If the book of Acts was a movie, chapter 27 would be the climactic scene. It is the story of a storm and a shipwreck and the amazing escape of the 276 souls on board.
Acts chapter 27 is the most detailed account of a sea voyage in ancient literature, but it is more than history. The point of the passage is not primarily that God could deliver 276 people in the Adriatic Sea. The lesson is that God delivers us from the storms of life. We all face storms of some kind: family disasters, death, disease, or divorce. Some are facing a hurricane of financial problems. Maybe your tempest has come in the form of depression or anxiety, and it leaves you dead in the water, sinking down again. I don’t know what it is, or what it will be in your life, but I know this: you will have your own storm stories before your life is over. The right question is not whether storms will come, or when, but how you will respond to them.
Paul faced a life-threatening storm. He was on his way to Rome to stand trial before Caesar. For fourteen days the ship was in a raging sea — but Paul never panicked. As the crew panicked, Paul stood fast because of the faith that held his life secure. In verse 23, Paul encouraged his fellow passengers by telling them about an angelic visit and a message from heaven: “For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul…God has granted you all those who sail with you.'”
Paul found that he was not alone in the raging storm, even when it seemed there was no hope (v.20). The Lord came to Paul in the night to speak peace to his heart. God says in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” In Matthew 28:20 Jesus promised, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” David said in Psalm 23:4, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”
God sent an angel to assure Paul of that truth, but we have God’s Word on it: when life gets tough, and when you can’t see God, He is there — watching, leading, protecting, and loving.
Notice that Paul said in verse 25, “I have faith in God.” He knew that God was with him — and because God was with him, everything was going to be alright. Have faith in God today, and He will hold you steady in the storm. In turn, you will steady those around you and point them to God.