Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Adjust Your Sails
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
—2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Sometimes people think they will have smooth sailing as long as they are in the will of God. But that wasn't true of the apostle Paul. He seemed to face every kind of adversity imaginable, from enemies who tried to destroy him to physical suffering to being shipwrecked three times.
We all will have shipwrecks in our lives in some way, shape, or form. The reality of life is that we are either coming out of a storm or we are going into one. That is just the way it is. There are times when we will have smooth sailing. There are times when the sky will be blue and the sun will be shining. There will be beautiful moments in our lives in between the storms. Thank God for those moments.
But the reality is that we can live a prosperous life in the will of God and still face conflict. Paul went through a shipwreck on his way to Rome, but he had a prosperous journey by the will of God because of what it ultimately accomplished. That is a different definition of prosperity than we may normally think of.
It has been said that you can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails. I cannot control the world. I would love to if I could. Nor can I control the circumstances that come my way. But I can control my reaction to them. I can redirect my sails and adapt.
We all will face storms, difficulties, and even shipwrecks. So it is time for us to develop our sea legs and not focus so much on how to avoid storms, but on how to get through them, how to survive them, and how to learn the lessons that we can only learn in such places.
Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.