In the book of Acts there is a great story told about Paul while he was a prisoner on a ship (27:13-25). He was going to Rome to stand trial before Caesar. This story would make a great movie scene. There is much drama, hardship, and uncertainly, but ultimately, victory.
As the ship heads for sea, the weather is calm. Unfortunately, not long into the journey they are confronted with a terrible storm they called a Euroclydon. Apparently this is the equivalent of a north-easter, or for us in the South, a hurricane! Because of the fierce winds, the crew is forced to let the storm drive the ship where it will.
At some point in this terrible adventure the crew spots an island where they believe they can find shelter. For a brief moment they struggle as they attempt to port the beleaguered ship. For a moment, hope swirls in the air. Unfortunately, it was a false hope as the winds take the ship back out into open seas. As the coast disappears from their view, so does their hope.
In response to their dire situation, the crew throws over their supplies in hope to lighten the ship. However, after a few days without food and no break in the storm, the crew and passengers on the ship sink into despair. But when all seems lost, God shows up.
An angel comes to Paul in the night and gives him a message from the Lord. The message is that the ship will be lost, but the Lord will spare the life of all on board. Then Paul says, “Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me” (25).
I love Paul’s unwavering faith! God gave him a word of Hope; he then stands in the middle of the storm on a sinking ship, and boldly proclaims that all will be well. God has spoken, how can it be otherwise?
This story mimics what can happen in our own lives! Sometimes it seems as if we are on a sinking ship with no hope in sight. There are wars, economic uncertainties, sicknesses, political instability, yet in the midst of it all, we have a word of hope from our great God and Savior, Jesus! He promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He promised that He will be closer than a friend. He promised to lend us His strength, to fill us with His love, accompany us with His Spirit, and guide the course of our lives. The reality is that He knows how to bring our sinking ship to a safe haven.
So, whenever we feel as if we are in a storm that threatens to take all, instead of sinking into despair, we need to remember the words of Paul, “Take heart! For I believe God…”