If the storm is big enough, who knows? You might become a Christian.
OCTOBER 4, 2023
If the storm is big enough, who knows, you might become a Christian. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers sick of phony religion and pious clichés. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you’re just joining us, we’re looking at the 27th chapter of the Book of Acts, and we’re moving to the end of this multi month study in the Book of Acts. And I’ve loved this for my own personal sake, and I hope you found it helpful, too. But it’ll be nice to move to something else. I think when we finish the next chapter, I want to say something about the 29th chapter. And you say there is no 29th chapter, I know. But that’s the one that you write. And after we do that in the next three or four weeks, I’m going to take some time to go into the Book of Proverbs. Wisdom that will blow you away. And we’re going to spend some time, not as long as we spent in Acts, but we’re going to spend some time In the Book of Proverbs. But if you were listening yesterday, we were talking about how Paul had gone through all kinds of storms, personal storms and actual storms with wind and rain and destruction. And the 27th chapter of Acts is a good place to find out how Paul did under pressure. The Christian faith is not power without pressure, it’s power under pressure. And if you want to see what a man’s made of, or a woman’s made of, check it when it gets bad, when it’s hard, when the wind begins to blow. And so, we’re looking at the apostle Paul, and we saw that the first thing about the apostle Paul is that in the middle of the storm, he exercised good, old fashioned common sense. You know what, you know what bothers me about our present culture? Let me tell you, well, a lot does. And I can’t get into that without becoming political. And Jesus told me I couldn’t do that on this broadcast. So I won’t, but you know what bothers me about our present culture? It’s crazy. I mean, really crazy. It’s not that what is being taught and what is being believed and what is being lived is just crazy, it goes against everything that everybody knows is crazy. The average person on the street looks at what’s happening in his child’s school, what’s happening in the courts, what’s happening in media and in film, what people are saying, and the average person who has some basic common sense says, that’s crazy. Common sense is a good thing. Paul didn’t have an angel to tell him something, he didn’t have a revelation from God about the storm, he was not dealing with supernatural stuff. It was just plain old common sense, and that’s what we should ask God for. And then secondly, we saw, and I’m going to talk a little bit more about that today. Paul not only had common sense. In the midst of the storm, he was committed to God, and no matter how fierce the storm, that would not change. He was, after all, the one who wrote Romans 8:35 through 39.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ, shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
When he wrote that and he’s a good friend of mine, in his mind’s eye he went back and he thought about that storm he was in and was thinking how true what I just wrote. Remember Job 13:15.
Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.
As Job went through all of the pain and the suffering of his life.
Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.
Now, you need to know that was the only spiritual thing that Job said that was right for the rest of the book. I mean, don’t lift up Job as your example of everything, but that statement was an important statement. And it was a statement of how God led Job through horrible storms and how at the end Job survived. Edward Wilson was one of the polar party of five who reached the South Pole in 1912. The return journey was 800 miles, one man collapsed and died halfway back, another went out gallantly and accepted death, the other three kept on until they came within 11 miles of safety, and they all died. Major tragedy, no. Listen to Edward Wilson’s diary.
So I live, knowing that I’m in God’s hands to be used to bring others to Him. If He wills, by a long life full of work, or to die tomorrow, if he so wills, having done nothing worth mentioning, we must do what we can and leave the rest to him. My trust is in God, so that it matters not what I do or where I go.
Are you going through a storm? Are you scared? Of course you are, I get that. Bad things can happen, of course they can happen. We live in a fallen world, but cling to God. And trust me on this, that will be enough. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve Brown. And still one more day of teaching this week from the book of Acts, that would be tomorrow. Hope you’ll stick with us as we steadily draw closer to the end of this study. Well, Steve has preached a lot of sermons in his decades of ministry, like a lot, a lot. But there’s one sermon title that just grabs me every time When Believing is Hard and Pretending Doesn’t Work. And if you’ve been in that place, man, you know. I’d like you to take a listen to four minutes from that sermon and see if there’s something there for you. And if so, there’s a special free offer you’re going to be interested in. Here’s Steve.
Some of you have never doubted in your life. And you’re quite proud of that. You’re a covenant child. Your mother told you it was true and your mother would never lie. So, you have never doubted. Now, denial’s a nice place to live, but let me tell you something, when the doctor says you’ve got cancer, when your daughter’s pregnant and there’s no husband, when your life is falling apart and people know about your sin, call me and we’ll talk about faith. But I suspect that the great majority of people really do believe. It’s very difficult and you’ve struggled with it and you’ve come to this position, you really do believe. Some of you may be pastors, some of you missionaries, some of you staff members at a para church organization, and you really believe it and you’ve given your life to it. But at night, just before you go to sleep in the dark, you think, I hope this is true because if it’s not, I’ve really screwed up my life. And then you go to sleep. I want to talk to you this morning. And I got some really neat stuff to show you. Now, in just a moment, we’re going to get down. But first I want to go down a couple of side roads, side road number one, you know those people who never doubt, the leaders who stand before you and talk about their purity and their goodness and their obedience and their faith, you know those people, they are lying to you. And it’s very important that you remember, now they don’t mean to hurt you, they’re trying to help. They’re trying to bring you to a position of maturity and then they will tell you the truth. But listen to me, they are lying to you. Listen, what we believe is really big and it’s really hard to believe and everybody I know has doubts. And it’s very important that you remember what I just taught you or you’ll get discouraged. Now, I’ve got a second side road that’s not totally unconnected to the first side road and it is this, never ever for God’s sake dumb down your faith to fit your doubts. Never ever dumb down your faith to fit your doubts. Look at the 33rd verse.
The Jews answered him, “It is not for good work that we’re going to stone you but blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”
Whoa, he did. And that is a big, big thing. I’ve done that. As some of you know, I’m a graduate of a very liberal, left wing graduate school in Boston. A graduate school of theology and I went there because I didn’t believe anything and they didn’t either. Gradually, I began to make my faith fit my doubt. I didn’t believe in the Virgin Birth, intellectuals know that virgins don’t have babies. I didn’t believe in the resurrection because intellectuals know that corpses don’t get out of graves. Okay? I didn’t believe the Bible as a authority, it was an important book. But certainly not an inerrant book because people who were intellectuals simply knew that no book could be inerrant. And then the doctor told me my daughter was really, really sick. And I reached for my faith and there was none.
Listen, if you have doubts, if you have those moments of darkness, I really think this sermon is going to speak to you. Get it on CD for free right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. To mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the CD called When Believing is Hard and Pretending Doesn’t Work. And finally, if you value the work of Key Life would you prayerfully consider supporting that work through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.