind us to the direction He would have us take.We have probably all heard someone say, “But I love him or her.”“God may say it is wrong for us to sleep together because we aren’t married, but we are in love.”Desire is allowed to blind us and we end up ignoring God.We can do this with money, with our time, with any number of things.The bottom line is that we want what we want more than we want to obey God.When we are focused on our own desires, we become blinded to the will of God.What can we do about this?When desire rises, submit to the will of God.Why?Because trials are going to come, and our desires will not give us hope. Don’t be blinded by desire.God is ignored because of blessing and God is ignored because of blindness.Those are the breakers of hope. We ignore God in times of blessing and we ignore God when we are blinded by our own desires.Now we turn to the builders of hope.
God is ignored because of blessing and God is ignored because of blindness.
Those are the breakers of hope. We ignore God in times of blessing and we ignore God when we are blinded by our own desires.
Now we turn to the builders of hope.

2. Hope Is Found When God Is Enthroned vv. 13-38

Over the course of my life I have learned the value of having things in their proper place.
Now, this doesn’t mean I do it all the time.
But I understand that it is important.
How many of us have spent hours looking for something simply because it wasn’t put back where it belongs?
When we have a place for everything and everything in its place, things go better.
The Christian life is no different.
When God has His rightful place in our lives, things go better.
This passage helps us to keep God on the throne of our lives.
Here we learn about two choices that strengthen our hope.
Choice #1…

a. God is enthroned when we are finished vv. 13-26

READ v. 13
There is a key word here, “supposing.” This is how we get into trouble. We make assumptions.
It seems like things are going their way.
READ v. 14
Some translations have this word spelled differently. Regardless, the point is that a very strong storm came up.
This word “tempestuous” is where we get our English word typhoon.
This is bad!
READ v. 15
This means they gave up trying to steer the ship. The just let the wind and tide take it wherever.
READ v. 16
A skiff is a smaller boat, usually a row boat, that is carried aboard larger vessels. It would be suspended above the deck on the side of the ship.
What this tells us is that the storm is blowing so hard the skiff almost became a liability.
Here is the route they are taking (S).
They have passed by this small Island, and are out to sea here.
Cauda vs. Clauda. Same Island, just different spelling.
Notice that it didn’t take very long to get in trouble.
READ v. 17
They get the skiff secured and then run cables under the ship to strengthen it.
With the wind pulling at them and the waves twisting the ship, they were afraid it would be broken apart.
The normal practice in a storm is to reef the sails. This means they would tie them up to the cross pieces of the mast. This way the sails wouldn’t be damaged by the wind.
However, there was a sand bar they were worried about getting stuck on. So they let down the sails.

The “shallows of Syrtis” probably refers to the quicksand and shoals off the African coast west of Cyrene (modern Libya) toward which the ship headed.

All of this is setting the stage for how bad things are getting.
All of this is setting the stage for how bad things are getting.READ v. 18For a ship to start throwing items overboard indicates a very serious danger of sinking.There is only so much you can throw out before you have to jettison cargo which means you lose money.READ v. 19This is incredibly serious. They are almost to the point of no return. To throw out the gear that enables you to manage the ship is a move of desperation.One of the fascinating things in these verses is the use of the word “we.” Apparently the situation was such that even the prisoners and passengers were drafted into doing these things.READ v. 20This is where the title for today’s message came from.They have lost hope. Why? Because things were going good, so they ignored the warning signs. They had a desire to spend the winter somewhere better, so they were blinded to the danger.They finally gave up. Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. It is when we come to the end of our resources that we find God waiting to step in.So often we finally give God the proper place in our lives only after we have exhausted all of our own effort!That is what we see happen here.READ v. 21The abstinence from food is probably caused by an inability to prepare anything in the galley with such a horrible storm raging. This is not a proud or boastful statement by Paul. It is simply a statement of fact.They should have listened to him and stayed in the harbor even if it wasn’t as good as the one they were trying to reach.This is where discontentment leads us. Into disaster and loss.READ v. 22Paul tells them to “take heart.”Take heart – εὐθυμέω (euthymeō) be cheerful. to be encouraged v. — to be inspired with confidence; be given hope or courage.Take heart – εὐθυμέω (euthymeō)They probably though Paul had lost it. They are about to die in a storm and he tells them to be cheerful!They have basically lost everything at this point. They have no hope of survival!This is why I believe Paul was simply speaking from experience in v. 10.There he said there would be loss of life, cargo, and ship.Here he says there will be no loss of life, only of the ship. This also indicates that the cargo had already been tossed overboard.How does Paul know this? Why does he tell them to be cheerful?READ vv. 23-24I love how Paul words this. “The God to whom I belong and whom I serve.”We belong to Jesus. He purchased us with His blood. He is our master.We love Him because He first loved us. We serve Him because of all He has done.The word translated “serve” here can also be translated “worship.” When we say we worship God, we are expressing our willingness to serve Him.Paul is serving because he belongs to God.Who do you belong to this morning?Have you trusted in Jesus?Who do you serve? There are only two options. We either serve self or the savior.We have to make a choice.Paul states that an angel appeared to him with this message.The word angel means messenger.They are God’s messengers. Because we have the completed revelation of God. We do not need messengers. If they were sent, what they said would line up with Scripture. It is not that God cannot send angels to give us messages, but that it is not normative for today. It is not something we can all expect.I love the message the angel gives in v. 24. Let’s break it down a little bit.1 - Do not be afraid.Right. I’m on a sinking ship in the middle of the ocean. Nothing to fear, right?Yet that’s what the angel says.Why shouldn’t he fear?2 - God isn’t finished.You will stand before Caesar!God still has a plan! He is still doing something!He isn’t finished with you yet!If you are still breathing. (pause) Okay, everyone is still breathing. God still has a plan and purpose for your life!It may look different today than it did in the past, that’s okay. Don’t be afraid because God has a plan. Also, don’t be afraid because…3 - God will protect.God didn’t have to save everyone else. Paul was the only one promised to stand before Caesar.But God is in the business of saving people. Literally and spiritually.The word used here has the idea of something graciously given.God, in His boundless grace, is allowing everyone on the boat to live.All of us live each moment because of the matchless grace of God.READ v. 25 Based on everything the angel has told Paul, he commands the men to take heart.This is the same word he used earlier. “Be cheerful!” Paul says, “everything is going to work out fine.”How can Paul say that?The wording here is vital. Paul says “I believe God.”This is the bottom line. God has revealed in His Word certain promises. It is up to us to believe them.Paul says he believes that God will do what He has said. Do we believe that?Let’s look at just a few passages. (S).
READ v. 18
All of this is setting the stage for how bad things are getting.READ v. 18For a ship to start throwing items overboard indicates a very serious danger of sinking.There is only so much you can throw out before you have to jettison cargo which means you lose money.READ v. 19This is incredibly serious. They are almost to the point of no return. To throw out the gear that enables you to manage the ship is a move of desperation.One of the fascinating things in these verses is the use of the word “we.” Apparently the situation was such that even the prisoners and passengers were drafted into doing these things.READ v. 20This is where the title for today’s message came from.They have lost hope. Why? Because things were going good, so they ignored the warning signs. They had a desire to spend the winter somewhere better, so they were blinded to the danger.They finally gave up. Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. It is when we come to the end of our resources that we find God waiting to step in.So often we finally give God the proper place in our lives only after we have exhausted all of our own effort!That is what we see happen here.READ v. 21The abstinence from food is probably caused by an inability to prepare anything in the galley with such a horrible storm raging. This is not a proud or boastful statement by Paul. It is simply a statement of fact.They should have listened to him and stayed in the harbor even if it wasn’t as good as the one they were trying to reach.This is where discontentment leads us. Into disaster and loss.READ v. 22Paul tells them to “take heart.”Take heart – εὐθυμέω (euthymeō) be cheerful. to be encouraged v. — to be inspired with confidence; be given hope or courage.Take heart – εὐθυμέω (euthymeō)They probably though Paul had lost it. They are about to die in a storm and he tells them to be cheerful!They have basically lost everything at this point. They have no hope of survival!This is why I believe Paul was simply speaking from experience in v. 10.There he said there would be loss of life, cargo, and ship.Here he says there will be no loss of life, only of the ship. This also indicates that the cargo had already been tossed overboard.How does Paul know this? Why does he tell them to be cheerful?READ vv. 23-24I love how Paul words this. “The God to whom I belong and whom I serve.”We belong to Jesus. He purchased us with His blood. He is our master.We love Him because He first loved us. We serve Him because of all He has done.The word translated “serve” here can also be translated “worship.” When we say we worship God, we are expressing our willingness to serve Him.Paul is serving because he belongs to God.Who do you belong to this morning?Have you trusted in Jesus?Who do you serve? There are only two options. We either serve self or the savior.We have to make a choice.Paul states that an angel appeared to him with this message.The word angel means messenger.They are God’s messengers. Because we have the completed revelation of God. We do not need messengers. If they were sent, what they said would line up with Scripture. It is not that God cannot send angels to give us messages, but that it is not normative for today. It is not something we can all expect.I love the message the angel gives in v. 24. Let’s break it down a little bit.1 - Do not be afraid.Right. I’m on a sinking ship in the middle of the ocean. Nothing to fear, right?Yet that’s what the angel says.Why shouldn’t he fear?2 - God isn’t finished.You will stand before Caesar!God still has a plan! He is still doing something!He isn’t finished with you yet!If you are still breathing. (pause) Okay, everyone is still breathing. God still has a plan and purpose for your life!It may look different today than it did in the past, that’s okay. Don’t be afraid because God has a plan. Also, don’t be afraid because…3 - God will protect.God didn’t have to save everyone else. Paul was the only one promised to stand before Caesar.But God is in the business of saving people. Literally and spiritually.The word used here has the idea of something graciously given.God, in His boundless grace, is allowing everyone on the boat to live.All of us live each moment because of the matchless grace of God.READ v. 25 Based on everything the angel has told Paul, he commands the men to take heart.This is the same word he used earlier. “Be cheerful!” Paul says, “everything is going to work out fine.”How can Paul say that?The wording here is vital. Paul says “I believe God.”This is the bottom line. God has revealed in His Word certain promises. It is up to us to believe them.Paul says he believes that God will do what He has said. Do we believe that?Let’s look at just a few passages. (S).
For a ship to start throwing items overboard indicates a very serious danger of sinking.
There is only so much you can throw out before you have to jettison cargo which means you lose money.
READ v. 19
This is incredibly serious. They are almost to the point of no return.
To throw out the gear that enables you to direct the ship is a move of desperation.
One of the fascinating things in these verses is the use of the word “we.” Apparently the situation was such that even the prisoners and passengers were drafted into doing these things.
READ v. 20
This is where the title for today’s message came from.
They have lost hope. Why? Because things were going good, so they ignored the warning signs. They had a desire to spend the winter somewhere better, so they were blinded to the danger.
They finally gave up.
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. It is when we come to the end of our resources that we find God waiting to step in.
So often we finally give God the proper place in our lives only after we have exhausted all of our own effort!
That is what we see happen here.
READ v. 21
The abstinence from food is probably caused by an inability to prepare anything in the galley with such a horrible storm raging.
This is not a proud or boastful statement by Paul. It is simply a statement of fact.
They should have listened to him and stayed in the harbor even if it wasn’t as good as the one they were trying to reach.
This is where discontentment leads us. Into disaster and loss.
READ v. 22
Paul tells them to “take heart.”
Take heart – εὐθυμέω (euthymeō) be cheerful. to be encouraged v. — to be inspired with confidence; be given hope or courage.
Take heart – εὐθυμέω (euthymeō)
They probably though Paul had lost it. They are about to die in a storm and he tells them to be cheerful!
They have basically lost everything at this point. They have no hope of survival!
This is why I believe Paul was simply speaking from experience in v. 10.
There he said there would be loss of life, cargo, and ship.
Here he says there will be no loss of life, only of the ship.
This also indicates that the cargo had already been tossed overboard.
How does Paul know this? Why does he tell them to be cheerful?
READ vv. 23-24
I love how Paul words this. “The God to whom I belong and whom I serve.”
We belong to Jesus. He purchased us with His blood. He is our master.
We love Him because He first loved us. We serve Him because of all He has done.
The word translated “serve” here can also be translated “worship.” When we say we worship God, we are expressing our willingness to serve Him.
Paul is serving because he belongs to God.
Who do you belong to this morning?
Have you trusted in Jesus?
Who do you serve? There are only two options. We either serve self or the savior.
We have to make a choice.
Paul states that an angel appeared to him with this message.
The word angel means messenger.
They are God’s messengers. Because we have the completed revelation of God. We do not need messengers. If they were sent, what they said would line up with Scripture.
It is not that God cannot send angels to give us messages, but that it is not normative for today. It is not something we can all expect.
And if someone claims to have heard from an angel, the message better line up with the Word of God.
I love the message the angel gives in v. 24. Let’s break it down a little bit.
1 - Do not be afraid.
Right. I’m on a sinking ship in the middle of the ocean. Nothing to fear, right?
Yet that’s what the angel says.
Why shouldn’t he fear?
2 - God isn’t finished.
You will stand before Caesar!
God still has a plan! He is still doing something!
He isn’t finished with you yet!
If you are still breathing. (pause) Okay, everyone is still breathing. God still has a plan and purpose for your life!
God still has a plan and purpose for your life!
It may look different today than it did in the past, that’s okay.
Don’t be afraid because God has a plan. Also, don’t be afraid because…
3 - God will protect.
God didn’t have to save everyone else. Paul was the only one promised to stand before Caesar.
But God is in the business of saving people. Literally and spiritually.
The word used here has the idea of something graciously given.
God, in His boundless grace, is allowing everyone on the boat to live.
All of us live each moment because of the matchless grace of God.
READ v. 25
Based on everything the angel has told Paul, he commands the men to take heart.
This is the same word he used earlier. “Be cheerful!” Paul says, “everything is going to work out fine.”
How can Paul say that?
The wording here is vital. Paul says “I believe God.”
This is the bottom line. God has revealed in His Word certain promises. It is up to us to believe them.
Paul says he believes that God will do what He has said. Do we believe that?
Let’s look at just a few passages.
(S).
Hebrews 13:5 NKJV
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Do we believe that?
If God is always with us, we have nothing to fear. We also have added incentive to live for Christ.
Do we believe that?If God is always with us, we have nothing to fear. We also have added incentive to live for Christ. (S).
(S).
Romans 8:28 NKJV
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Do we believe this?
Do we believe this?If we believe it, than we endure trials and difficulties with hope. (S).
If we believe it, than we endure trials and difficulties with hope.
(S).
Proverbs 31:30 NKJV
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Do we believe that?
If we do, than we need to stop emphasizing outward appearance and start training our daughters to fear the Lord above all else.
Do we believe that?If we do, than we need to stop emphasizing outward appearance and start training our daughters to fear the Lord above all else. (S).
(S).
Proverbs 16:7 NKJV
7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Do we believe that?
This means we must focus more on doing what God says than being right.
Do we believe that?This means we must focus more on doing what God says than being right. We need to build character instead of physical strength and mental prowess. If we believe God, it should change how we live.Paul believes God.Yet the promises of God do not mean that there will be no difficulty. It doesn’t mean smooth sailing!
We need to build character instead of physical strength and mental prowess.
If we believe God, it should change how we live.
Paul believes God.
Yet the promises of God do not mean that there will be no difficulty. It doesn’t mean smooth sailing!
READ v. 26
God is going to deliver us. But we still have to wreck the ship.
These men have tried everything humanly possible to save themselves. Now that they have exhausted all their options, they will trust the Lord.
God is enthroned when we are finally finished trying it on our own.
I find it so interesting that the ship will still wreck.
God will work everything out for good. But He may make a mess first.
Do you trust Him?
There are storms in life! Storms we think we can handle on our own. When our strength proves insufficient, God is there.
How many of us have finally turned to the Lord in a trial and thought “why didn’t I do that sooner?” (Raise Hand)
God is always faithful.
For God to be enthroned in our lives, we must quit trying to do it on our own.
Reach the end of yourself and find God waiting.
God will not direct our lives from the passenger seat.
It is not until we give up, until we are done trying things our own way, that God will take over!
God is enthroned when we are finished. That is our first choice.
Choice #2…

b. God is enthroned when we have faith vv. 27-38

READ v. 27
14 nights they have been out in this storm.
14 nights of uncertainty. 14 nights of danger. 14 nights going back and forth.
Do we still trust God when it seems like He is taking forever to answer our prayer?
When hope is lost, where do we turn?
It is 14 days before they finally come close to land.
READ v. 28
They measure the depth of the water to determine if they are getting closer to land.
A fathom is about 6 feet. So 120ft.
A little ways forward and they are at 15 fathoms or 90ft.
So they are getting closer to land.
READ v. 29
They don’t know how fast the water will get shallow, so they cast out anchors and pray for daylight.
I like this as a picture of faith.
The storm is raging. Land is near. They just need to hold on until dawn.
In our lives there are times when we need to hold steady, weather the storm, and pray for God to bring the dawn.
Beloved. God always comes through.
READ vv. 30-31
Again we see just how bad things were.
The sailors are trying to abandon ship!
More than that, they are trying to do it with stealth and deception.
How Paul finds out what they are doing we are not told.
Apparently, the angel revealed to Paul that they all needed to stay with the ship.
Again, no detail is given as to why this is so.
However, what we do see here is how Paul has come to be trusted by the centurion.
He is willing to act on Paul’s word.
READ v. 32
What is interesting here is that they have now removed any possibility of escape from the ship.
The centurion has forced everyone to trust in what Paul has said.
Everyone on board is now placing their faith in the promise that God will deliver them and no one will be lost.
Sometimes this is what we need. We need to cut off our escape plan.
“God, I want to serve you, but if it doesn’t work out, I’m escaping in the skiff.”
We’re guilty of that, aren’t we? We want God to take the drivers seat of our lives, but we want to have the drivers ED brake and steering wheel in case God doesn’t go our direction (S).
That isn’t faith!
Faith cuts the life boat free and throws everything on the promises of God!
Either God comes through or this ship is sinking!
Do we have that kind of faith?
Would we join Paul in trusting God? Or would we join the sailors in the skiff?
Are you trusting God this morning?
READ v. 33
This is what they were praying for, right? For dawn to come?
As dawn is arriving, Paul pleads with them to eat food.
Why? They are going to need their strength for what lies ahead.
God provides exactly what we need to face the trials He allows.
14 days they have gone without food.
Now they are just waiting, so it’s time to eat.
READ v. 34
This is an incredible revelation.
I take it literally. But it could be an expression of no harm being done.
Either way, God will miraculously preserve them.
Notice why Paul says to eat. Two reasons.
1 - Their survival.
Survival – σωτηρία (sōtēria) salvation; deliverance. Recovery or preservation from loss or danger, whether physical or spiritual.
urvival – σωτηρία (sōtēria)They are to eat for deliverance. From what? The context suggests deliverance from hunger.As we mentioned, this will give them strength for what’s coming.2 - Because no one will be harmed.Basically, there is no reason not to eat.
Survival – σωτηρία (sōtēria)
They are to eat for deliverance. From what? The context suggests deliverance from hunger.
As we mentioned, this will give them strength for what’s coming.
2 - Because no one will be harmed.
Basically, there is no reason not to eat.
READ v. 35
I love this. Paul gives thanks to God in the presence of everyone!
This is faith!
Calmly, in the midst of a storm and certain destruction, Paul takes bread, gives thanks, and eats.
READ v. 36
This is the result of faith! Everyone is encouraged.
Ready for something really cool? Twice now Paul has told them to “take heart.” This word translated “encouraged” is the same Greek word.
It is the actions of Paul that finally get them to take heart!
They are encouraged, they are cheerful, because of Paul’s display of faith!
When you and I trust the Lord and walk in obedience to Him, other people are blessed by it.
Others are encouraged to trust. Others are encouraged to walk by faith.
In this context, even unbelievers benefit from Paul’s faith!
We have been called by God to be a blessing to the world around us.
One of the ways we do this is through our faith in the promises of God.
When we believe what God has said, we live differently. We give differently. We treat our neighbors differently. And the result is people being attracted to Christ.
Paul’s faith encourages everyone. What is our faith doing?
READ v. 37
This had to have been a very large ship.
We are told the number because of the promise that no one will be lost.
READ v. 38
Talk about faith! They throw all their food out to sea.
God is going to do something.
I feel it is important to give us a reminder at this point.
Acts is descriptive not prescriptive.
This is a record of things that were done. It is not a mandate for us to do these same things.
We need to have faith, but that doesn’t mean we get rid of all our food and wait for God to provide.
Wisdom is also needed.
If we want to have hope when trials hit, hope in the hard times. God must be on the throne of our lives.
That means we need faith.
We have to trust Him.
Trust the God of the storm and know His provision.
When we trust God, He always provides.
God is enthroned when we are finished. God is enthroned when we have faith.
That is where hope is found.

Conclusion

Is God being enthroned or ignored in our lives?
I cannot answer that question for you.
You cannot answer for me.
When God is ignored, we lose hope.
God is ignored when we are experiencing blessing.
When things are going well we can forget our desperate need of a Savior!
God is ignored when we are blinded by our own desires.
Our desires must always be subject to the will of God.
Do you have hope this morning?
When we are lacking hope we must ensure that God is enthroned in our lives.
God is enthroned when we lay down our own efforts and rest in the sufficiency of Christ.
He can and will work through us, but He will not direct from the passengers seat.
God is enthroned when we have faith.
One of the things we can always count on in this life is that there will be storms.
When the sea of life is raging and it seems our ship will sink, where do we turn?
Let me leave you with three challenges.
#1
Don’t ignore God.
When things are going good, look up.
When desire is rising, look to the Word.
#2
Keep God on the throne.
Never rely on human effort.
Rest your faith in the promises of God.
#3
Live to make Jesus attractive.
The only way to do that is to always be aware of our desperate need of Him.
“Lord I Need You”
Sometimes when life seems gentle And blessings flood my way I turn my gaze away from You And soon forget to pray But when the sky grows darker And courage turns to fear My anxious voice cries upward With words You long to hear
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