Acts 27: Surviving the Storm

This entry is part 109 of 112 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

Acts 27 tells a story of high drama—a sudden onset of a storm at sea, a shipwreck, and a nefarious plot to kill those aboard the ship.

Paul navigated these events through his trust in God. He knew that although we may make plans, God ultimately decides what will happen. We have a choice to submit to His will or try to seize control for ourselves.

Encouragement on the Journey to Rome

After years in Caesarea, the time finally came for Paul to travel to Italy after his appeal to Rome. Along the way, he and his jailers stopped in Sidon, where his jailers allowed him to see his friends.

We often don’t recognize the incalculably diffusive impact one life can have on another—though his friends remain nameless, we can assume they encouraged Paul as his journey continued along its unexpected path. He received care at their hands before he and his jailers went on their way (Acts 27:3).

A Perilous Path

Because the sailing was difficult as they continued toward Italy, Paul and his jailers were delayed. It became more and more dangerous to sail, and Paul warned the sailors of this, saying, “Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives” (Acts 27:10).

But the centurion would not listen to Paul, choosing instead to heed the advice of the pilot and travel on toward shelter for the winter.

At first, it probably seemed as though Paul had been wrong. But a violent storm sprang up and caught the ship in its grasp. As the days passed, the sailors abandoned all hope of survival.

Encouragement in Adversity

Although those around him began to despair, Paul did not. He trusted in God, and he encouraged the sailors around him. Paul had received a word from an angel of God. God would graciously spare the lives of those sailing with Paul.

Paul’s confidence spoke volumes. There was something different about him—his peace, his confidence, his authority. No doubt Paul was sharing the good news with the soldiers and the other prisoners. Even though his journey seemed to be spinning out of control, he kept giving thanks to God and trusting in Him.

Perhaps because of Paul’s witness, the centurion prevented the soldiers from carrying out a plot to kill the prisoners before they reached shore.

The storms in our own lives reveal what we’re made of. Will we choose to trust in God, or will we turn away from Him?

Want a resource to aid you in following after God? Check out Ken’s Think on These Things: Discerning the Will of God.

Watch part 109 of the 365 Key Chapters of the Bible series, based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

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