God's Guidance verses Crisis
Updated: Aug 3, 2019
"When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire,
putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose called Euroclydon" (Acts 27: 13-14).
The idea that crisis will always line up favorable with God’s guidance is not Scriptural. Sometimes God leads through the wilderness. But He’ll never lead you anywhere that doesn’t require His provision and protection. Moreover, if you can get there without God, He didn’t send you.
Let us now look at how to get out of a crisis without being ruined:
(A) Preparedness primary before Crisis!
The wise man built his house upon a rock because he believed in storms (Matthew 7:24; Luke 6:46-49). It’s impossible to go through life without them. Where did we ever get the idea that we wouldn’t have problems? Paul warned the Christians at Philippi:
For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29).
Therefore, there was no accident in their suffering, nor was it a mark of divine punishment as though God was angry with them. On the contrary, suffering is a sign of God’s favor, ‘seals of adoption to the children of God,’ as Calvin says.
Not only does suffering for Christ’s sake fulfill the purpose of God for His people in the world, but it also comes as a gift of His grace: “It has been granted for Christ’s sake.” In Vine’s Complete Expository dictionary, “charis,” is the Greek word used for “Grace”; applied objectively, “that which bestows or occasions pleasure, delight, or causes favorable regard (Luke 2:40; 2 Corinthians 8:6).”
This reminder is an encouragement and consolation to the afflicted people of God in all ages. To suffer on behalf of Christ, which can mean the same as “for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1: 27), is actually a privilege given by God; and with the affliction of His followers Christ himself identified, as Paul would vividly recall from his Damascus road encounter.
“Faith,” is God’s gift on the behalf of Christ. To suffer for the sake of Christ is a valuable gift too. If we suffer reproach and loss for Christ, we are to reckon it a great gift, always provided and we behave under our sufferings with genuine temper of martyrs (v. 30).
Equally important, it is not simply the suffering, but the cause, and not only the cause, but the spirit, which makes the martyr. This suffering for Christ sake is a type of warfare not welfare! (prosperity, spiritual progress if you will).
(B) Persevere throughout the Crisis
Preparation is not only necessary, but one ought to Stay calm. Panic kills more pilots than bad weather because it clouds their ability to think clearly. In the storm Jesus said to His disciples, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (Mark 6:50).
Beloved, get your eyes on Jesus and keep them there, otherwise your fear will hurt you more than your circumstances. Paul knew that God’s plan will always prevail so he announced, in Acts 27:25, “Take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.”
We ought to display cheerfulness even if our situations are dreadful; our confidence must be placed in God. David once said when he was in trouble, “My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73: 26).
Others have experienced and we must expect the failing both of flesh and heart. The body will fail because of sickness, age, and death; let it deteriorate, (become worse) because of old age; there is no remedy for that. But our concern should be about the soul, to be strengthened in the inner man. Reexamine Paul’s prayer for the Church in his Epistle to the Colossians – Colossae was an important city of Phrygia in Asia Minor, (Colossians 1: 9-11).
(C) Purpose must not be Relinquished
The ship’s crew was overwhelmed by their circumstance, so they threw their cargo (the purpose for their journey) “overboard with their own hands” (vv. 18-19). If they had listened to Paul in the first place, they would not have found themselves in this difficult position. The Scripture recounts “the majority reached a decision to put out to sea” (v. 12).
There is an very important lesson here for all to grasp; never let go your purpose for which God has call you, for it will sustain you through the hard times. Later Paul would write, “We know that all things work together for good…to them who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8: 28).
The word here rendered “purpose” means properly a proposition, or a laying down anything in view of others; and is thus applied to the bread that was laid on the table of showbread (Matthew 12: 4; Mark 2: 26; Luke 6:4). Hence it means, when applied to the mind, a plan or purpose of mind. It implies that God had a plan, purpose, or intention in regard to all who became Christians.
We are not saved by chance. God does not convert men without design and his designs are not new, but are eternal. What he does, he always meant to do. What it is right for him to do, was always His right intention. What God always meant to do is his purpose or plan. That he has such a purpose in regard to the salvation of his people is often affirmed (Romans 9:11; Ephesians 1:11; 3:11; 2 Timothy 1:9; Jeremiah 51: 29).
The Saints are people of privilege. All the providences of God are theirs – merciful providences, afflicting providences. They are all for good; perhaps for temporal good, at least, but more so for spiritual and eternal good. Either directly or indirectly, the providence has a tendency to the spiritual good of those that love God.
“They work together” – as several ingredients in a medicine concur to answer the intention of the doctor on the prescription. God Himself worked all things together for good. All this we know and understand it for a certainty, from the word of God, from our own experience, and from the experience of all the other saints who love God.
Therefore, be strong: the circumstance doesn’t control your destiny, God does. He’s still in charge. Stand up and announce, “In all these things we are more than conquerors.”
We abide faithful in the new covenant of our God; and He is faithful who has promised to support and make us more than conquerors; ie., to give us a complete triumph over sin, and death, and hell, not leaving one enemy unsubdued.