In Acts 27, we read that the apostle Paul was on a boat on his way to Rome, and the ship got caught in a storm — a horrible storm. But God gave him instructions. God told him how to get through the storm.
And if we’ll listen to the Holy Spirit, He will speak to us about every storm that is in front of us. He will direct us and tell us what to do so that we can get through that time in our lives, whatever it is that we’re facing.
Sailing Into a Storm
Acts 27:9 tells us Paul knew they were sailing into difficult waters. He even tried to warn the other men, but verse 11 says they ignored Paul and kept sailing.
Then verses 14 and 15 say, “But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.”
They ended up in the middle of a storm. They couldn’t control the movement of the ship. Their situation kept getting worse and worse.
Verse 20 says, “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.”
Think about that. They haven’t seen the sun. They haven’t seen the stars. They are in the middle of a hurricane. And they cannot control the movement of the ship. The wind was beating them from every side.
This was a hopeless moment. It looked like everything was finished. But then, Paul stepped forward.
My friend, I want to tell you, when things get bad, that’s your moment. If you’ll listen to the Lord, He’ll give you the word you need to speak to people.
And listen to what Paul said: “And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship” (Acts 27:22).
How did he know? Paul continued, saying, “For there stood by me this night the angel of God…. Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:23-25).
We Are Safe With God
Years ago I was getting on an airplane. We were standing in line, and behind me was a big, muscular, athletic man — and he was a wealthy man. And with him was his wife. They knew me from television, but they didn’t know that I spoke Russian. And I was listening to what they were saying.
His wife said, “I’m so afraid. I’ve never been on a plane.”
And her husband said, “Sweetheart, it’s all right. Look, it’s Papa Rimskiy,” and he was referring to me. (“Papa Rimskiy” is the Russian term for the “Pope”.)
When the man said that, I turned around and said, “I’m not Papa Rimskiy, but I am a child of God. And if I’m on this plane, you’re going to be all right. Everybody on this plane is going to be all right because the angel of the Lord travels with me.”
This season in time is your moment. People need to hear what you have to say. If a situation is bad, then you are needed more than ever before. This is your moment to say to people, “Stick with the Church, stick with people of faith, because we’re going to sail through this storm.”
A Word From God
And here’s what’s amazing! Next Paul says, “…For there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship…. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island” (Acts 27:22,26).
Now we would all probably rather hear God say, “Everything’s going to be all right. There won’t be any problems.” But the angel of God that spoke to Paul said, “You’re going to be fine, but you are going to be shipwrecked on an island.” The angel told him the truth. And if we will listen to the Holy Spirit, He will tell us the truth too.
The Holy Spirit knows what’s going to happen with the economy, with politics, with finances, with plagues, and with pestilences. And Jesus said in John 16:13 that the Holy Spirit will show us the things to come — He’s just looking for somebody to listen!
And this is what Paul heard: “Because you’re on assignment, you’re going to be all right. You’re going to live. And everybody that’s with you is going to be okay even though you’re going to have a few problems. You’re going to be cast on an island.”
But then things were so bad on the boat that night that all the men were wishing tomorrow would come! Verse 30 even says some men made it look like they were working so they could try to get in other little boats and get away.
But verse 31 tells us, “Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.”
How did Paul know that? He’d had a word from the Lord. And that word was, “Paul, you’re going to be okay. And everybody who stays with you is going to be okay.”
And friends, that’s true about us. We dwell in the secret place of the Most High (see Psalm 91:1). As long as we’re walking in the shadow of the Most High, we are in a place of preservation and safety.
If you can get your family and your friends to stick close to you, to stick close to the authority of the Bible and the authority of the church, they will be all right.
Something Supernatural and Something Natural
Then Paul says something very interesting: “Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you” (Acts 27:34).
The men on board had been working and fasting for 14 days, and Paul knew they would need their strength for what was ahead. He encouraged them to eat.
I think that is amazing because in this chapter you have something supernatural and you have something natural. They had a supernatural word giving direction and faith — even a vision of hope for the future. And they had a natural solution to meet their physical needs. Paul told them, in effect, “You need to do something practical for your health. If God protects us, but we don’t eat, we’re going to be weak or get sick. We need to hear God, and we need to use our head and do what we need to do to preserve our health.”
And this is my word to you today. It’s time for you to hear from God, to know that you’re going to be safe and everybody who is with you is going to be safe. You’re going to make it through the financial storm, the disease storm, and any other kind of storm you’re in right now. But while you’re going through the storm, also do what you have to do to take care of your health too.
They needed to eat, so Paul told them to eat. If you need to wash your hands, wash your hands. If you need to have distance from people, then have distance from people.
You’re Going To Make It Through
We are so blessed. We have the Word of God. We have faith, we have the leading of the Holy Spirit, and we can also do what is practical and natural to help us sail through any storm and make it to the other side. My friend, you’re going to make it!
You may be facing something difficult in your life right now. But know that this time you’re in is just a storm. You might feel like Paul — that you’re caught in the middle of something terrible. But every storm eventually passes. And you have everything you need to make it to the other side. I declare that to you in the name of Jesus!
— A Message from Rick Renner