“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed, That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” – Psalm 27: 13-14 (NKJV).
Yesterday we saw how the Apostle Paul warned the centurion, ship owner and captain not to proceed with a dangerous journey only to be ignored, which all ended in disaster (Acts 27). Today we see another aspect of Paul’s final journey that can speak to any of us.
As the storm raged on (verse 18) everyone in the ship was down with worry. Around 60 AD travelling on the high seas was rudimentary, relying much on Mother Nature. There were no compasses and life jackets. The 276 passengers on board, their ship battered by the savage winds, despaired and feared that all hope was gone. “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved” (verse 20).
But there was one man who was not as worried. Paul had already heard from God that all lives would be saved. Seeing everyone distraught with worry and fearing imminent death, he decided to cheer them up. “Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me” (verse 23-25).
Here is the point. In a time of great distress Paul asked all the sailors not to despair but have faith that God would deliver them. Today as back then there are storms raging all around us. There are financial storms caused by the corona virus pandemic. There are storms in relationships that are disintegrating. There are storms from personal loss. Yet, just as then, God is speaking to us not to despair, that all will end well. Everything is fine.
After Paul had delivered his message of hope he told the ship captain to look for a ground to land. And unlike the last time the captain listened. And all the 276 lives were saved!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, today, just as was then with storms raging, you gave Paul a message of hope, and lives were saved; I here pray that I look up to you in the midst of storms raging around me, that you will deliver me and all around to safety, because of the faith in Christ Jesus!