Acts 27:14-15 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale.
Act 27:18 The next day, as gale-force winds continued to batter the ship, the crew began throwing the cargo overboard.
Act 27:20 The terrible storm raged for many days, blotting out the sun and the stars, until at last all hope was gone.
This sea voyage might reasonably be called Paul’s fourth missionary journey. Paul was active and witnessed faithfully in all his missionary journeys. Nothing could stop him, during his missionary journeys. Paul wrote to the Philippians that the things which happened to him worked out for the furtherance of the gospel (Philippians 1:12).
The Jewish leaders and priests accused Paul and wanted to ambush and kill him. When he was tried before Festus, Paul appealed his case to Caesar. King Agrippa heard his case and said, “This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar” (Acts 26:32). They couldn’t do anything about it now; they must send Paul to Rome.
In chapter 27 of Acts we have the record of Paul’s voyage to Rome. We see the finest description of a sea voyage in the ancient world that is on record today.
Like Paul who went through physical storm, we all face different types of storms. Storms are part of our life. What these storms are like, when will it come and how will we respond, we don’t know. Paul faced a life-threatening storm. For 14 days the ship was in a raging sea. There were brave sailors on board, in an effort to save the ship and their lives; they cast anchors into the sea. Sadly, these anchors proved ineffective against the storm and the ship was ultimately lost. The crew panicked, but Paul never panicked, he stood and shared that God will see them through this storm.
This man Paul is a person like you and me.
- He was a child of God
- He was a man on a mission
- He was a man of faith, and
- He was in fellowship with his God.
Because of who he was, Paul was not moved in the midst of that storm.
Let us see the confidence, Paul had on his God, Who saw him through the storm.
PAUL KNEW GOD’S PRESENCE WAS WITH HIMActs 27:23 “For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve.”
Paul found that even in the midst of the raging storm he was not alone. The Lord came to him to minister peace to his heart.
Hebrews 13:5 “…I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Matthew 28:20 “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”
It would be a blessing if we could enjoy the manifest presence of the Lord as Paul did. But even when you cannot see God, He is still there: watching, leading, protecting, being God. He watches over you. He neither sleeps nor slumbers.
Illustration: When Dr Tony Compolo was growing up, his mother arranged a teenage girl to walk home with him from school at the end of each day. This teenage girl was paid a nickel a day. Tony rebelled in second grade and told his mother, I’ll walk myself to school and if you give me a nickel a week, I will be extra careful. After sometime, Tony finally got his way. For the next two years he walked himself back and forth to school. It was an eight-block walk with streets to cross. He was careful and didn’t talk to strangers or get distracted along the way.
Years later at a family party, Tony bragged about his independence and reminded his family of how he had taken care of himself as a boy. His mother laughed and added the rest of the story. “Did you really think you were alone?” she asked. “Every morning when you left for school, I left with you. I walked behind you all the way. When you got out of school at 3:30 in the afternoon, I was there. I always kept myself hidden, but I was there and I followed you all the way home. I just wanted to be there for you in case you needed me.”
Acts 27:25 Paul says, “I believe God.” He knew God was with Him and everything was going to be alright.
During a storm in our life we need to have the confidence that our God is with us. He will see us through the storm. Our relationship with God becomes stronger and His tangible presence is felt every second of our life.
- PAUL KNEW GOD’S PROMISES ARE FOR HIM
Acts 27:24-25 Saying, Fear not Paul; thou must be brought to Caesar; and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. …I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told to me.
As Paul withstood that long, terrible storm, the Lord came to him with a precious promise. He reminded Paul that he would stand before Caesar, and that all those on the ship will be spared as well. For Paul, just having a word from God was enough to boost his morale and confidence and give him blessed assurance. Paul knew God was a Promise Keeping God
Romans 4:21 “What he promises He is able to perform.”
The Word of God is full of promises. There are about 7,847 promises of God to man. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel have so many promises each. Practically every verse in Psalm 37 is a wonderful promise.
When God gives you a promise, hold on to it, pray over it, believe on it, and don’t give up on it. God will never go back on His promises and He is a promise keeping God.
- PAUL KNEW GOD’S PLAN FOR HIM
Acts 27:24 “…fear not Paul thou must be brought before Caesar…”
The angel of the Lord ministered to Paul and told him that God’s plan was for Paul to appear before Caesar and everyone on board the ship will be spared. Verse 42 says the soldiers’ plan was to kill Paul and the prisoners, because they were afraid they would swim away and escape. But God’s plan was for everyone to live. The bible says that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, but God gives life and life eternal.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future.”
Paul knew God’s plan for him. Even though he was in the storm of his life he knew he was living for Christ. He was a prisoner yet he had a plan and the plan was to share the Good News of the Gospel with Caesar. We live in this world to spread the good news that is the great commission God has given us. God will open us opportunities and give us the protection and prosperity.
- PAUL KNEW GOD IS POWERFUL
Acts 27:44 “…and it came to pass that they all escaped safe to land.”
Nothing else, no one else is strong enough, only the power of God is strong enough to withstand the storm. If I am in a storm I want to be in the midst with God who can calm the winds and the waves. God is able to work it all out. He will get you through your storm and land you safely beyond it. It may look like your boat is going to sink. It may look like the storms of life are going to prevail. But, when the waves have settled down, when the winds have ceased blowing, when the rain has stopped, when the storm clouds have moved off; you will see that God was in control all along. I can promise you this, no storm in this life will be able to blow you off course if you are holding on to God’s power.
Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
Jeremiah 32:17 “…for thou hast made the heavens by thy great power…nothing is too hard for thee.”
Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that is at work within us.”
You may be going through a storm at this moment. It could be a storm of financial problem, it could be a storm of relationship breakdown, it could be a storm of spiritual challenge, no matter what you are going through, God knows about it and He will see you through your storm.
- If God has the power to cause an axe head to float
- If God can cause a donkey to talk
- If He has power to split the Red Sea and the Jordan River
- If God can raise the dead
- If God can tell the thunder and lightning to cease
He has the POWER to keep you safe through your storm.