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On Nov 23, 1693 the HMS Sussex set sail. The 80 gun battle ship with its crew of 500 was believed to be carrying $500 million in gold. On March 1, 1694 the ship came across a violent storm at the edge of the Mediterranean. During storms that threaten the safety of the ship it will be all hands on deck.
At that time the 500 man crew would tie a life line from themselves to the base of the mast in fear of being swept overboard by the fierceness of the storm. On the evening of March 1, the storm overcame the ship and sank it. Of the 500 man crew, 2 survived.
Sailors would tattoo the term “hold fast” to their knuckles, so when they gripped a line, it would remind them to hold on for their life depended on it. And not if, but when a violent storm hit, “hold fast” would scream in their heart.
I scream in my heart for you, “Hold Fast”! There is hope.
Romans 10:11, “Anyone who puts their hope in YOU will not be put to shame.”
Praying with Clenched Fists
God will not let your hope in Him be put to shame. Today I believe true hope or true faith in God is lost. When I see brothers and sisters going through real storms, and I mean life-or-death real, my-life-will-be-changed real, the question is not just asked but screamed with clenched fist, “GOD, WHERE ARE YOU?”
Hold fast to Hope. Not hope like the world puts hope in a lucky rabbit’s foot, but the hope in faith that God will do what He says He will do in His word!
Roman 10:11 says, “Those who put their hope in God will not be put to shame.”
God will not let you down. Most times we believe God will not help because we are not worthy. That’s right, we are not worthy. But Christ, the son of God, our God, only true God, died for our sins. That thinking belittles what He did on the cross, as if His death wasn’t enough. We need to put that thinking to death and grab hold of Hope and HOLD FAST.
And at all cost of life-or-death choose to believe God will do what He said He will do, Jer. 1:12, ” …for I am watching over My word to perform it…..” No matter the squall, stick to it!
Don’t stop praying.
Not this wimpy praying we do in church. “God please heal Brother Jake, he has cancer. Amen.” What type of praying is that? Being a minister for 7 years I hear a lot. One that broke my heart was when a pastor talked about prayer. He said a member of his church was dying from cancer. He said the church prayed for him and then said “Yeah we prayed, we didn’t really pray, we just ya know? We did the our-duty-Sunday-prayer.”
I tell you PRAY. James 5:16. Pray, clench your fist. Hold Fast to your hope and pray. Fight in that prayer. Fight and pray by whatever means. Your life is on the line. Don’t you dare stop praying. Pray with such violence that the storm will suffer the wrath of your prayer! (Luke 18:1-8)
Never stop praying.
While serving on these battleships the crew would become family. Each person’s life would be in the hands of the next. When a member got swept overboard their buddy would yell, “MAN OVERBOARD!” They would throw them a life line desperately trying to save them.
Who is with you in this? Who is tied to the mast with you as you fight for your life?
During my time as a minister, my family and I were in a service when the pastor had a call for salvation. A gentleman up front raised his hand in response. The Lead Pastor closed without leading the gentleman to Christ. I asked the Pastor why and his response was disappointing. “He comes through about once every few months and does that.” So what?! He needs someone to be tied to him in the fight. Someone who will fight to the death with him.
So do you.
Get someone who will fight in prayer, someone who will tie themselves to you and not let you go over board.
On the evening of March 1, the HMS Sussex was escorting a fleet of 40 warships and 166 merchant ships to the Mediterranean when it sank. And only 2 crew members survived.
Hold fast and never give up on God.