Confidence In Chaos – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

Confidence In Chaos

Acts 27:25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

Intro: Paul’s life in this chapter was almost the consummate picture of chaos, turmoil, and trouble.

You name it, Paul experienced it in this one story.

               A. Disruptive Chains – vs. 1 …they delivered Paul and other prisoners…

               B. Disregarded Counsel – vs. 9-11 – Paul admonished them…nevertheless…

               C. Destructive Commotion – vs. 14-18 – Euroclydon = “a violent agitation”

               D. Devastating Cost – vs. 18, 19 everyone’s personal items; great personal loss

               E. Demoralizing Conditions – vs. 20 – all hope…was then taken away…

BUT – in spite of all this Paul also experienced…

               F. Definite Confidence – I exhort you to be of good cheer…

How is this possible? How was Paul able to maintain such a high level of confidence in all this chaos?

Paul had Confidence In Chaos because of…

I. The Sustaining Presence of God – vs. 23 “…there stood by me this night the angel of God…”

  • Acts 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

God didn’t just stand by him, but he let him know it.

God didn’t abandon him in the storm.

God didn’t abandon him in the night.

God didn’t leave him alone during the chaos.

God was there; and God made His presence known.

Paul acknowledged that he belonged to God. (whose I am…)

God never abandons His own.

  • Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

NOTE: The “angel of the Lord” and “angel of God” appeared many times during times of great trial.

  • Genesis 22:11 – when Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac
  • Judges 6:12 – to Gideon when they were under siege from the Midianites
  • 1 Kings 19:7 – to Elijah when he was running from Jezebel
  • Matthew 1:20 – when Joseph needed to take baby Jesus out of danger from Herod
  • Acts 5:19 – to deliver the apostles from prison
  • Acts 12:7 – to deliver Peter from prison

Just to name a few…

Don’t forget the “fourth man in the fire” in Daniel!

Paul testified later of God’s constant, sustaining presence.

2 Timothy 4

  • 16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
  • 17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

Paul had Confidence In Chaos because of…

II.  The Sovereign Plan of God“…thou must be brought before Caesar…”

Nothing man can do can thwart God’s ultimate plan.

If we have faith in God’s plan, we can have confidence in chaos.

Jesus had extraordinary boldness in times of great danger and opposition.

  • John 7:30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.

He knew nothing could disrupt God’s timetable.

ILLUSTRATION: When Jesus said let us go to the other side, they should have known they’d get there!

Luke 8

  • 22 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
  • 23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
  • 24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
  • 25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.

Paul had Confidence In Chaos because of…

III. The Steadfast Promises of God – vs. 24 “…I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me…”

A. The Source of the Promise – vs. 23, 24 “…an angel of God.. Saying…”

B. The Surety of the Promise – vs. 25 “…for I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me…”

C. The Solace of the Promise – vs. 25 “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer…”