3 Anchors Needed on the Sea of AdversityApril 3, 2014
“The worth of any journey,” said A.W. Tozer, “can always be measured by the difficulties along the way. The more difficult the journey, the more satisfying the destination.” This sentiment rings true down in my heart. My head even nods in agreement when I read such quotes. However, the “journey” is more than a sentence written in a book, it is a reality recorded in the crucible of moments. Hard-pressed, gut-wrenching, faith-tempting, storm-tossing moments.
The easiest thing to do is wax eloquent about adversity when you are not going through its waters. But when you are hurled back and forth on that proverbial sea, you desperately reach for any and everything you can to stay above water. Many times we romanticize adversity because we understand God’s usage and intent through it. But the truth is we don’t always see the end. We don’t appreciate the growth and development that adversity can bring until days, or even years, after reaching the shore.
So what is the response of a child of God when the bearings of his ship are lost? What is he to anchor to while traveling on adverse waters?
1. The Anchor of God’s Providence
When you know the WHO, you don’t have to know the WHY. Alexander Carson said it this way, “The sun and the rain minister to the nourishment and comfort equally of the righteous and the wicked, not from necessity of general laws, but from the immediate providence of Him who, in the government of the world, wills the results.” I shy away from explaining the providence of God in death, sickness, and emotional despair. Explanations are for another lifetime. We simply must anchor our hope and trust in the God Who wills everything for our good. Remember, good things are good evidently, bad things are good eventually. All things are good in the light of His glory.
2. The Anchor of God’s Promises
In the storm, we too often listen for a voice to guide us while we leave the charting map somewhere folded in the cabin. God has given us His promises. His Word is not a glorified doctrinal thesis to be debated by various theological schools of thought. It is to be used, applied, and trusted. We are to anchor our souls in every jot and title. God has spoken. God has answers. Every line in His Word should be used to connect our ship to His grace and truth. God’s Word isn’t just for sermon preparation, it is for life implementation.
3. The Anchor of God’s People
In his book, True Community, Jerry Bridges states, “Biblical community goes much deeper than sharing common goals, though it ultimately involves that. Biblical community is first of all the sharing of the common life in Christ.” The “common life” in Christ is sure to be filled with the fellowship of His sufferings. On every sea in every storm in the Bible you will discover believers traveling together. Storms are easier to endure when others help toss over the anchor.