Updated: Mar 28, 2021
Acts 27:23 "...an angel of the GOD, to whom I belong and whom I serve, stood beside me and said Do not be afraid...so keep up your courage men for I have faith in GOD that it will happen just as HE has told me. " There's an incredible boldness in calmly anticipating a wreck. Paul had just escaped from death by a mob of religious leaders and was finally on his way to Rome. This was the opportunity that he had been waiting for. And then just like that a simple wind quickly evolved into a hurricane and threatened the lives of all the men on board the ship. What happened? There had been such excitement and momentum with this journey. If this was the place that Paul was supposed to go why would there suddenly be a storm that the sailors had to contend with? It's a stark reminder that even when we are whole heartedly pursuing the plans that GOD has, it doesn't mean that you can always expect smooth sailing. So how do we get through those moments? Not just by barely escaping them but confidently staring them down? Paul shows us that his faith was characterized by assurance that was coupled with action. Assurance that no man or force of nature, can steal us from GOD himself. We belong to HIM and regardless of the tribulations we face that foundation remains immoveable. That's why Paul wasn't shaken. To him this was ultimately just another day where GOD was in control. Secondly, our faith is built on action. Paul doesn't stay hidden below deck whimpering and asking GOD for rescue. Rather, while the storm is raging he makes appropriate preparations. He breaks bread with the sailors and thanks GOD for HIS provisions. There is nothing passive about the actions that Paul takes in this chapter. As it says in Psalm 23:5 "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies". GOD prepared a table for Paul and the other sailors in the midst of that storm. Paul knew that the storm was not the end of their troubles. He knew that they were going to crash into the beach. But none of that mattered because HE knew that no matter what GOD was guiding this journey. So he was going to continue praising and thanking GOD.
GOD is always working. HE was working on the shore amongst the angry mob and HE continued to work on the stormy waves. HE remains omniscient and omnipotent. Psalm 23:4 characterizes GOD as our staff and our rod. As our comforter and supporter but also as our powerful defender. Storms will come and go but chose not to be silenced by them. Don't lose sight of who you belong to amidst the noise and press forward with confidence towards the truth and light HE provides.