Summary: If we will abide in Christ as the sailors stayed with the ship that Paul was shipwrecked in, God will provide a way for us to escape destruction.
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Pastor James May
FLOATING ON BROKEN PIECES
Has there ever been a time in your walk with the Lord that you knew that you were in the will of God; when you knew that you were walking in faith and obedience to His will; and yet, you found your life in the midst of a great storm?
Paul was sailing under God’s direction to Rome. He was in God’s perfect will and in God’s perfect time. Yet we see that Paul was sailing to Rome, not as a missionary, not as an Apostle carrying the greatest message ever told, not as a man of God – at least in the eyes of the world and those who considered him as their friend. Paul was traveling under guard and under arrest. He was destined to a Roman prison to wait for a long time until the “Man god”, Caesar, would give him an audience.
Acts 27:1, "And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band."
This man of God, Paul, receiving treatment as a common criminal, not trusted by those aboard ship with him and under constant surveillance of the Roman Centurion, was not only being treated as a criminal but he was also headed for a great shipwreck for the ship was caught in a great storm called “Euroclydon”.
Acts 27:14-15, "But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive."
This was similar in magnitude to a hurricane in the Mediterranean Sea where they were sailing. For a wooden ship to be caught in the open sea in the fury of a hurricane was certain destruction.
The sailors (the church) had not the strength to fight the storm on their own, so they had little choice but to let the “wind”(of the Spirit) move the ship wherever it wanted to.
God knew where the ship was going for He was directing the wind. The storm was sent to destroy Paul and the ship but God used the storm to bring Paul to Island of Melita to preach the gospel and to heal the sick of that island.
God used Paul, even as a prisoner of Rome, from a shipwrecked ship, snake bitten, cold and wet, to perform the mission for which Paul was sent. Certainly this man was blessed and anointed by God! What a great testimony this would make!
God can turn our circumstances, our troubles, and our storms to our good also. Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
The ship (church as an organization) is sometimes battered and nearly swamped with the storms of life. The water (people with bad attitudes and problems) that enter into the church sometimes weigh it down and cause it to flounder and even break up in the waves of emotionalism, anger and frustration that follow after bitter debate.
(Many times throughout the scripture, the waters, as spoken in context, refer to the masses or numbers of people upon the earth)
But Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Acts 27:16-19, "And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: Which when they had taken up, they used helps, under girding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksand, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship."