Summary: Paul was taken on a voyage to Rome as a prisoner. He stood strong in the face of a terrible storm, because he has these anchors: (1) the anchor of God’s presence; (2) of God’s promise; (3) of God’s plan; (4) of God’s power.
Paul and some other prisoners were taken on a voyage towards Rome. We’ll read about his experience in Acts 27:14-26; 33-44.
Paul was a prisoner, but in this voyage through the storm, he stood out as a HERO.
• Chains bound him, yet he was freed from fear or hopelessness.
• The people were struggled in fear, yet Paul was standing strong.
• Many were discouraged but Paul was confident and was able to encourage them.
• In the midst of great difficulty, Paul was able to inspire them to stay strong.
How? Where did Paul get his strength? Why wasn’t him crippled by fears? Verse 25 gives us the clue -"keep up your courage, men for I have faith in God..."
A Christian stands strong in the midst of storms of life - because he puts his trust in God.
• We can be strong because we believe in a good God.
• Not only can we be strong, we become an encouragement to those who are with us.
• We are pillars of strength to others, because we believe God.
The storm was a fierce one - v.14 "wind of hurricane force"
• We’ve seen the destruction caused by hurricanes recently in the States.
• Huge trees that have been there for centuries were uprooted overnight.
• Houses were flattened, and everything you have could be destroyed in one storm.
Yet in the midst of such a fierce storm, bro/sis we can stand strong. No matter what crisis you go through, we can stand strong like Paul...
• The sailors cast anchors into the sea but these were not good enough to hold the ship.
• Yet Paul has a few ’anchors’ himself that holds him steady and strong.
Acts 27:23 - Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me...
( 1 ) THE ANCHOR OF GOD’S PRESENCE
• Someone stood beside him. He has the strong anchor of God’s presence.
• Paul found that even in the midst of the raging storm he was not alone.
• The Lord came to him and assured him.
• Heb 13:5 “…I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Matt 28:20 “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Psa 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”
This is the truth we must hold on to, no matter what storms you’re going through.
• Look to Him and not at the storm, and you’ll stay afloat - like disciple Peter when he walked on water.
• Even when we cannot see Him or feel Him, choose to believe in His presence.
MOM IS WATCHING
Dr Tony Campolo says that when he was a boy growing up in a congested and bustling city, his mother arranged a teenage girl who lived nearby to walk home with him at the end of the day. For this she was paid a dollar a day. But Tony rebelled in the second grade and told his mother, I’ll walk myself to school and I will be extra careful. You can save the money.”
After a period of pleading and begging, little Tony finally got his way. For the next two years he walked himself back and forth to school. It was an eight-block walk with many streets to cross, but he was careful and didn’t talk to strangers or get distracted along the way.
Years later at a family party, he bragged about his independence and reminded his family of how he had taken care of himself as a boy. His mother laughed and added the rest of the story. “Did you really think you were alone?” she asked. “Every morning when you left for school, I left with you. I walked behind you all the way. When you got out of school at 3:30 in the afternoon, I was there. I always kept myself hidden, but I was there and I followed you all the way home. I just wanted to be there for you in case you needed me.”
Paul says in v.25 "for I have faith in God"
• He knew God was with Him and everything was going to be all right.
...`Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.
( 2 ) THE ANCHOR OF GOD’S PROMISE
This is the 2nd truth we must hold on to.
It was a long storm. V.20 "When neither sun nor starts appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved."