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Paul’s Shipwreck

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Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also

Acts 27:10

Paul was a prisoner being taken by ship to Rome by a centurion name Julius. During the voyage a northeaster of hurricane force swept down on them. The storm raged for many days and they gave up on being saved. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. (Acts 27:20) Have you ever been in a storm with no end in sight, and found yourself starting to feel hopeless? Do you believe God has the power and the desire to get you through the storm? Did he get Paul and the other men on the ship through the storm?

Paul told the men to have courage because he heard from God, promising that all the crew would be saved. 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. (Acts 27:23-24) Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island. (Acts 27:26) Now Paul knows what he must do, and that is to make sure all the men stay with the ship. When we are in a storm an angel may not appear to us, but the Lord speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. Pray and read the Word and we can make Godly wise decisions that will get us through the storm. God is with us, and he goes before us performing miracles for us. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

It is important we follow the Lord’s guidance to the best of our ability, often seeking wise counsel from other Christians. Fortunately the Lord knows we cannot follow him perfectly and forgives our mistakes, because he knows our heart is seeking to follow him perfectly. Satan will use fear, tempting us to make our own decisions without seeking Godly wisdom. What would have happened if Paul disobeyed the Lord and let men leave the ship? In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.”(Acts 27:31) The outcome would have been different if Paul hadn’t obeyed, and the same for us if we deliberately disobey the Lord.

Once the Lord gets us through the storm, what is the result? For Paul and the other men, they were all saved, but the ship was lost. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf. (Acts 27:41) God promises to get us through the storm, but during the storm he is testing our faith and molding us to be more like Christ. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) He promises to take care of our physical needs, and he does, but not always according to our expectations. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

Today trust the Lord to get you through whatever storm you might encounter. It could be a traffic jam, conflict at work, conflict at home, or maybe a really big storm such as illness or an accident. Whatever you go through today, take the Lord with you for comfort and guidance. He is always with us and has the love and power to help. Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) God can do for us what we cannot do ourselves.

Prayer: Lord, guide me through any storms I might encounter today with my heart filled with your love, wisdom, and faith. Help me realize you are in control and I am your servant; and how you get me through the storm and the outcome of the storm is in your hands. Lord, help me trust fully today. In Jesus name, Amen.