Acts 27:14-15; 20-23; 25 (NLT)
...the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. 15 The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run... 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... 22 ...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, 25 So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.
Storms hold no prejudice. They care not for whom they envelop. Neither are all storms created equal. The storm described in Acts 27 was described as a typhoon. It was unique, intense, and relentless. The ship, it's crew and passengers had spent fourteen days and nights fighting for their lives. They had done everything humanly possible to get them through, but it still wasn't enough. The storm was winning.
A man by the name of Paul was on the ship. Just like the storm, Paul was not an average man. He was an Apostle of the New Testament. He was a man with whom God spoke.
On the very night that the sailors had given up hope, God spoke to Paul. Paul learned that indeed, they would face ship-wreck. Yet, the angel of the Lord assured him all would be well on one condition: every man must stay with the ship. Paul stepped on to the deck of that storm-tossed ship and began to encourage them with the vision that God had given.
Everything transpired exactly the way God told Paul it would. When the ship began to break up, everyone held on, and because of their obedience, not a single life was lost.
Because of obedience to Paul's message, every man made it safely ashore.
This reminded me of a song often song in our worship services, in reference to the church: "The Old Ship of Zion's Still Afloat." Throughout scripture, the church is often likened to a sea vessel, making its way to its final port of call. Be reminded today, child of God, this ship, the Church, is not going down!
Your Captain isn't worried. His eye is on the storm; His hand is on the wheel. Don’t fear! Stay with the ship. Everything you need to make it is on board. Anchor your soul to Jesus. Listen intently and obediently to the directives of the Paul in your life. Regardless of the severity of your storm, you will make it to shore -- and not one soul will be lost. Not only does YOUR life depend on you staying in the ship... everyone else's life depends on it.
The sailors cast four anchors out to hold the ship from crashing into the waiting rocks on the nearby shore.
There are 4 anchors (not necessarily in priority) to which you can fasten yourself during life's storms.
The Word of God
The Love of God
Riding WITH God's Messenger
Your relationship with God and His people
In closing, be reminded that the uniqueness of today's storm is no challenge for God. God's got a message, a man and a ship for you. Stay anchored to the ship, and you will make it through this storm.