Weathering The Storm {Acts 27}

11:30 PM

By Lisa Moore

When we last left Paul, he was appealing to have his case heard in Rome before Caesar.  Not in an attempt to save his life, but to fulfill the will of the Lord who told him in Acts 22:11, "Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also."  This request would indeed get Paul to Rome, but the passage there would thrust him straight into a raging storm so full of fury, it would endanger his life and all of those with him. 

Journeying from Caesarea to Rome, Paul along with other political prisoners, set sail for the regions along the coast of Asia under the charge of a centurion named Julius.  After spending a considerable amount of time in a place called Fair Haven, the Alexandrian ship they were traveling on once more put out to sea; against the advice of Paul.  He warned the crew about sailing so late in the season.  (The fast, the Day of Atonement, was over so the time of year would have been late October to November).  Whether he was told by the Spirit or relying on his own experience, Paul knew of the danger ahead and told the crew, "Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives." (v. 10)  But the men were unpersuaded, and instead relied on their own council and knowledge of the sea.  A prideful mistake that set their course straight into the path of a storm so dangerous, it almost cost them everything. 

Have you ever faced a storm in your life where all hope was lost?  Were you afraid?  Did you get so filled with despair that rescue seemed impossible?  As believers in Christ we are never called to go it alone.  "Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Josh 1:9)  When we walk in faith and obedience to God, we have nothing to fear.  It is when we step outside of His will that the trouble begins.  A lesson I myself have had to learn more than once.  And a lesson the men sailing with Paul were about to learn.  Their ship was violently thrown off course.  They faced cold, hunger, and a despair so strong that Luke lamented, "...all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned." (v. 20)

The crew of the ship knew what the weather was like.  They heard Paul's warning, yet sailed anyway.  Boy can I relate!  Too many times when my own weather got rough instead of turning first to God and heeding His council, I thought I knew better and sailed head first into the storm.  Then wondered why instead of calming, the storm worsened.  How much heartache could I have saved myself if only I had anchored myself to the Lord.  How much pain could I have avoided if I had waited on Him patiently, obeyed Him faithfully, and trusted Him completely.  Paul trusted in the Lord.  He didn't despair or get discouraged.  He knew that especially in adversity God would never desert him.  And God rewarded Paul's faith by sending an angel to  encourage him to be brave, and who promised the safety of all the lives onboard.  Paul stood strong in that promise never wavering, and he encouraged the others to do the same, "Keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told." (v. 25) And God did keep His promise.  Every one of the 276 men on board "were brought safely to land." (v. 44) 

By first seeking God and trusting in His perfect will, we can weather any storm.  His Word is a mighty ship with a foundation so strong, no roaring wind can blow off course.  And when we walk in complete obedience to Him, like Paul we too can trust in God's promise to bring us through the storm and safely to the shore.

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