Verse 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away.
Paul is widely known for his missionary travels but have you ever thought about how much faith Paul needed to make those journeys? It wasn’t like today’s world with secure travel, the security of calling for help anytime from anywhere or even the resources for making sure you were on the correct path to get where you were wanting to go. One of the times in Paul’s life where that would have been handy was when he was a prisoner on his way to Rome.
Traveling by sea may seem like no big deal as the ships in our day have all the safety features a vessel needs but the ship which Paul was chained up in was wooden and used the sun and stars for navigation. Instead of a motor, or motors, it had sails and a rudder. Though it is still very disconcerting to be caught in a large storm on the open seas, modern sailors know there is almost always someone who can read their location through GPS. Traveling by ship as the winter was getting ready to set in was anything but wise and yet it is what the captain decided to do. Paul had faith but advised them not to sail until spring.
Sometimes it is hardest to have faith when those around us are not followers of Jesus. When they don’t want to hear the wisdom of God it makes it harder to have faith God will take care of us in the midst of bad choices. Paul understood this first hand, those making the choices for this voyage were basing them on dollar signs instead of safety for those on board. After all, some of the passengers were prisoners and the captain and his crew didn’t see the need to make sure they were safe.
Those choices had now led them to be out in mid sea during one of the fiercest storms. Being without navigation from sun or stars for two weeks while the winds were raging would have had the waves crashing against the wooden vessel and would have sent the ship sailing without the sailors knowing their coordinates. While they were being tossed about in the rolling sea Paul gets a visit from an angel. He tells Paul not to be afraid because God was going to save every last person on that vessel even though it was going to shipwreck.
Being told the vessel he was on was going to wreck would not have been comforting to Paul and yet he was told not to fear because no one was going to die. He had faith God was going to do as He said so he showed his faith by going to the captain to tell him what was going to happen. Paul was an excellent example of living faith in the midst of doubters and during a time he could have been fearing for his life.
Making It Personal
Is it harder for you to act in faith when you are with people who don’t believe? Does it seem more difficult to hold onto faith when you know you are going to deal with hard times? Why does faith seem harder during those times?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you have a harder time believing what Jesus says if your friends don’t believe what He says? Is it hard to believe Jesus can keep you safe when you are really afraid? How can you show you have faith in Jesus?
Father, it is so hard for us to hold onto faith when our circumstances say things are out of control. Give us the courage to show our faith in You and Your provisions. In Jesus’ name, amen.