We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; We are perplexed, but not in despair. Percecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.
-2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Sometimes people think they will have smooth sailing as long as they are in the will of God. But that wasn’t true of the apostle Paul. He seemed to face every kind of adversity imaginable, from enemies who tried to destroy him to physical suffering to being shipwrecked three times.
We all will have shipwrecks in our lives in some way, shape, or form. The reality of life is that we are either coming out of a storm or we are going into one. That is just the way it is. There are times when we will have smooth sailing. There are times when the sky will be blue and the sun will be shining. There will be beautiful moments in our lives in between the storms. Thank God for those moments.
But the reality is that we can live a prosperous life in the will of God and still face conflict. Paul went through a shipwreck on his way to Rome, but he had a prosperous journey by the will of God because of what it ultimately accomplished. That is a different definition of prosperity than we may normally think of.
It has been said that you can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails. I cannot control the world. I would love to if I could. Nor can I control the circumstances that come my way. But I can control my reaction to them. I can redirect my sails and adapt.
We all will face storms, difficulties, and even shipwrecks. So it is time for us to develop our sea legs and not focus so much on how to avoid storms, but on how to get through them, how to survive them, and how to learn the lessons that we can only learn in such places. (By Greg Laurie)