God is Greater than Our Shipwrecks

God is Greater than Our Shipwrecks

Read: Acts 27

The chapter starts with Paul being sent to Rome on a ship with many other prisoners. They began to encounter rough weather along the way, as it was not the right season for the trip. In verses 9-10, Paul warns them that it is not wise to carry on. The following verse starts with “nevertheless” meaning that in spite of Paul’s warning the centurion chose to trust the master and owner of the ship instead. Shortly after continuing, they encountered a great storm. All those aboard became paralyzed with fear and eventually lost hope. In verse 21, Paul steps back into the picture to inform those aboard that although they did not listen to his warning, God would spare their lives. Although they survived the storm, they had to experience a season of trouble. At one point, the shipmen attempted to flee the situation. Paul told the centurion that if they were to flee, they could not be saved. After a period of prayer and fasting, Paul reminded them of God’s promise that none would perish and encouraged them to break bread. They then thanked the Lord and were encouraged. Eventually, we find that all those on the ship made it safely to land.

But what can we learn from this story??

  1. Oftentimes, before we “willingly” enter a storm, God sends warning signs. Sometimes He may even choose to speak through those around us (v. 9-10). Far too often, we disregard the warnings and choose to do things our own way. We rely on man’s wisdom instead of God (v. 11). In this story, continuing the journey seemed like a better idea than spending winter in Lasea. Many times, we find ourselves blindly going with the “better of two options” instead of listening to what God has to say.
  2. When we go our own way, trouble will follow (v. 13-20). In this story the people had gotten to a point where it seemed that all hope was lost. Season’s of disobedience may lead to seasons of lonely despair. There comes a point where we’ve done all that we can do (v. 17-20). When we hit the rock bottom, there is no other place to look but to Jesus.
  3. God is merciful! In this story, Paul was absent for a season until the people reached their wits end. This is when God uses him to speak hope into the situation. Paul makes it clear that the situation they were in was a direct response to their disobedience, but then tells them that God would spare their lives. Oftentimes we neglect to listen to the Lord and end up in terrible situations. We choose painful detours that we should never have had to face. But, because we serve a merciful God, He is always faithful to see us through!
  4. God’s will will be accomplished. In this story, all of the people's lives were spared because God declared that Paul would be brought before Caesar (v. 24). If God has already established that something will happen in your life, it will! Because we have a choice, a different path may be taken but in the end His will remains the same. (As long as we individually chose to submit to it!) 
  5. God is always faithful to keep His word (v. 44)! The people endured moments that I’m sure raised many questions on the declaration of Paul, but in the end no one lost their lives. We serve the same faithful God as Paul. We can wholly place our trust in Him.

I pray you will take time to read and meditate upon the scripture this week. Allow the Holy Spirit to make and reinforce application within your own heart and life. Be encouraged and be an encouragement! We serve a faithful God that always sees us through in spite of our mess ups. He is stronger than any storm we may face on earth.

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