The Bible teaches us that there are three kinds of storms in life: storms that we bring on ourselves (like Samson and his self-induced troubles), storms that God causes (like the one that Jesus stilled on Lake Galilee), and storms that other people cause (as when Paul and Silas were thrown into prison). When you are the innocent party in a crisis, that last kind of storm is especially hard to take.

So how do we deal with these crises? How do we stay calm and maintain our confidence and courage, regardless of what happens?

God put the apostle Paul, as a prisoner, on board a ship headed from Palestine to Rome. (Actually, Paul had a great desire to go to Rome and preach, but he hadn’t planned on this being the means of getting there.) After the ship ventured through the Mediterranean Sea and docked at the island of Crete, God told Paul to advise the crew not to leave the harbor because there was going to be a great storm. But the sailors were impatient to get to a better harbor, so they ignored what God had told them through Paul (Acts 27:9–12).

Impatience often gets us into trouble. When we allow ourselves to become impatient, we find ourselves faced with a storm. I have spoken with many crisis-ridden people who were impatient: impatient to get married, impatient to get a new job, or impatient to move to the other side of town. They didn’t take time to check things out with God, and they sailed right off into the awaiting storms.

Paul told the sailors, “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also” (v. 10). But they sailed into the storm anyway. Why? Because they were following human nature. There are three common reasons why people get themselves in a mess. And these reasons hold true, whether the mess happened about two thousand years ago in the book of Acts or happens today, because human nature has not changed!

Rick Warren, God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).

We have just released a new Bible Study based on Rick Warren’s book, God’s Answer to Life’s Difficult Questions.

These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.

Lessons include:

How to Cope with Stress

How Can I Rebound from Failure?

How Can I Defeat Depression?

How Can I Live Above Average?

How Can I Have Peace of Mind?

How Can I Handle Discouragement?

How Can I Overcome My Problems?

How Can I Be Confident In a Crisis?

How Can I Ever Change?

How Did I Get Myself in To This Mess?

How Can I Overcome Loneliness?

Why Is This Happening to Me?