Peace with Troubles
Lord Jesus, You are the Author and Perfecter of my faith. Today, I want to keep my eyes on You.
Read ACTS 27:27-44
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Paul put his seafaring experiences to good use. But there was more to his leadership than that: there was his steadfast Christian faith and character.
Finally, after 14 tortuous days and nights they heard the crashing of waves on rocks. Land was near. Dreading the unknown they dropped anchor and waited for daylight. Danger was real, but Paul’s watchful presence enabled all lives to be preserved. He alerted the soldiers to sailors attempting to desert ship, knowing that their skills were essential for everyone’s survival. Then he confidently reassured them they all would be saved. He took food and gave thanks to God, then encouraged them to eat a substantial meal to provide the strength and bodily warmth necessary to reach shore. However, as they entered the bay the ship ran aground on a hidden bar and struck fast, with the stern being dashed to pieces by the pounding surf.
Now that deliverance was close to hand, another fear gripped the soldiers. If their prisoners escaped, they themselves would receive the prisoners’ punishment and so they prepared to execute them before abandoning ship. Julius stepped in to prevent this on Paul’s account and so the whole company made their way safely to shore.
Can you imagine their relief when finally their feet touched solid ground? No wonder Luke recorded this in such detail! No one would ever forget such an ordeal. How did Paul face these terrors with peace and great presence of mind? Perhaps the answer lies in his attitude to danger and troubles. Paul viewed suffering as the mark of a servant of Christ, and in his weakness he boasts of Christ’s strength (2 Cor. 11:23–12:10). The early church identified Jesus as the Servant of the Lord, through whose suffering we are brought peace and life (Isa. 52:13; 53:5,10). As God’s servants, our attitude to troubles is not like that of other people. Christ’s strong presence is with us in suffering and he works in it for the good of those who love him (Rom. 8:28).
If you are facing a potential shipwreck in your life, what can you learn from the experiences of Paul?
Living Lord, my life can be as changeable as the weather: calm, followed by a storm. Calm my spirit, Lord, and guide me to smooth waters.