“ . . . And so it was that all were brought safely to land.” (Acts 27:44b)
Acts 27 is a Holy Spirit-inspired, eyewitness account of a great exploit at sea, penned by Luke, who was there. Early readers familiar with the story of Jonah or literary works such as The Odyssey would have been primed to respect those who survived a battle on the waters.
In this chapter, Paul and a few friends join a Roman cohort of prisoners and soldiers on their way to Rome. Although these Romans were experienced sailors using Rome’s best equipment, they would still find themselves at the mercy of the unforgiving wind and waves of the sea. Two thousand years later, we may have been able to advance technology in such a way that we navigate rough waters with more ease, but human beings still find themselves helpless against the forces of nature when they roar the loudest.
The only force in the universe that can tame the wild dangers of nature is God himself, the creator of all nature and the one who calms the storm.
Yet, in this passage, we find God’s servants going through a storm.
Is this not similar to our own journey? We forsake the world to follow the Lord, we believe in him, and yet we still find ourselves on an arduous journey filled with many dangers, toils, and snares. Has God abandoned us?
This inspired text will encourage us to forsake any notion of such abandonment. The Apostle Paul has been in dangerous situations before, and he knows his God will not forsake him. But, Paul also knows that following the Lord does not mean exemption from the storms of life.
Brethren – reject the “prosperity gospel” and any heretical teaching that suggests that following Christ leads to “your best life now” in any worldly sense of comfort! The Christian life involves warfare – against principalities and powers and against the consequences of living in a sin-cursed world.
In short, you will experience storms. Therefore, it’s very important to prepare yourself for them. When we go through the trials of life, we are often more vulnerable and quick to listen to advice that offers a quick-fix relief from our problems. But this passage will show us that we must listen to the voice of the true pilot, our Lord even when the storms of life cloud our vision. His voice brings promises that build our faith, so that we can not only endure the storm, but reach the destination he’s designed for us.