FOUR STRONG ANCHORS FOR LIFE'S STORMY SEAS
Intro: Ill. The Context. These brave sailors were in a storm that seemed to
be overwhelming. In an effort to save the ship and their lives, they cast four
anchors into the sea. Sadly, these anchors proved ineffective against the
storm and the ship was ultimately lost.
However, on board that ship was a man named Paul. He was a special
man for several reason: 1. He was a child of God; 2. He was a man on
a mission; 3. He was a man of faith; and 4. He was in fellowship with
God. Because of who he was, Paul was anchored in the midst of that
storm, even though the ship wasn't!
Those sailors threw four anchors into the sea in an attempt to steady
that ship. Those anchors failed. As I read this text, I become aware that
Paul had four anchors as well. These anchors steadied him during the
storm. Even though that ship was shaken and battered, Paul was able to
stand steady and strong.
I would like to take a few moments this evening to share with you those
anchors that kept Paul steady during the storm. You see, those same
anchors are available to you and me this evening. Allow me to share with
you these Four Strong Anchors For Life's Stormy Seas.
I. v.23 THE STRONG ANCHOR OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD
A. Even in the midst of that raging storm, Paul found that he was not alone. The Lord came to him to minister peace to his heart.
B. Regardless of the storm that tosses your life and mine, if we have the
same confidence that Paul has in his relationship to the Lord, v. 23,
then we can have faith in His promise to be with us always - Matt.
28:20; Heb. 13:5 (Ill. David - Psalm 23:4)
C. Ill. What an encouragement it is to know that we will never face an
instant of life on our own! Every step, every valley, every mountain
will be graced by His presence! Ill. Psa. 23:6 - The blessed footmen
of God, goodness and mercy, follow us every where we go!
D. It would be a blessing if we enjoyed the manifest presence of the
Lord as Paul did. But, even when you cannot see Him, He is still
there: watching, leading, protecting, being God.
(Ill. Dr. Tony Compolo says that when he was a boy growing up in a
congested and bustling city, his mother arranged for a teenage girl
who lived nearby to walk home with him at the end of the day. For
this, she was paid a nickel a day. But Tony rebelled in the second
grade and told his mother, "I'll walk myself to school, and, if you give
me a nickel a week, I will be extra careful. You can keep the other
twenty cents and we'll all be better off."
After a period of pleading and begging, little Tony finally got his
way. For the next two years he walked himself back and forth to
school. It was an eight-block walk with many streets to cross, but he
was careful and didn't talk to strangers or get distracted along the
Years later at a family party, he bragged about his independence
and reminded his family of how he had taken care of himself as a
boy. His mother laughed and added the rest of the story. "Did you
really think you were alone?" she said. "Every morning when you left
for school, I left with you. I walked behind you all the way. When you
got out of school at 3:30 in the afternoon, I was there. I always kept
myself hidden, but I was there and I followed you all the way home.
I just wanted to be there for you in case you needed me.")
II. v.24-25 THE STRONG ANCHOR OF THE PROMISES OF GOD
A. As Paul weathered that long, terrible storm, the Lord came to him
with a precious promise. He reminded Paul that he would stand
before Caesar, and that all those on the ship were to be spared as
well. For Paul, just having a word from God was enough to anchor
him and give him blessed assurance. Why? He knew that God was
as good as His Word, Rom. 4:21.
B. His promises are steadfast and true! Rom. 3:4; Heb. 6:18.
Notice what promises we have to assure of total security.
1. Brighter Days - Psa. 30:5
2. Deliverance - Psa. 34:19
3. Everything is for our Good - Rom. 8:18; 28; 32 Cor. 4:17
4. Divine Grace - 2 Cor. 12:9
5. Ultimate Glory - Rev. 21:4
C. His promises are based in and on His Word. It is pure, inspired and will stand when the world is in flames, Psa. 119:89!
(Ill. Dr. Everek R. Storms of Ontario spent a vast amount of time
studying the promises of Scripture. Writing in Contact Magazine, he
said: "The Holy Scriptures contain a grand total of 8,810 promises.
How do I know? I counted them.
"All my life I have seen various figures quoted as to the number
of promises in the Bible. The one most generally given is 30,000.
Since this is a round number with four zeroes in it, I have always
been a little suspicious about it. Furthermore, since there are only 31,101 verses in the Bible, it would mean that there would be
practically one promise in every verse. I do not guarantee my count
to be perfect, but it is the most accurate I know of."
Dr. Storms goes on to classify the promises found in Scripture
into eight kinds:
- •There are 7,487 promises from God to man (about 85 percent of
all the Bible's promises).
- •There are 991 instances of one person making a promise to
- •There are 290 promises from man to God.
- •There are 29 promises made by the angels, most of them found
- •There are 9 promises made by "that old liar, the devil." (For
example, his promise to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world
if he would fall down and worship him.)
- •2 promises are made by an evil spirit.
- •2 are made by God the Father to God the Son.
Dr. Storms additionally found that one book of the Bible contains
no promise at all--Titus. Ephesians has only six promises. On the
other hand, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel have over 1,000 promises
What section of Scripture most impressed Dr. Storms? He wrote,
"The most outstanding chapter as far as promises are concerned
in Psalm 37. Practically every verse is a most wonderful
(Ill. In one memorable scene from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress,
Christian, finding the pathway difficult, climbed over a stile to walk in
a meadowy bypath. Eventually the ground grew soggy and covered
with poisonous vines. The sky became black, and Christian spent the
night huddled at the foot of an oak tree, caught in a downpour. Next
morning, Giant Despair came upon him, captured him, beat him, and
imprisoned him in the dungeon of Doubting Castle with its grim
battlements and thick, black walls. Christian tried to sing, but couldn't.
His mood was dungeon-dark. Giant Despair beat him mercilessly,
and he grew weaker each day. At length he found in his cell a rope,
a knife, and a bottle of poison, the tools of suicide, and for a moment
he was tempted to end his misery.
But one evening about midnight he began to pray, and …… a
little before day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake out into
this passionate speech: What a fool am I, thus to lie in a stinking
dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my
bosom, called Promise, that will, I am sure, open any lock in
It did. Using the key of God's promises, Christian escaped, never
again to fall into the clutches of Giant Despair or Doubting Castle.)
D. Claim the promises of God as an anchor for your soul as you sail the
story seas of life! They will unlock the prisons of despair in which the
devil seeks to chain you!
III. v. 24 THE STRONG ANCHOR OF THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD
A. Paul is told by the Lord that this storm is a part of God working out
His plan in Paul's life. At that moment in time, that storm was the
safest place in the world for Paul to be! Why? Because he was in the
will of the Lord and God was working in a mighty way in the situation
to bring about His will for Paul's life.
B. Did you know that God is doing the very same thing in your life as
well? It may be simple faith, but I still believe that God is Sovereign!
This just means that He is in absolute control of everything that
happens in life! He is a Sovereign Lord - Isa. 45:7. Listen to the
testimony of James concerning this sovereign Lord - James 1:17.
If I didn't know God was on His throne, I would not want to live in this
world another second, but as long as I know He orders the storms,
(Ill Disciples and storm - Mark 6:45-50), I can weather them. He
knows what is best and that is all He sends into your life and mine, Rom. 8:28. The best thing we can do when the storms rage about
us is run to Him for refuge and cling to Him until the storm passes, Psa. 57:1; Isa. 25:4.)
(Ill.Emperor Charles V was trying to assassinate John Brenz, friend
of Martin Luther. Hearing of the plot, Brenz barely had time to grab
a loaf of bread and duck into his neighbor's hayloft. There he hid
fourteen days. The bread was quickly gone, but the Lord sent a hen
who showed up and laid an egg each day for fourteen days. In this
way, Brenz was kept alive. On the fifteenth day the chicken didn't
come, and the reformer wondered what he would do. But from the
street below came the cries, "The cavalrymen are gone at last."
In a similar way, a dog provided for the needs of another
reformer, John Craig, who was arrested during the Inquisition. On
the eve of his scheduled execution, Craig escaped, but while fleeing
through the Italian backcountry, he ran out of food and money.
Suddenly a dog approached him, a purse in its mouth. Craig tried to
drive the animal away, but it dog persisted in bringing the purse to
Craig. In it was enough money to take him to freedom.
Similarly, Robert Bruce of Scotland was running for his life,
fleeing persecutors. He ducked into a small cave, and a spider
immediately appeared and spun a web over the opening. Bruce's
pursuers fanned across the landscape, knowing he was near. Two
of them approached the cave, and one of the men started to go in.
The other one stopped him, saying, "He could never have gotten in
there without breaking that spider's web."
Bruce breathed this prayer, "O God, I thank Thee that in the tiny
bowels of a spider you can place for me a shelter.")
C. Ill. V. Raymond Edman said this in a book called Quietness and
Confidence, "First, He brought me here, it is by His will I am in this
strait place: in that fact I will rest.
Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me the grace to
behave as His child.
Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He
intends for me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to
Last, in His good time He can bring me out again--how and
when He knows.
Let me say I am here,
(1) By God's appointment
(2) In His keeping
(3) Under His training
(4) For His time."
E. That is the kind of confidence that will let you shout in the devil's
face, even while the storm still rages, Ill. Job - Job 1:20-21!
F. Notice this: even after Paul received the great promise of the Lord for
himself and all on board the ship, the men still tried to take care of
matters on their own, v. 28-39, and some even tried to get off the
ship, v. 30-31. Even in the face of God's promise, v. 21-26, the men
in the ship fought, feared and fretted in the midst of the storm.
There was just one guy on board who was enjoying the trip: Paul!
Why? Because he believed God! He knew God was working and
he used that truth as an anchor!
Friends, we live in a day when men are abandoning ship at an
alarming rate! The storms of life attack them and they run from the
church, the old ship of Zion. Can I remind you that the best place
you can be in the storms of life is in the ship, where the Lord wants
you to be. If you leave the ship, you might face the fury of the storm
on your own. If you stay where the lord has planted you, you can be
assured that His providential work in your life will be carried out to
IV. v.44 THE STRONG ANCHOR OF THE PERFORMANCE OF GOD
A. What the Lord told Paul, and what Paul believed would happen came
to pass: everyone made it safely to the shore. God kept His Word!
He spared every life and proved Himself to be as good as His Word!
B. God is able to work it all out! He will get you through your storm and
land you safely beyond it! It may look this evening like the boat is
going to sink. It may look like the storms of life are going to prevail.
However, when the waves have all settled down, when the winds
have ceased their blowing, when the rains have abated, when the
storm clouds have moved off to the horizon: you will see that God
was in control all along! I can promise you this, no storm in this life
will be able to blow you off the course God has determined for your
life! He will secure you during the storm and He will successfully
deliver you to the safe harbor of His glory!
C. Corrie Ten Boom said it this way, "When Jesus takes your hand,
He keeps you tight. When Jesus keeps you tight, He leads you
through your whole life. When Jesus leads you through your
life, He brings you safely home."
D. I would just remind you this evening that our God is a strong and
powerful God, Luke 1:37; Job 42:2. He cab do anything that needs
to be done, Eph. 3:20. The fact of the matter is, He didn't save you
to lose His grip on you in a storm. No! He saved you to take you
home to glory and that is just what He will do, John 6:37-40!
Conc: Have you set your anchors deep in the Lord this evening? If you
have, then you can weather life's storms. If you haven't, be prepared to be
blown about by the winds of adversity. I would encourage you to come
before the Lord and say something like this, "Lord, I cannot fix my
situation. I cannot calm the raging seas of my life and I cannot still the
winds that blow against me. I need help today. By faith, I cast the
anchors of your presence, you promises, your providence and your
performance into my stormy sea. I am resolved to trust you to walk
onto my storm and speak peace when it is your will to do so. Until
then, I will not fear, I will not fret, and I will not fight. I will trust you to
do what is best for me." When you throw in the towel and come to a place
of total trust before the Lord in your storm, it gets His attention and you can
be sure that He will do something about your situation!