Amidst the sailing adventures of Acts 27, we catch a glimpse of the promises of God invading desperate circumstances.
Paul was a prisoner aboard a ship being pummeled by rough seas, encountering a tremendous loss of provision, and facing the ultimate threat of being shipwrecked. The captain’s disregard for sound warnings led Paul and all of the passengers into grave danger.
It was in the midst of this scene that God chose to speak. His message of hope intersected desperation with a promise echoing louder than the perilous storm raging about them. God spoke a promise of safety and protection that required a response of faith; faith expressed through actions.
As the storm continued to rage fiercely about them, Paul proclaimed God’s message of deliverance as he stood steady, believing his “Promiser.” Paul’s faith, fueled by his identity rooted in God, was proved authentic through the storm.
Though their fears were valid, Paul’s fellow shipmates were confronted with the choice to join him in faith or abandon ship, hoping for survival another way. While waves crashed and winds whipped through the deck of the battered and beaten ship, Paul issued his call to faith once again, and his shipmates responded in belief in Paul’s God.
In an extreme act of faith, the soldiers cut the ropes that secured their lifeboats, severing all ties to a Plan B.
Reflecting on these passages stirs my heart to remember that we serve a God who powerfully shows up in the middle of the most desperate circumstances we face. Not only is God present, but also He is a God whose whispered promises can penetrate the most burdened and frightened heart with truth; and His truth always brings a rescue.
Like the men aboard the ship that day, God offers us a choice. When His whispers echo into the storms of our circumstances, will we respond in faith and trust, or abandon ship, hoping for a Plan B?
Faith means taking God at His Word and severing all ties to Plan B. This is the kind of faith that moves the heart of God in rescue and, in the end, pleases Him.
By: Jenna Javins served with Foursquare Missions International as youth pastor at Mochudi Foursquare Church in Botswana. She currently is a youth minister and missions/outreach mentor at Westside Church in Bend, Ore.
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