“When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.”       Ac 27:20 NIV

 

There are times when God seems inaccessible. When you pray, you feel abandoned in your present circumstances. And not just abandoned, but terrified and even hopeless. Paul understood that feeling. He’d longed for an opportunity to preach in Rome, and was on his way there when a hurricane destroyed his ship. Paul not only foresaw the loss of the ship, its crew and cargo, but “our own lives also” (v. 10 NIV). He tried to warn the crew of the impending tragedy, but his words were disregarded by those in charge. In short, Paul and 276 others were placed in a life-threatening position by the willful disregard of others, and there was nothing he could do about it. Feeling a sense of despair, he and his believing companions declared, “We finally gave up all hope of being saved!” Then after fourteen days lost at sea—when the hurricane was fiercest—God sent an angel. “Do not be afraid, Paul…God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you” (v. 24 NIV). When it looked like Paul’s consuming desire to preach in Rome would be thwarted, God faithfully piloted them through the storm to the exact destination He’d planned for them. Paul would go to Rome and declare God’s Word before Caesar! Are you caught in a storm? Whatever trial you’re facing today, know this one thing: You can trust God to carry you through it. He determines “the end from the beginning” (Is 46:10), so you will come out of this stronger and wiser.