23 “For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, 24 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.’ 25 So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.”
Acts 27:23-25, NLT
Paul (and 275 others) are attempting to somehow sail to Rome. Paul is a definite prisoner, who is being escorted to Caesar. He is quite limited as a result.
A very powerful storm connects with Paul’s ship. It is quite awful, and the tedium of being a sailor has collapsed into a manic craziness. The sailors who climb the lines are the first to know. And a certain panic starts to spread to everyone else.
But God is incredibly involved in all this. He has on-board, a “special delivery” who goes by the name of Paul. Paul has an appointment to make. Some would suggest that God started and then maintained the storm. But it seems much more likely that God has nothing to do with it. But He does show a way out of it.
Paul receives a vision. An angel, (the particular kind that is very close to God) declares a certain message. First, he states that “prisoner Paul” should not take on the fear that surrounds him.
The word from the Angel is that God is good, in spite of the present difficulty. All 276 people will be saved. Everyone who started this trip, will arrive in a certain (and quite adequate peace.)
Courage is transmitted to someone who has none. Paul has really nothing to give. But God meets him with a jolt of certain reality. He is electrified by a definite presence, that takes him apart, and then puts him back together. He is now capable to step up, and take on the issues of this awful storm.
Paul can now announce, that this storm will end. Everyone will be safe, and quite secure. It will happen, and nothing can happen to change anything. His confidence is from the Lord God.
OK, What are the real issues?
1) God is very active in the life’s of those who follow Him.
2) No matter our destination, He insists on bringing us there.
3) Storms are never the real issue. Really.
4) Encouragement will only come from His clear presence in our lives.
5) Real safety, from issues that are quite beyond us. This is quite significant.”Make it so.”