Summary: When hopelessness mounts and upsets feeble men, the presence of believers in their midst is not by chance, but God put them there for a purpose.
Hopelessness assaults human mind in many surprising ways and anyone who is caught unaware by its intimidating presence, his heart will melt helplessly like a block of ice in the heat of the day. Panic, blunders and emotional breakdown are negative results of being captured by this nerve-racking state. In fact, an early surrender to its sphere of influence means nailing the last nail on its victim’s coffin. Beyond doubt, hopelessness is a life-destroyer.
A quick scan on Acts Chapter 27 is undeniably enough to lead us to realization how hopelessness tried the faith and courage of the Apostle Paul and other men during their sailing to Italy. In Acts 27:20, it is written, And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. (KJV) This Bible passage shows us a glimpse of man’s hopelessness during life-threatening moments. Emphatically, it tells us that all hope was taken away.
When hopelessness mounts and upsets feeble men, the presence of believers in their midst is not by chance, but God put them there for a purpose. Behind hopelessness is ignorance of the Word of God and His blessed will. In verse 25, it is written, Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. (KJV) Surely, the Apostle Paul was aware of God’s Word and His perfect will for their lives. God gave Paul the needed composure and boldness during those critical moments so he may prove to the hopeless that God has always a way of saving those who rely on His hope-giving Word.
(I) The Role Of A Christian In The Midst Of Hopelessness
The visible presence of Christians in this troubled world should not be taken lightly but should be well-understood in the light of the Scriptures.
A professing believer who knows nothing regarding his life’s role in this present world will never influence others to live a faith-triggered life. Consequently, his life becomes unproductive and questionable. In times of uncertainties, there is even a great possibility that he will overlook God’s Word and take advice and rely on the instructions of unbelievers.
In Acts 27:9-11, it is written, Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. (KJV) These verses from the Bible remind us of the danger people will be facing in the future if they ignore the warning of the servants of God, and instead, be impressed by the words of secular-minded men. Christians are also reminded of their vital role when hope seems to fade in man’s naked eyes.
-An encourager to others
Every Christian should not only remind others of the importance of God-impressed warning, but should also serve as encourager in times of survival. In Acts 27:21-22, it is written, But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. (KJV) What a God-given wisdom the Apostle Paul displayed in dealing with unbelieving people in times of hopelessness. Undeniably, Paul was a great encouragement to many people during his earthly life.
-A channel of God’s Word
The Apostle Paul was used by the Lord in channeling His hope-giving word. In Acts 27:23-25, it is written, For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. (KJV) We firmly believe that every believer could be used by God in spreading His Word to the hopeless so they may find comfort in times of distress.
In this world filled with much fears and insecurities, who would be suitably used in reaching out lost souls except the Christians? Certainly, the world is in great need of Spirit-led believers like Paul to tell the Word of Truth so the unsaved people may find their way to the Living Savior Jesus Christ.