A Lake, A Weather App and Perilous Times- Part 1

September 14, 2021

Pastor David here, and you can see that I am on the lake. I'm up in New Hampshire on a lake that's oddly enough called Island Pond, and I'm here with my brother. You can see that we are both sporting Alabama gear. Roll Tide! Right, John? (John responds, “Roll Tide!). Roll Tide! See, it just goes in the family. It is just in the faith! I’m also here with Todd. It’s his boat. He's navigating our way. We're going to catch some big fish. I'm going to catch the biggest, that just the way it is! But look behind me. You can see in the trees that there's a storm brewing back here. Now that’s not a good idea to be on the lake when lightning strikes… I hope you learn that at some point in life. So, why would we be on the lake when that storm is just bearing down on us? I’ll tell you why. It's because we have this really cool app on our phone that's a weather app. It's got a radar on it and by looking at that radar we can see exactly where that storm is going. We know which part of the lake to be on. We know whether or not it is going to hit the whole lake. If it is going to do that, we're going to get out of here real quick. But that's the beauty of a radar. The lake is big enough that we can navigate our way around and avoid a storm because we know exactly where it is.

A LIFE RADAR

Now, wouldn't it be nice if we had such a radar in life? A radar that you could turn on and say, “Oh boy, watch out up here, cancer! Avoid that one.” Or, “Here comes difficulty in relationships. So, avoid that particular partner… or go to a different part of the lake!” Or, “Don't get in the lake at all because there are perilous times out there!” That would be nice. If I could figure out how to make that app, I'm certain that I would become very, very rich. But I don't know how to do such a thing; in fact, it's impossible.

But you know what? Paul writes a letter to Timothy and in 2 Timothy 3:1, he says that “perilous times shall come” (KJV). So, we know that's going to happen. All of us can look at our lives and attest to that the fact there are perilous times that we have encountered, or are maybe going through them right now and that there’s going to be some in the future. That's just guaranteed!

But what does Paul actually tell Timothy? He says in that passage that some are going to walk away from the faith. That’s his focus (3:2-9). It's going to get so bad in this world that people are going to abandon the faith and the gospel. So, what does he tell Timothy to do? He says, “Preach the word!” (4:2) Why does he tell him to do that? Because when we encounter perilous times we may not have a radar that tells us those perilous times are coming. What do we have? We have the word of God. God has given us everything that we need to know to handle any perilous time that we're going to encounter. It's the truth that we can stand on. It helps us to navigate our way. It is, in fact, our radar showing us how to live although the storms of life might hit us.

GOD’S WORD IS OUR RADAR

Now, you may be thinking, “I don't preach the word. It's not my call.” Well, then, what is our call amid perilous times? We are to receive the word. We are to be focused on the word that God has given to us. We are to open it up, read it, learn, and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. By doing that, we actually become equipped so that we are ready and able to meet the perilous times that come our way.

So, what's the takeaway from all of this? You are going to encounter perilous times. That’s a “given.” It’s just going to happen. So, what do you need to be doing to prepare for that? Hide the word of God in your heart. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Ps. 119:11) We need to be the kind of people who take the foundation of the word of God and bring it into our hearts so that we can live it. So, this is what I want to encourage you to do. Take the time daily, even today, to open up God’s word and pull out the truths that you need for your life. You will find that, when the perilous times come, you'll be ready!

So, that's my challenge for you today. I just want to ask for one more thing: pray that I catch the biggest fish in the boat… that's going to be a lot of fun! See you later.

NEXT STEPS

1)    Read 2 Timothy 3:1-9. How might a person respond in perilous times rather than bow the knee to the Lord?

2)    Read 2 Timothy 4:1-5. What does Paul encourage Timothy to do so that people can be prepared?

3)    Whether you are in a perilous time or not, what can you do to best prepare for navigating the difficulties that are guaranteed to come your way?

4)    Commit yourself anew to a Bible reading plan. If you have not started one, why not begin today? Invite others to help you be accountable for your plan.

5)    Pray and ask God to help you cement truths into your heart.

About The Author

David Talley

David is Pastor of Theology and Teaching at Cornerstone where he has been serving since 2020. He has a PhD in Theological Studies from Trinity International University. In addition Pastor David is also currently a Professor of Old Testament at Biola University. David’s life goal and what he describes as “God’s inescapable call on my life” is discipleship. Towards that end, in his career, Dr. Talley has served as a Professor, Pastor, and Board Member of several different missionary and pastoral training outreaches around the world.