“I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost.” – Acts 27:22
1991, a freak storm hit the
Three weeks earlier, Captain Billy Tyne boarded his fishing trawler, the Andrea Gail, with his crew of five fishermen. They set out for a one-month fishing trip off the shores of Newfoundland, where they knew the fishing was amazing. They hauled in a quarter-million dollars’ worth of fish—but they never saw a penny of it. On their return trip, the Perfect Storm hit, and the Andrea Gail got caught in the middle of it. In Captain Billy’s final radio transmission, he said, “She’s comin’ on boys, and she’s comin’ on strong!” After those fateful words, the radio went dead. To this day, the trawler and its crew have never been recovered.
years earlier, a similar freak storm swept across the
In Acts 27,
after appealing to have his case heard by Emperor Nero, Paul was sent to Rome
on a ship with his two companions, Dr. Luke and Aristarchus. Other prisoners
were on board as well. If all went well, they’d reach
decided to sail another 40 miles to a more sheltered harbor, the port city of
But not Paul. When they had gone days without food, he told the men, “I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed” (v. 22). And he shared a vision he’d had the night before, in which an angel told him: “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you” (v. 24). On the last night of their harrowing voyage, Paul urged everyone to eat to keep up their strength. The next day, they ran the ship aground on a sandy beach—and, just as the angel had promised, no lives were lost.
There are many wonderful lessons we can pull from this amazing chapter. Here are three highlighted by Pastor Warren Wiersbe:
Life Lesson #1: Storms often come when we disobey the will of God, and we sometimes suffer because of the unbelief of others. Paul warned the captain that disaster awaited them if they sailed on from Fair Havens. We don’t know if God had revealed that to him or if it was simply based on Paul’s experience. But Paul clearly had divine insight. That insight was ignored, and all 276 men on board suffered because of that unbelief and disobedience. The same holds true in our families, in our workplaces, in our church and in our nation. Storms come and many people suffer because of the disobedience and unbelief of a few.
Life Lesson #2: Storms have a way of revealing character. It’s easy to trust and serve God when the sun is shining and the seas are calm. It’s much harder to trust and serve Him when our ship is coming apart at the seams. None of us LIKE being scared half to death. None of us enjoy being in the middle of a miserable, painful storm. But that’s where you’ll find out who you really are. Are you a committed follower of Christ, or are you just a fair-weather Christian? Life’s storms will show you AND those around you what you’re made of. Storms will reveal if you’re the real deal.
Life Lesson #3: Storms can
give us opportunities to serve others and bear witness to Jesus Christ.
Most of the passengers on that ship probably wouldn’t have given Paul the time
of day if it had been smooth sailing to
Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church in Victorville. Pastor
Dane’s latest book (Called to Persevere: One Man’s Journey to Overcome
Pain, Disease and Disappointment with God) is NOW available at Amazon. For more
information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc or www.Called2Persevere.com.