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Our Anchor in Times of Storm - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
June 7, 2024 12:00 am

Our Anchor in Times of Storm - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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June 7, 2024 12:00 am

God's Word is an immovable anchor during times of storm.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, June 7th. Do you read the Bible every day? Well, today's podcast explains how Scripture studies believers in difficult situations. The Life Principle series continues with insight on our anchor in times of storm. I've experienced a number of storms in life and one of them was so bad that I had to sit down on the floor to pack my bags to disembark the next day. And another storm, I stood up to preach and the boat began to rock so much that I couldn't stand up and preach, so we had to call it off. And then a third one really got rough and I was looking around for my life vest just in case I might possibly need it. So, I've had a few storms in life, but the worst storms in my life have not been on the sea.

When I came to First Baptist Church, I came as an associate pastor and when the church decided they wanted me to be the pastor, some folks decided they didn't. And so, that was a storm in my life. And then when I was president of the Southern Baptist Convention for a couple of years, that first year that I presided over the convention of fifty-some thousand messengers, which was a very, very difficult time, that was a storm in my life. And then I think about one of the worst storms was watching my mother die a day at a time for about three months. That was a stormy time. The worst storm of all lasted the longest. It was the worst storm of my life. It was the worst storm of my life. It hurt me the most. Tested my faith. Tested my endurance. And I would have to say it was the worst storm of my life.

I wouldn't wish it on anybody. Well, what I want to talk about in this message is this. The Scripture says, the grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. And in the Mediterranean world, the anchor was a very familiar term. In the catacombs where the Christians would meet secretly, there are sixty-six pictures of anchors. And in a picture, for example, there's a ship you can tell the wind's blowing against it and the ship is in trouble, but it's anchored to something solid.

It's immovable. God has given us an anchor for the times of storm in our life. So how do you ride them out in your life? Do you just complain and moan and groan and ask God why? Or do you ride them out? And find out what God will do in your life when you ride them out. Well, I want to give you a number of pointers about storms. And I want you to think about the kind of storms that you've been through in life.

And as I say, we've all been through them. And so, what we need to do is to ask ourselves the question, how do we handle these storms when they come? Because when you think about an anchor, for example, an anchor is a symbol of stability and security.

And every ship carries one or more anchors. What is the anchor in the life of the believer? The anchor in the life of the believer is the Word of God. In a few moments, I want to be able to help you understand what the Bible really is. It's not just a book.

What is the Bible to begin with? What is this? What is this anchor? And how does this anchor help you and me walk through the storms in life that we have to walk through? And the question is, how do you respond? How do you ride through storms in life? And the reason you and I need to know is for the simple reason, because they're going to keep coming. There's not going to be a time in your life when you say, well, whew, no more storms in my life. About that time you get hit with some blindsided something in your life. Because that's just the way life is.

We live in a fallen world, and that's the way it is. So, the question comes, what's the origin of these storms? Where do they come from?

So, they come from one of several places. For example, some storms we create ourselves, something we do in our life. Some storms, for example, the result of something someone else does to us. Sometimes it's a matter of Satan doing something in a person's life. Just the pure devil working in a person's life. And then sometimes, of course, God is the one who is responsible for the storm.

You say, well, why would God send a storm in someone's life? Isn't He a God of love? Yes, He is.

But the reason I want to bring that up is because He is the author of it. Read the Word of God. Sometimes He is. And so, there's always a purpose. That is, if God ignites a storm in your life, He has a definite purpose in mind. Even if it doesn't come from Him, what does He do? He takes advantage of it and He gives it a purpose.

He makes it something that you and I can profit by as a result. Now, storms are painful. Some of them are more painful than others. And as I said, on one occasion, I'm sitting in the floor trying to pack.

On another occasion, I'm swimming trying to get to this other boat to save myself. So, different kinds, different times, but the issue is how do we deal with it? So, what's God's purpose?

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is He wants to get our attention. That is, if He allows a storm in your life, and remember, He can send it or He can allow it. And because you're one of His children, nothing can touch you apart from His permissive will. So, if He allows a storm in your life, and some storms come very early in our lives.

I can think about a few that came early in my life just like you can. But what's His purpose? That is, everything can be going along fine. Let's say that you are a Christian, and you're just sort of drifting along and everything is fine. God has a purpose for your life, and so what does He do? He just either sends a storm or allows a storm in your life to get your attention because what gets our attention is heartache, troubles, trials, difficulty, persecution, you name it. He's got our attention. So, that's one of the reasons He allows us to get our attention.

A second reason is because He wants to get to some sin in our life, something you've allowed to develop in your life. You know it doesn't belong there. You know it's not pleasing to God.

You know it doesn't fit who you are. And so what happens? He sends a storm to get your attention, to get you to listen, to look, and to look at your life and to recognize there's something going on in your life that shouldn't be there. And He wants you to deal with it. And listen to this, the longer you hold on to what He wants to get rid of, the stronger the storm is going to become. And many people, it may begin with a little wind.

And for many other people, it ends up to a hurricane for the simple reason they refuse to acknowledge that God is up to something in their life. And then, of course, a third reason, and that is He wants you to surrender something. He wants you to lay down something. He wants you to take your hand off of something that you're gripping, that you're grasping very tightly. And God wants you to loosen your grip on it.

Listen, because He's got something better for you than that. There's another reason, and that is He wants to conform us to His image. He says, stop being conformed to the likeness of the world and be transformed by the renewing of your heart, that you may prove what is the good and perfect will of God.

That is, God's ultimate goal is to shape us in the likeness of His Son. So, what does He do? He gets our attention. He deals with sin. He brings us to surrender. He wants to conform us to His likeness. Because, you see, another reason is He has a purpose.

That is, He wants to equip us to serve Him. So, you ask yourself the question, what storm are you going through in life? What is it that's given you a real difficult time right now?

What is it that you'd like to change if you could? What is it that is bringing you pain, heartache, and suffering, and disappointment, and oftentimes maybe anger? Maybe you're angry at God about something He's allowed in your life. Then ask yourself the question, God, if these are the purposes, are you trying to get my attention? God, you've got it.

Is there sin in my life? Show me exactly what it is. Usually we don't have to ask Him to show us.

We usually know what that is. What is it you want me to surrender? What do you need to change in my life? God, are you trying to equip me to serve you? You see, one of the reasons that some people aren't serving God is because they're not equipped. Because they've never reached that stage of surrendering themselves to Him so He can prepare them to serve Him. Somebody says, I could never serve God.

You can't as long as you have that attitude. And secondly, as long as you're unwilling to say, God, whatever you want in my life, open hands, I'm available, I'm willing for you to do whatever you want to do, Lord, here's my life. Then you may be absolutely totally surprised at what God will do in your life.

So, there's always a reason for it, whether He sends it or whether He doesn't. And then some storms come and they affect people in different ways. Now watch this. A storm in your life can destroy you or it can develop you. It can build your strength, your wisdom, your knowledge, your understanding, your commitment, your devotion, your faith, your serenity, your peace, your joy in your life. That is, some storms when God gets through working them into our life, we're just so much better off. We're cleaner, we're purer, there's more peace, there's more joy because you know you're in the center of the will of God.

So, sometimes they develop us, sometimes they destroy us. And that depends upon how you respond. And our response is determined by a number of things, one of which is our view of God. How do you see God? If I see God as this legalistic, strict God who's just chalking off my bad points, or do I see Him as a God of love and compassion and kindness and forgiveness and purpose and desire to use you in some fashion, some way? How do you see Him? How do you picture God? That is, when you think about God and you're a child of His and you've been saved, how do you picture Him? In other words, is He on your side or is He on the side of something else? Do you see Him behind these storms with anger or do you see Him an awesome, loving God sending into your life something that you don't like? He knows you don't like it, but He knows it's best for your life at this moment in time.

How do you see Him? You see, the reason you and I need an anchor in our life is because it is natural and normal for us to drift. There's no such thing about somebody saying, well, I never drift. You stop reading the Word of God, you're going to drift. You stop praying, you're going to drift. You stop going to church, you're going to drift.

Because you and I live, listen, we live in an age and a society and we live in a time and an environment and an atmosphere and the pressure that is wicked and vile and sinful. Now, think about this for a moment. Storms are inevitable, our anchor is immovable.

Let's say it together. Storms are inevitable, our anchor is immovable. That is, it doesn't move, it doesn't change, it anchors us solid to the Rock of Christ.

So, if that's true, then what we have to ask is this. What is it about the Bible that can anchor me in times of great storms? And I can tell you, only by the grace of God and the anchor of the Word of God, did He take me through some of these storms that I've been through in life, and many of you could testify the same thing. So, I'm going to put a definition of what this book, the Bible, is. Listen, the Bible is the written record of God's revelation of Himself. That is, God revealing Himself. It's the record of God's unfolding revelation of Himself through the spoken Word, in nature, in history, and ultimately through the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world.

So, let's think about that for a moment. The Bible is God's unfolding revelation of Himself. So, when somebody says to you, well, I don't believe that book because it's full of errors. Just hand them your Bible and say, point them out.

Just point them out. Secondly, think about this. Do we have a God who would give us a book that would mislead us?

No. You see, if you don't understand who God is, and this is His book, then it's not going to do you any good to read it if you don't understand who it is that wrote it. Now, somebody says, well, now, what about this God writing it? Well, the Bible says, well, the Bible says, that's how God wrote it. He chose specific men by the Holy Spirit, and governed how those men heard Him, and governed the way they penned, they wrote, they recorded the message of God. If somebody says here, but men can make mistakes.

Let me ask you a question. Does God make mistakes? Does God who is supreme and sovereign control the thinking of men that they don't make mistakes?

You see, all that reasoning is the result of sin in people's lives who want an excuse for not believing the Word of God. This is God's written record and unveiling of Himself. This is who God is. This is how He works. You want to know how God works?

Start in the Old Testament and see how He worked. He's a great person. He's a great person. He's a great person. He's a great person.

And so, the Lord is getting the New Testament to see how He worked. What did He say? How did He work?

How did He respond? How did He move? How did He change things?

How did He work in the lives of people? If you don't understand who He is, then the anchor doesn't work, because we're talking about a God who loves us enough to reveal Himself to us in a written record so that you and I can understand who He is in the midst of blowing winds of storm that come upon us in life. That's what the Word of God is. Now, here's the question. All right, if I understand what the Bible is, God's unfolding revelation of Himself, and understand who this God is that gave us the Word, how does the anchor help me when I'm in times of storm?

Well, let's think about it for a moment. When I'm in times of storm, when I'm in times of storm, when I'm in times of storm, when I'm in times of storm, it comforts me greatly. I can remember some times at night when I'd get out of the bed in the middle of the night, get on my knees by the bed and open the Word of God, and read a passage of Scripture because my heart was broken and because I could not handle the things that I was in the midst of.

Now, listen to this. In Psalm fifty-seven, I read this passage. When you're going through a storm and all hell's breaking loose around you, listen to this. Psalm fifty-seven. Psalm fifty-seven.

If you read it, you underline it, mark it, and one of these days you'll put a date down by and say, Oh God, thank You for this, because I love what He says. In the shadow of Your wings, I will take refuge until this destruction passes by. I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me. He reproaches him who tramples upon me. God will send forth His loving kindness and His truth.

I would read it and read it and read it and read it. And I love the part when He says, And in the shadow of Your wings, I will take refuge until destruction passes by. Now, if I would simply say, whoever you are, you go through some storm in your life.

One of the best places to start with the anchor is getting the Psalms, because think about David, for example. Look at his life. Came up as a young man as a shepherd, killed Goliath, became a servant to Saul. Saul tried to kill him. Saul chased him for twenty years trying to kill him, sustained through all that stormy life. And then his account with Bathsheba, and then his son betrayed him and started a revolution against him to take away the kingdom.

In other words, he lived in one storm after the other. Look at the Psalms. The Psalms are the result of God comforting him and strengthening him, and he's so honest about them.

And he talks about how his soul is in despair and on and on and on he goes about what's going on in his life. It is a comfort. Now, think about this. The Word of God anchors our storm.

Now, watch this. Because He is omniscient, all-knowing, He knows where I am in the storm. Because He's omnipresent, He's with me wherever I am in the storm. And because He's omnipotent, He has the power to bring me through the storm. That is the anchor.

How do I know that's the anchor? Because that's who the Bible says He is. That He is all-knowing, that all presence is in His presence, and He's all-powerful. You remember when the disciples out on the ship at sea and it was about to sink? And they were crying out, and what happens? Here comes Jesus walking on the water. Well, why was He out walking on the water? He could have walked around the shore because in His omniscience He knew where they were. And secondly, you remember what happens? When He comes on, next thing you know, He's in the boat.

He's with them. And the next thing that happens, He just says, Kate, wouldn't you have loved to have heard this? Shh. And the waves get glassy, and everything gets quiet. The awesome power of God. And I can tell you, God can quieten your stormy heart just like He quietened that storm. Thank you for listening to our Anchor in Times of Storm. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-07 02:46:59 / 2024-06-07 02:56:37 / 10

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