RECAP: FAITHFUL IN ADVERSITY–based on Acts 27
We all will have trouble at some point in our lives. Storms will come. But the test of who we are is what we do when the storm comes. Maybe we are completely at the mercy of what comes, like a derecho. Sometimes, the storm arises from our own self-inflicted wounds and failings. At other times, the storm comes at no fault of our own but is a result of the stubbornness of others. But how do we respond when those storms arise?
Paul certainly had his struggles: beatings, floggings, imprisonment, stonings, etc. But he was also involved in a shipwreck. Even though he counseled not to sail to Rome after Yom Kippur, the centurion refused to listen and sailed on anyway. While on the journey, the Northeaster arose, and it caused the soldiers and sailors to become so disoriented, they could not see the sun or stars and lost all sense of direction. They needed the skies for direction. They were lost and could run aground at any point along the rocky terrain of the Mediterranean. It wasn’t Paul’s fault, but he was in the storm nonetheless. And the men did what most of us would do: stop eating and gave up hope.
But how did Paul remain faithful? How did this story of potential disaster resolve with no loss of life?
First, Paul did not fear the storm. Rather, he remembered who he was anchored on. When Jesus encountered his own storm at sea, he spoke to the wind and the waves “Peace be still.” Jesus also taught that the one who stands when the floods rise and the rains come down and the winds beat against the house is the one who is anchored on the rock. Paul did not fear the storm but trusted in his anchor. He firmly believed in the word Jesus had given him: “You must stand trial before Caesar.” He took that as an assurance that God was with him through it all. In addition, he sought God’s face and interceded on behalf of the entire ship.
Too often when we face the storm, we shut at God (Lord, don’t you care we’re going to drown!) or try to spend all our energy fighting the storm. But we can make it out the other side if we anchor ourselves in God and his holy Word! Trust him and he will see us through.
Second, Paul showed his faithfulness through his practice. Instead of panic, he tried to encourage and uplift the souls of those on board. He spoke words of life: “Not one of you will be lost; everyone one of you will be spared.” He encouraged the men to not fear and take food. Instead of playing the blame game, he came alongside those in peril, including his enemies, and broke bread with them. And in so doing, through his confidence in God, through uplifting the souls of the sailors and soldiers, no one was lost. And even when they did run aground and the ship broke to pieces, not even the prisoners had to lose their life according to Roman law because of Paul’s intervention.
Storms will come. But how do we respond when they arise? Let us meet our fears with faith in God. Let us focus on the positive and uplift the weary instead of dwelling on the negative. God’s name is worthy of blessing, both in the good times and the bad! Trust your anchor!
Questions for reflection
1) What do you fear most? Is it something you can turn over to God? Why or why not?
2) How would you describe your trust level in God?
3) Why is it difficult to uplift and encourage when the going is rough?
4) Who do we need to fellowship with?
Pastor Ryan will conclude the Acts Church series with the sermon titled, “Believing All Can Know Jesus,” based upon Acts 28:17-31. What do we believe about the mission? How far are we willing to go? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for September 29 – October 5
September 29: 1 Kings 17 How did God show his faithfulness to the widow?
September 30: 2 Kings 23 How did Josiah show he was faithful?
October 1: Jeremiah 32 How did Jeremiah show his faithfulness in the midst of adversity?
October 2: 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 How was Paul faithful in the midst of adversity?
October 3: Hebrews 10:19-39 How can we be faithful in the midst of adversity?
October 4: Malachi 3:1-4 How can the fire benefit us as a believer?
October 5: 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 How can the fire benefit us as a believer?
September 29–Bob Healy
September 30–Janet Stepp
October 1–Chris Dastoli
October 5–Debbie Bollinger
This Week’s Events:
Sunday, October 4–World Wide Communion Sunday
Sunday, October 4–Bible Study resumes, 6:30 pm
Wednesday, October 7–Worship Team Meeting, 6:30 pm
Thursday, October 15–Leadership Team Meeting, 7 pm
Wednesday, October 21–Ministry Team Meeting, 6:30 pm
Wednesday, October 28 & Thursday, October 29–District Conference events via Zoom
Sunday, November 1–Congregational Business Meeting
Sunday, November 15–District Conference Worship service
Sunday, November 29–Advent Begins & Hanging of the Greens?
Congrats to Samantha Cooper for becoming a member of Beaver Creek through baptism and Scott McAvoy into the church membership through an affirmation of faith.
New Sermon Series!
For much of the months of October and November, we will study through the book of 1 Peter with the sermon series, “Faithful in Troubled Times.” When Peter wrote this epistle, it was to a church that was under the fire of Caesar Nero, one of the most ruthless and unstable emperors of the Roman Empire. As we face our current troubled waters, what can we learn from Peter’s counsel to the church as they navigated their own waters?
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Beginning Sunday, October 4th, we will resume Bible Study at 6:30 pm. It will resume via Zoom for the time being. If you would like to participate but do not have Zoom ability, we can make alternative arrangements.
Call to Prayer
Even though the day of prayer event is over, let us continue to remember to pray. The seven areas we prayed for on Saturday were:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
6) Restoration of the national church
Let us continue to pray for these seven things not just for the final 35 days before the election, but beyond as well!
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
More details will be coming soon, but the Outreach Team has agreed to lead the creation of Sunshine Boxes for our members in long term care facilities.
Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website**NOTE** This avenue of giving will phase out on December 31. If you are currently using this format, the Finance Team encourages you to use the online giving tool.
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
5) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Mary Batterman (health)
Regina Harlow (health)
Eli Harlow (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Heath Kimmell (Reba and Garry’s son-in-law, health)
LaDawn Knicely (health, recovering at home)
Alda Miller (health)
Diane Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (general well-being)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Chris Shirk (Reba’s brother, health)
Crystal Smith (health, good news)
Carolyn Wine (health, at SRMH)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health–Charles Wright’s brother)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB