It was a dark and stormy night, with the wind howling and the ocean waves rising high. Despair had set in to the crew and passengers aboard the ship. They were lost at sea, and at the mercy of a storm. It had already been two weeks without relief.
In such a difficult moment, the apostle Paul steps up and begins to speak words of encouragement. If you were a sailor, what would you want to hear?
In difficult times, we often say words that are meant to comfort. But they can also sound quite empty and hollow. “Everything’s going to be okay,” sounds nice – but is it true?
We could summarize Paul’s message as ‘Everything’s going to be okay.” But Paul doesn’t merely say that. In Acts 27:22-25, he grounds this message in 4 unchanging truths about God. So it’s no longer opinion or wish that it’s going to be okay. No, this message of encouragement has the backing and authority of the Almighty God.
First truth is that God is with me. God sent an angel in the night to stand beside Paul. God had not abandoned anyone to the storm or sea. You may not have an angel beside you, but you can know for certain that God is with you through something much better: the Word of God.
Second truth is that God loves me. Paul says that he belongs to God, but not just as an object or possession. When you believe in Jesus Christ, you are a child of God. You are loved by Him as valuable and precious. God has chosen to love you and to rescue you from your sin.
Third truth is that God uses me. Paul says that he serves this God, which is why he’s on this boat. And that service is not done. There is more good that God has in mind for Paul to do, including this message of encouragement.
Final and fourth truth is that God delivers me. For Paul, that means everyone on the boat will survive the storm and coming shipwreck. For you, it may mean relief. Or healing. Or death. God’s deliverance comes in many forms, some of them unexpected. But He always, always delivers His people, and gives them grace to endure.
Whatever you may be going through, however stormy your life might be, or as you look ahead to the future, it may be uncertain or sunny – whatever is your life, hold fast to these four truths. Repeat them. See them in Scripture. Use them on those dark and stormy nights!