Paul the Survivor (15)
Paul was a survivor. His life was one of surviving stones and storms, contrary winds and contrary people. Paul was on a mission and so are we. The 27th Chapter of Acts gives witness to a horrific storm and to a faith that not only did not get sea sick, but refused to give up when everyone else lost hope.
First of all, let us admit that the life of faith is not always one of clear skies and calm seas. Paul’s faith and ours will face hard winds and heavy seas. We will never get to where we are supposed to go if we stay forever moored at “Fair Haven” (v. 8). We must set sail. After setting out, Paul prophesied “I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage…” No one gets through this life without “getting hurt.” How we deal with the “hurts” is a reflection of character of our faith. Paul faced his trials with courage and in that we can all find encouragement.
Paul had good reason to be encouraged. God had revealed to him that he would witness in Rome also. Nothing can stop God’s will for being fulfilled in the life of a faithful servant. When everyone else lost hope, and wanted to abandon ship, Paul said “Be of good cheer, for I believe God.”
This was the same man who wrote in Romans “I know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” There was a time when the storm was so ferocious that the sailors literally slipped cables around the hull of the ship to hold it together. These cables were called “helps” (v. 17). There are times when we cannot explain how our lives and hearts are held together and kept from breaking apart, except to say that God Himself wraps His arms around us in the middle of the storm. God is good.
Every believer is on his or her way to heaven. In this life we shall make many Ports of Call. Even is we must endure great storms and heavy seas, we know that faith always survives.