How To Handle A Crisis
Text: Acts 27:9-29
We all can recall times in our lives when we were emotionally stressed, or where it felt like life was spinning out of control. When faced with a crisis, most of us struggle to see the purpose behind our pain, and we wonder if the crisis will ever end. It’s in those moments that we need the touch of God, and the Word of God to help us through.
Every challenge we face can either bring us closer to God, or take us further away. The scripture of focus for this message teaches some important principles on how we should deal with a crisis.
In the book of Acts, Paul planned to go to Rome to teach the gospel. Soon as he boarded a ship, God told him to warn the crew of an oncoming storm and tell them not to set sail. See Acts 27:10-11. The crew ignored Paul’s advice, and sailed right into the storm. When we choose to ignore God, or run ahead of Him, we can be sure there will be a storm up ahead. See Galatians 6:7-8. The most important thing to do in our life is base our life on the principles of God’s Word.
We typically do three things when we’re in a crisis. These are the same three things the sailors did in today’s text.
1) We drift.
“The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind so we gave way to it and we were driven along” (Acts 27:15).
Instead of trying to deal with the crisis, people usually let themselves be dictated to by the crisis. This is a victim mentality that says, “It is hopeless, I can’t change anything.” When we let go of our goals, we forget where we’re headed and we start drifting.
2) We abandon.
“So we took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw cargo overboard…” (Acts 27:18).
Often when we get into a crisis, we’re temped to throw out the things that are important to us. We give up on dreams, we run out on relationships, we do things we later regret. We give up.
3) We despair.
“When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging we finally gave up all hope of being saved” (Acts 27:20).
The last thing we throw out when we’re in a crisis, is hope. Some of us are like the men in the ship. We feel like we’re in total darkness, we’ve been battered back and forth, we’ve been throwing things out. We’ve reached the point of despair.
We know that these reactions to a crisis are not Godly reactions. So then, how should we handle a crisis?
Remember, in the middle of the storm and the hopelessness, was Paul. A man of God. Who believed God could calm the storm, and knew Him as the creator of the earth. The sailors were despairing, but Paul was confident.
It’s easy to be a Christian when things are going great. But the test of our faith is how we handle the storms in our lives. Character is revealed in a crisis. See Ephesians 6:13.
Here is what you should do in the midst of a crisis:
1) Drop your anchors
“Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern…” (Acts 27:29).
During a storm, the temptation is to run or make hasty decisions, but the safest thing to do is just stand still. Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” You need to stop fretting and trust in your Almighty God.
2) Remember God is with you
Paul said, “Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me…” (Acts 27:23).
God is always beside you, even in the darkest moments of your life. Storms can never hide the face of God. See Psalms 139:9-12. Over and over, the scriptures promise, “I will never leave you or forsake you…” No matter your situation right now, God is with you.
3) Let God speak to you
Someone who can encourage you while you’re going through a storm, it’s Job. He was pleading to hear from God, and then these beautiful words came in chapter 38.
“Then The Lord answered Job out of the storm” (Job 38:1).
No matter how dark your circumstances are, God can still speak to you.
4) Get an eternal perspective
This is a deep conviction that God has a plan and purpose for your life, and that nothing will frustrate His plans. God’s plan was for Paul to go to Rome. Even a terrible storm didn’t prevent that from happening. Understanding that NOTHING can frustrate God’s plans, except disobedience, is what will help you overcome your own storms. All you need to do is submit yourself to God’s will and rest in the knowledge that He will bring it to pass.
5) Believe God’s promises
Paul said to the men onboard, “So keep up your courage men, For I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me.” Just like Paul, you need to believe the promises of God for your life. If your problems are overwhelming you, and you think you’re going to drown, you need to believe the promises of God that say: “I will never leave you… I know the plans I have for you…”
See Acts 27:29. If you’re in a crisis right now, and it looks/feels hopeless, what do you do? You pray for daylight! Morning came for Paul and the sailors, the same way it will come for you.
You can handle any crisis when, like Paul, you let God guide you through the storm.
This sermon was preached by Pastor Elio Marrocco on May 5, 2019 at New Life Christian Church