Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul then stood up among them and said, “You men should have followed my advice not to sail from Crete and sustain this damage and loss. Now I urge you to take courage, because there will be no loss of any of your lives, but only of the ship. For last night an angel of the God I belong to and serve stood by me and said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul. It is necessary for you to appear before Caesar. And indeed, God has graciously given you all those who are sailing with you.’ So take courage, men, because I believe God that it will be just the way it was told to me. – Acts 27:21-25, Christian Standard Bible
When I was a kid, my friends and I would gather at my house to have boxing matches on our trampoline. We had all of the necessary equipment: gloves, mouthpieces, and headgear, although we rarely wore the headgear. Usually, the matches were pretty tame, and there was never any clear winner, except for one day. One day as my friend came toward me with a series of quick jabs, I stepped back, lost my footing, and turned to catch myself. In attempting to right myself, I turned quickly to face the direction I was falling. But in the turning process, I swung my arm at just the right angle and caught my buddy directly in the jaw. Stunned, he stumbled a few steps and fell off the edge of the trampoline and landed flat on his back. While he was all right, I learned something that day: the hardest hits are the ones you don’t see coming.
In this Sunday’s sermon, we were reminded that the difficulties of life that hit us the hardest are the ones that we don’t expect. But from Paul’s example, we’re able to discover four reasons that we can find courage in the midst of the storm.
- We Belong to God (Psalm 27)
- We Serve For God (2 Kings 6:8-23)
- We Trust in God (Isaiah 40:12-31)
- We Know How It (The Story) Ends (Revelation 19)
This week, when the storms of life come up against you remind yourself of these truths. Meditate on the comforting reality that God is at work through these struggles and cling to him in the midst of the wind and waves.
For an added encouragement and reminder, click on the passages of scripture next to the points above for other passages that coincide with those truths.