Good morning! Praise God for new mercies today. We’ve been reading the final few chapters of Acts which focused on the Apostle Paul in a serious predicament. Paul was in prison on false charges; and now on his way to Rome he is in a situation where he and the entire crew will be ship wrecked. Paul spent more than two years in prison and now he is in a storm for two weeks. Have you ever been in a situation where it felt like it was just one bad thing after another? Join me today as we continue our reading in Acts.
Bible Verse – Acts 27:27-38
“27 About midnight on the fourteenth night of the storm, as we were being driven across the Sea of Adria,[e] the sailors sensed land was near. 28 They dropped a weighted line and found that the water was 120 feet deep. But a little later they measured again and found it was only 90 feet deep.[f] 29 At this rate they were afraid we would soon be driven against the rocks along the shore, so they threw out four anchors from the back of the ship and prayed for daylight.
30 Then the sailors tried to abandon the ship; they lowered the lifeboat as though they were going to put out anchors from the front of the ship. 31 But Paul said to the commanding officer and the soldiers, “You will all die unless the sailors stay aboard.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes to the lifeboat and let it drift away.
33 Just as day was dawning, Paul urged everyone to eat. “You have been so worried that you haven’t touched food for two weeks,” he said. 34 “Please eat something now for your own good. For not a hair of your heads will perish.” 35 Then he took some bread, gave thanks to God before them all, and broke off a piece and ate it. 36 Then everyone was encouraged and began to eat— 37 all 276 of us who were on board. 38 After eating, the crew lightened the ship further by throwing the cargo of wheat overboard.”
The initial reactions of the sailors were driven by a desire to save their lives and the fear that they would possibly lose their lives. Note, inbtheir frantic haste they threw out the anchors to secure the boat and then they prayed. Then they tried to abandon the ship but thankfully someone kept them from imminent death.
Have you ever been in such an emotional or fearful state that you were trying to do everything you could to keep the inevitable from happening? Maybe you were like the sailors preparing, planning, and praying what you did would keep something from happening. Then after praying instead of waiting on the Lord you attempted to jump ship. The situation for the sailors was so bad that they forgot to eat for 14 days. Even times in our despair or grief we can also forget to eat.
But the Apostle Paul was mindful. He was mindful of what “the angel of the God to whom he belonged and whom he served stood beside him and said (see verses 21-24).” He knew that even though the sailors cut away the life boats that God would be the one who would preserve their lives. Paul encouraged them in the storm to trust God and eat (276 people were fed).
The beauty of being able to simply stop, give your mind a rest, reflect on the promises of God and His provision brings so much peace.
Questions to ponder:
- What storm in your life has you running around instead of sitting patiently at the feet of Jesus?
- What promises of the Lord speak to you in your current situation (e.g., I will be with you, fear not for I Am, etc.)?
- Will you allow the Lord to care for you in the midst of the storm?
- Will you trust Him with your life?
Allow the Lord to speak peace in your storm. Seek out a godly Christian friend who will encourage you in the storm – the friend who will keep you from jumping ship and point you back to our Savior and Lord who is our ultimate life boat.
Father God thank you for the love that you pour out on us. Thank you for protecting us in the storms of our lives. Thank you for never leaving us, for your provisions and peace. Lord, continue to work in us and transform us while we draw nearer to you in seasons of joy and sorrow. Lord, you have been faithful our entire lives and we trust and believe that you will be faithful until the day we see you face-to-face. Lord, be with us all as we go through storms in our lives right now. Lord, provide for those who are hungry, bring peace to those who are struggling on their jobs or with their supervisors, with those who are seeking employment, and help those whose minds are all over the place right now – settle them with your peace so that they can hear from you. Lord, we need your comfort and peace today. Reassure us of your presence. Comfort those families who are grieving the loss of their family member(s). Lord, protect children from predators who are seeking to harm them. Rescue those who are victims of abuse and human trafficking. Lord, continue to bring awareness (open our eyes) and healing (humble us) to Your nation. In Jesus name, amen.
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