But Take Courage

Happy Friday! Have you been in a situation where things seem to be falling apart right before your eyes? Sometimes it causes you to take a step back as if you are watching a scene from a movie. You begin to play back the scenes and work through what the next step will be, when to make the next move, and how to ensure it will end well. As we continue reading Acts chapter 27 we get a glimpse of panic, but Paul has foresight that the situation will end well. Join me as we continue our reading. Have a wonderful weekend.

Bible verse – Acts 27:18-26

18 The next day, as gale-force winds continued to batter the ship, the crew began throwing the cargo overboard. 19 The following day they even took some of the ship’s gear and threw it overboard. 20 The terrible storm raged for many days, blotting out the sun and the stars, until at last all hope was gone.

21 No one had eaten for a long time. Finally, Paul called the crew together and said, “Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Crete. You would have avoided all this damage and loss. 22 But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. 23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, 24 and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ 25 So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. 26 But we will be shipwrecked on an island.””

Reflection

Key words that caused me to pause in these verses:

  • Take courage;
  • Even though;
  • Do not be afraid; and
  • For I believe in God.

Paul had reminded the crew of their error – not listening to him in the first place. Yet, he encouraged them that everything would turn out okay, because of the God he serves.

Paul made it clear who he served and who he trusted, “God to whom I belong and whom I serve“. Paul also informed them that the same God he believed in granted safety to everyone sailing.

The other point in these verses (while there are many, I will focus on this one) were the consequences for decisions made. Decisions have good and bad outcomes even with the best intentions. The crew ended up throwing everything over board including equipment to operate the ship. Have you ever made a decision where it almost cost you everything or maybe it did? __________

What I want for you to see in all of this is the grace given. While Paul reminded the crew of their short comings because they did not listen to him, we see a gracious God who in spite of the crews unwillingness to listen to Paul’s guidance would preserve everyone’s life.

Sisters and brothers, we are given free will to make decisions – good or bad. Even when they are good sometimes things just do not work out as we had planned. The beauty of it all is that we have a gracious and loving God who sent his son Jesus Christ to save us from the ship wrecks that create havoc in our lives – our sins. He lovingly gives us the Holy Spirit our counselor to guide us and give us wisdom and discernment in our situations. Our God has not abandoned us. The word says I will never leave you nor forsake you. God calls us to repentance and while there may be consequences for our actions, the Lord our God restores us. There is no greater love than this.

So sisters and brothers, take courage because even though the situation you may be in seems bad, don’t be afraid. The Lord is with you. Our God, our Savior and Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit are with you. Do you believe? Allow Him to restore you.

Prayer

Father God we thank you for all the things that you have done for us. Thank you for sending your son Jesus Christ to save us from all our sins (known and unknown). Thank you for calling us to repentance and for your gracious love that accepts us into a relationship with you. Lord, we want to hear from heaven just as the Apostle Paul did. Lord, attune our ears to hear from you. Fix our hearts and our gaze upon you, and the things that concern you. Lord, give us a boldness to believe and a fearless heart to be obedient in all that you called us to do and be. Lord, use us to point others to you. Lord, use us to be examples of godly Christians in this world. Lord, when no one understands why we do what we do, may our actions and responses always be a reflection of you and the Kingdom of God. My we be the light on the hill with an eternal flame lit by you. In Jesus name, amen.

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Bible Reference: http://biblegateway.com

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