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“When Worry Becomes Fear”

Acts 27:27-32

On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, "Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved." So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away.

Thoughts for Today:

Our passage today really sounds a lot like me:

1. I get direction from the Lord about how to solve a problem (previously Paul had shared his vision that no lives would be lost);

2. But I start to get worried (the sailors sensed they were approaching land);

3. So I do some research that confirms my fears (the sailors take soundings and find the water depth is rising from 120 feet deep to 90);

4. I begin to take some defensive action (the sailors drop four anchors to slow the ships progress toward land);

5. I prepare to abandon the Lord's plan and go with mine, but don't tell anyone (the sailors pretend they are not abandoning ship, but let the lifeboats down in secret);

6. I get caught by someone I respect who holds me accountable (Paul tells them, "You've got to stay with the ship if you want to be saved");

7. Hopefully I ditch my plan and go back to God's (the sailors cut the ropes and let the life boats fall away).

It sure seems like a whole lot of wasted time and effort doesn't it? Especially when it would be so much easier to just "rest" in the Lord. I don't know about you, but I'm not so good at "resting" especially when I let worry begin to dominate my thoughts. In Luke 12:25-26, Jesus gives us His perspective on the uselessness of worry, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"

Questions to Ponder:

Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Worry is the wellspring of fear, and fear is what causes us to take matters into our own hands instead of "resting" or continuing to "rest" in the Lord. Is there an area of your life that you need to rest in the Lord's provision? Has the Lord already spoken to you on a matter yet you continue to worry? Maybe you need to take a break from worry. Why not ditch your plans and go back to the Lord's?

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About the author

Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.