Just as the apostle Paul did, we can take courage from the word of God and move forward in faith.
[Darris McNeely] There are times when a person of courage just has to take a stand and make a statement when things are going rough in the midst of a trial. There's a great story from the book of Acts, the life of Paul. Paul is on the journey to Rome. He's a prisoner. He's made his appeal to Caesar. He's being transported on a grain ship. They're sailing in very bad weather and there's danger that the ship is going to break up and run aground. And after a period of time of wind and waves, and as it says, being Tempest tossed, Paul is the only one on the ship where there are rough sailors, there are soldiers, Centurion. Paul's the only one who stands up to lay down for the whole ship and everybody on it, a message that they can take heart with.
Here's what happens. Paul says in verse 22, he said, "Men, you should have listened to me and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss." This is actually Acts 27:21. They had sailed out at a time of year that they shouldn't have sailed, trying to get to a particular harbor. He said it's not going to be good. But he said, "Now I urge you to take heart," that's courage, "for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night, an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve," saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul, you must be brought before Caesar, and indeed, God has granted you all those who sail with you. Therefore take heart, man, for I believe God, that it will be just as it was told me.'" And so here after several days of rough sailing, Paul himself must have been worried wondering what was going to happen. God sends an angel to stand beside him in the middle of the darkest night to tell him, "Look, hang in there. There'll be a loss of the ship, but the life is going to be saved.
And Paul takes courage from that, conveys it to everyone else. As the story goes along, eventually, some of the people got the message. And though the ship was lost, all the lives were saved as the story ends when Paul eventually makes landfall in Italy.
Sometimes a person with courage has to stand up in the midst of a time of trial when things look pretty dark, when things look like they're not going to go well for the group of people, for the family, for a group of friends, whatever it might be, and say, faith, courage, it's going to work out right if we go by the book, the Book of God, the Word of God, if we have faith in God. There may be certain losses, but in the end, life will be saved. It takes courage to do that. It's a great lesson from the life of the Apostle Paul, one that we need as we make our journey toward the Kingdom of God.
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