Storms come to all of us in life. When you are in a physical boat in a storm all you can see is water, with waves above your head. From a story in Acts we see Paul in a physical storm.
Paul appealed to Caesar as was his right as a Roman citizen. They set sail across the Mediterranean Sea. This journey is plagued by harsh winds because it was too late in the year to make this trip. Paul advises against continuing the journey. The centurion in charge decides to sail on to a different harbor for the winter. A huge wind and violent storm comes up and they are blown off course. The sailors begin to toss off the cargo and ship’s tackle. The sailors begin to lose hope of being saved. They are totally lost. The sailors begin to not eat. Paul says that the sailors should have listened to his advice about setting sail. Paul says keep up your courage. Paul is an encourager. Paul tells them that God is protecting them all because Paul will stand before Caesar.
Paul tells them:
- Don’t be afraid
- Believe What God Says
- Trust God He has a Plan
On the 14th night, they get close to land and they become afraid of being smashed. Paul says stay with the ship or they won’t be saved. Even though God had a plan, the men had to be cooperative. Paul encouraged everyone to eat and take courage because there ordeal was almost over. Paul had been encouraging all this time and he did not give up on his encouraging.
Two lessons for us:
- Don’t give up on encouraging one another.
- Paul sets the example by offering thanks and then eating. We must go first. Nothing had changed in the situation on the ship, but now everyone was encouraged.
- Believe the promises of God. Our prospective can change even if our circumstances do not.
Finally, the sailors ram the ship into a bay and all were saved. God’s promises were fulfilled.
2 Tim. 4:18- Paul believed God would rescue him from all storms. He will rescue you today.
—Robert Lee, 1-22-06, a.m.