Acts 27:1-26: Storm
February 22, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The measure of a man or woman is often revealed in a storm. Here is Paul in a literal storm, and while everyone around is panicking and rushing around scared, despondent and frightened—Paul stands firm. How does he do it?
First of all, he has something extraordinary that convinces him of the truth that God would protect him. But what if we do not have an angel speak to us? We rest in the revelation of God. When faced with what we do not know, we rest on what we do know. Yes, there is a storm around us. Yes that is real. But also here then is this promise of God. He will bring us safely to the final harbor. He will never leave us or forsake us. He will not let anything or anyone snatch us out of his hand. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. We rest on the truth that we have seen in the light when we are surrounded by the doubts of the night.
Second, he placed his faith in God. It is one thing to have those promises of God, it is another thing to actually rely upon them. It is important that we not only read the promises of God in the Bible, but also actually trust in them as true. For instance, our identity is in Christ. We are in Christ. We are his. But what does that actually mean when our performance in life is not what we wish it had been? Are we defined by our grades? Are we defined by our looks? Are we defined by our physical health? Are we defined by success at work? By the number of children that we have? Or are we defined by Christ and what he thinks of us! That is, we must trust the the truth that we say we think is true—especially in the storm!
Third, he took courage. It is important when we are faced with difficulties to, as it were, speak to ourselves. To tell ourselves to have courage in God. To overwrite the talk of our minds that causes us to panic by telling ourselves to trust in God and therefore to have courage. To stand up and be counted. To be courageous. To tell ourselves the truth of the gospel that we preach to others.
Fourth, he was practical. Even though God had told him that everyone was going to be safe, he also knew that the ship had to run aground somewhere. In the midst of a storm it is important to be practical. Are we in a financial storm? Let us take practical steps to save money or stop spending when we don’t need to spend or to ask for help. Are we in a health storm? Take the practical steps of seeking medical advice. We are not to think that being pious—trusting in God and his promises—means not being practical. As Oliver Cromwell once put it, “Trust in God and keep your (gun)powder dry [that is in good working condition].” Trust in God and do what you need to do practically to ride out the storm that you are facing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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