We just finished studying the book of Acts. Personally it was a refreshing study and I think it was for our youth ministry as well. The last two chapters were good and honestly I didn’t expect to learn as much as I did in the earlier chapters. Nonetheless, here are a few nuggets from Acts 27 One note of disclaimer: The point of these last two chapters is NOT about life storms. It is ultimately about God’s sovereignty in ALL of life circumstances in order to continue the spread of the gospel “boldly and without hindrance”. In other words, when reading this text there is not an exact one-to-one correlation and application for every detail. However, a broad reading of these chapters within the context of the book you can better understand and apply the below principles.
When faced with life interruptions or crisis…
1) Evaluate your foundation and find anchors (v.27-29).
Paul’s journey undertook quite a storm and ultimately a shipwreck. His travel mates endured about 2 weeks at sea in the winter months. It was like a scene on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”. They feared for their lives and did the only thing they knew for protection – they dropped 4 anchors and prayed.
Likewise, when you are faced with an unwanted interruption in your life the best thing you can do is evaluate the situation around you, drop anchor and pray for God to work things out. Every person needs to anchor their soul to Jesus Christ whether in a life storm or not. Other anchors are staying connected to God’s community of faith to comfort you in times of crisis. God places people in our life to encourage and hold us up during such times. Even more, God orchestrates every person’s life circumstances and uniquely intersects lives so that we can learn, share and grow in character becoming the reflections of grace He wants us to become.
Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 1:3-11; Hebrews 4:14-16; 6:19-20
2) Determine to face conflict together with others (v.31-32).
The storm was so bad some of the men tried to escape on their own using lifeboats. Paul’s prophetic vision knew all the shipmates would only be saved if they stayed together. So, the soldiers cut the ropes to the lifeboats.
Sometimes we look to avoid interruptions and want to run away from solving problems. Seeing Paul’s example should remind us that escape never fully solves the situation. They had to commit to staying together to see their end destination.
3) Care for your physical well being as much as spiritual (v.33-38).
For 2 weeks the 276 shipmates stayed together but they were doing little to care for their physical health. Paul encouraged them all to eat. They did so until they were full. This is a great reminder that in the middle of interruptions sometimes we can get caught up in solving problems over long periods of time without taking the time to care for our own well being. This is true spiritually as well as physically. They both are necessary if we are to survive crisis and work out effective results.
4) Above all, trust God to bring all things together for his purposes (v.44 – 28:1-31).
Paul’s journey to Rome endured a terrible storm, shipwreck and a long detour to the island of Malta. Several months later they were able to get back on the journey to Rome and reach their destination. Even then, God was not finished leading Paul to other places to bring about his plan and purpose for Paul’s life. God is faithful and we must trust his weaving together of circumstances; even in difficult times.