Our Anchor in Times of Storms

Welcome to our COVID-19 Connection Series. Today is March 27, 2020, and this is our 9thFacebook Podcast.

COVID-19 has taken the life of three men in Idaho. One 60, one 70, and one 80 years old. As of 3/26/2020 there are 148 confirmed cases in Idaho. In the U.S. 1,000 people have died. 82,000 people have contracted the Coronavirus.

Pause for Prayer: 

  • Ron & Marilyn Bidwell
  • Shut-in’s
  • Church family
  • Spirit Lake officials
  • People working essential jobs
  • Daily provisions 

Our WORD from the Lord:

   Our Word from the Lord today will be from Hebrews 6:17-20. The title for this podcast is: Our Anchor in Times of Storm. 

   I was to begin by letting you know that I am indebt to Dr. Charles Stanley for much of what I am going to be sharing with you in this podcast. 

Hebrews 6:17-20

    17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

   There are many different storms in life. All of us are living in a pandemic – COCID-19! However, it may be possible that before this pandemic that you were facing a conflict at work, or financial trouble, or maybe even a job loss. You might be struggling with poor health (some of our church members are) or a difficult relationship (marriage, children, family). Our heavenly Father doesn’t promise to deliver us from all adversity. However, He has provided us with Scriptures that provides encouragement and comfort. 

Get this truth down: God’s Word is an immovable anchor in times of storm.  

   In the midst of every kind of hardship and pain, you and I can rely on the Bible for stability, guidance, and security.

Play Song: My Anchor Holds by Ray Boltz -https://youtu.be/MSAc5Z2lprk

   I. What is the Cause of Storms?
 
   1. We can bring adversity on ourselves.
 
  • Through sin – Lying, Stealing, Cheating, etc.

“Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay.” (Adrian Rogers)

  • Poor judgment – We do something dumb and face consequences.

   Young girl calls in sick, and later goes off to the Mall. Her employer called her home later and asked for her. Her mother told them she wasn’t home, and that she had gone with her friends to the Mall. When the girl showed up at work the next day, she was fired.

  • Lack of experience – We try something that we have never done before without seeking advice from the more experienced.
 
   2. Some difficulty is caused by the wrongdoing of other people. 
  • People want your job.  

   Something is shared about you that is not true, but is believed, and you are overlooked a promotion, or worse, you are fired.

  • People take something that belongs to you and creates a hardship.

   When Debbie and I were newly married we had our car battery stolen. We had no money to replace it. It wasn’t a good experience. We prayed and God later supplied us a new battery.

  • We had a young man who attended SLBC whose sister was killed by her boyfriend.

   A young lady tells her boyfriend that it’s over, and instead of accepting it and moving on, he get a gun and shoots the young girl. His thought is, “If I can’t have her no one will.”

  • Poor investment by a friend – you lose your shirt.

   You are invited to join an investment. You know little about it, but you put in thousands of dollars. It doesn’t go well, and you lose everything. You now are far behind when it comes to retirement.

   3. Satan brings hardship in an attempt to draw us away from the Lord.
 
  • This is what the book of Job is all about – Job 1-42

   Satan was given permission to bring all kind of hardships in his life, but he couldn’t take his life. Job lost everything, and yet he continued to keep his eyes on God.

  • This is what Satan wanted to do to Peter – Luke 22:31

  Satan would like to sift every one of us. We need people who, like Jesus, are praying for us. We need a very strong faith

  • Paul had a messenger of Satan that buffet him – II Cor. 12:7
 
   4. The Lord causes some adversity.

   Whether or not the storm is from Him, He will always use it for our good. We must trust the Father’s heart – He always has our good in mind.

   The disciples were caught in the midst of a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was in their boat. Disciples awoke Jesus and asked Him, “do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus stood up, spoke to the storm – “Be silent.” God’s power over nature is seen (Mark 4:35-41).

   I can remember when someone close to me was going through a storm that God spoke to me and said, “I waste no hurt.” Those words are an anchor!

   What are some things you faced?

   II. What are God’s Purposes in Storms?

    God wants to . . .

  1. Get our attention.

   When we lose our passion for the Father, He may use troubles and difficulty to gain our focus.

   Example: The Church becoming complacent, so God permitted persecution – Acts 8:1

   Is it possible that through COVID-19 that God is wanting to get people’s attention? Has He gotten yours? Will our nation wake up?

   2. Purify us from sin.

   Through storms, God can call attention to areas of our lives that are not pleasing to Him.

   Andy was a young man in our church that was drinking with his cousin. Driving home from Priest Lake he was in a terrible accident. His leg was damaged, and to this day Andy walks with a limp. The limp reminds him that God does not look lightly on sin.

   Read: I John 3:3

   3. Cause us to surrender to Him.

   The Father may want you to loosen your grip on something you treasure, because He has another blessing in mind for you.

   All too often we don’t want to let go of something, and God will allow a storm in our lives to move is on. I heard about a man called to the mission field. He got this great job at the hospital, and he purchased a big home, and he felt that he couldn’t leave either. One day a storm hit the town, and a tornado destroyed his home. It leveled it. He now had nothing to hold him back from total surrender.

   Do you have anything that you are holding on to too tightly?

   4. Conform us to His image.

   Through adversity, the Lord refines our character and makes us more Christlike. This is what Romans 8:29 is all about. We read,

  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.

   5. Equip us to serve Him.

   If you remain close to the Father, hardships will purify your heart and realign your life with His will.

   III. What makes the Bible an Anchor for our lives?
 
  1. It is the record of God’s unfolding Revelation of Himself.
  • Through the spoken Word (Heb. 1:1)
  • Nature – Romans 1
  • History – Whole Bible is His Story.
  • Ultimately the coming of His Son Jesus Christ into the world – Revelation 19
 
   2. Most importantly, we know who God is because we see how Jesus lived.

   Read: John 14:9-10

   3. The Bible is infallible and inerrantwhich simply means it’s without error.

    God has given us the Bible as our guidebook.

   It has been said of the Bible, “It supplies everything we need for faith and practice.” In other words it provides us doctrine – truth to base our life on. It also gives us the practical ways to live this doctrine out.

   Much of the Bible is built on the following plan – teach doctrine, and then tell us how that doctrine is to be played out in our lives through many practical principles.

  What we believe determines how we live.

   Name one doctrinal truth that you hold on to:

   IV. How does the Word of God Anchor us in times of storm?
 
  1. It comforts us.

   In the middle of heartache and struggle, try reading the Book of Psalms.

   Example: Psalm 57:1-3.

   2. It reminds us of God’s promises.

   Scripture assures us of the Lord’s presence, power, and provision in our lives.

  Read: Matthew 11:28 and Joshua 1:8-9, Hebrews 13:5

   3. It is a compass for our lives.

   Every person is in need of direction. We also need to make sure that we are moving in the right direction. One degree off will cause us to arrive at the wrong destination point.

   Read: Proverbs 3:5-6

   4. It teaches us how the Father works.

   Reading about the saints teaches us how to make wise decisions, and the stories of Israel’s rebellion help us avoid similar mistakes.

   Read: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

   5. It gives us God’s viewpoint.

   By studying how He used adversity in the lives of biblical characters, we can better understand how He may want to use our present struggles.

   V. How does the Bible work as an Anchor? 

   How does an anchor work with a boat? You must use it. Toss it overboard and it sinks, and keeps the boat from drifting. This is how the Bible works as an anchor in our lives as well. We must use it for the purposes that God designed.

   Remember the account of the wise and foolish man in Matthew 7:24-29? One builds on the rock, and the other on the sand. One hears the word, and does it, and the other hears the word, and does nothing. When storms come, and they will come, the one on the rock stands firm, and the other, well, it crashes down.

  1. You must read it.

   Just as a ship’s anchor does no good unless it is lowered, the Word of God can’t encourage you unless you take time to study it.

  • A dusty Bible leads to a dirty life.
  • It matters not how a man marks his Bible, but how the Bible marks the man.
  • Two things God has married, dust on the Bible and drought on the heart.   

   Develop a plan in your life where you are going to read the Bible for at least 15 minutes every day.

   2. You must meditate on it.

   Think about the Lord’s promises and how He proved His faithfulness to believers in the past.

   Meditate – To churn over in your heart and mind. To mediate means that you think about God’s truth often.

   Key Scripture: Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2, 119:15,23,27,48,78,97,99,14

 
   2. Believe what it says.

   If you allow yourself to doubt God’s promises, you will never receive all He has for you.

   My Pastor, Royal Blue use to say, “God said it – that settles it.”

    3. Apply it to your own life first.

   When you read the Bible read it for yourself, and not for someone else. It is always easier to think of someone else who needs what we have read, but we must first read it so that it transforms our own lives.

It’s Me, It’s Me, O Lord

[Refrain:]
It’s me, it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer.

It’s me, it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer.

Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer.

Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer. (Refrain)

Not the preacher, not the deacon, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer.

Not the preacher, not the deacon, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer. (Refrain)

Not my father, not my mother, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer.

Not my father, not my mother, but it’s me, O Lord,

standing in the need of prayer. (Refrain)

   4. You must be willing to obey it.

   Name at least three things that God has told you to do from His word in recent days.

   1.
   2.
   3.

   You and I live in traying times, and unless we are grounded, we will drift in our devotion to the Lord. So anchor yourself to His Word. It will comfort you, remind you of His promises, reveal His ways, and act as a moral compass. Most importantly, it will renew your mind with His eternal perspective. Regardless of what storms come, you can weather them with confidence, anchored to the solid rock of Jesus Christ.