Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.
I don’t know whether you’ve ever been shipwrecked. I haven’t. But the apostle Paul was shipwrecked three times. Paul wrote to Timothy, “Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked” (1 Timothy 1:19 NLT).
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I have seen people like this—people who have had their faith shipwrecked. When they experience a tragedy, they say they’ve lost their faith. I would suggest that maybe they didn’t have real faith to begin with, because the faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted.
I think all of us hope for clear sailing in the sea of life. But we will all have shipwrecks in life, things that happen that don’t make sense. The Bible says, “When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:3–4 NLT).
If your faith can’t stand a test, then it isn’t real faith. Get rid of it and replace it with real faith in a real God. I believe that when Christians go through a crisis, their faith should not be destroyed. They should not lose their faith. Their faith should grow stronger because they’re clinging to the Lord in the midst of it.
There are times in life when there are no storms at all. There are no shipwrecks. Thank God for those days. But after you have lived a while, you know something about storms. One is always on the way—maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, maybe not for a month, or maybe not for a year. But a storm will come. So be prepared for it.