“Men,” he said, “I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on–shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to our lives as well.”
The apostle Paul knew what was coming. He had warned the ship’s officers, but they didn’t listen. But in the middle of the storm, they suddenly were paying attention to what he had to say:
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“Take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.” (Acts 27:22–25 NLT)
That was good news. Their hearts probably started to leap. They would survive the storm. They weren’t going to die. Then Paul added, “But we will be shipwrecked on an island” (verse 26 NLT).
We want to avoid shipwrecks, of course. We want to avoid the storms. But sometimes there are lessons we learn in the shipwrecks of life that we would not learn otherwise.
On one occasion Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake” (Mark 4:35 NLT). The seasoned sailors got into their little boat and started rowing away, making their way across the Sea of Galilee. But then a great storm hit, which was not unusual for Galilee. As they were panicking, Jesus was at the back of the boat, sleeping. So they woke Him up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” (verse 38 NLT).
So Jesus rebuked the storm—and He rebuked them as well: “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (verse 40 NLT). Jesus did not promise smooth sailing. But He did promise a safe passage.