This series will focus on Acts 27. Please take time to read this chapter.
Over the last two weeks, we’ve been studying Acts 27 to discover three truths regarding the storms of life. So far, we have learned that the storms of life will come. If you haven’t experienced a storm in your life, then just keep on living. They will come! And often they come when you least expect them. Secondly, not only are storms going to come, but the storms will reveal where your faith lies! The storms will reveal how you are living your life: by faith or by sight. And that brings us to the third truth. The storms will provide God an opportunity to work on your heart! But, here’s a warning: when God works on a person’s heart, it is often quite painful. Read Acts 27 again focusing on verses 13-32.
You will recall that Paul was on a ship headed for Rome. The captain and owner of the ship were hoping to reach Phoenix, a more sheltered harbor than Fair Havens. While the ship sailed along the shore of Crete, all of a sudden, the wind began to pick up. There was a look of concern on every sailor onboard. Verses 14 and 15 state, “Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called ‘the northeaster,’ swept down from the island. The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so, we gave way to it, and were driven along.”
This was the perfect storm, and these were desperate times, which called for quick action. The sailors went to work. They pulled in the lifeboat that must have been full of water. They passed ropes under the ship to hold it together. They even began to throw the cargo and the ship’s tackle overboard. To make matters worse, it was so dark that there was neither sun nor stars to guide them. These men were without direction and without hope because they were lost at sea.
This is a picture of the world. The world is a dark place that offers no hope. And those who travel through this world without the Lord are blind and lost, and they don’t even know it. At least the men on this ship knew they were lost. Understand that if you’re lost, it’s a good thing to know it.
But there was at least one man on this ship who was not lost and who had great hope. And that was Paul. In verses 21-26, Paul says, “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So, keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
Let me ask you a question: When the storms of life come, and they will, to whom do you turn? Understand that the storms reveal if you are truly all in. In verses 27—32, we see the man of God take charge. Paul began as a prisoner, but now he was the captain of the ship and all eyes were on him. When God brings a Christian into a storm, he is giving that Christian a platform from which he can share his faith. When you pass through the storms of life, don’t waste them. Allow God to work in and through you even in the midst of the storms. And remember, the Lord is there with you (Isaiah 43:5; Matthew 28:20b).