The prisoners and crew of a transport ship sailing out of Crete find themselves trapped in a violent storm. Paul, aboard the ship as a prisoner, listens for God's comfort, and takes action.
[Darris McNeely] Life will bring to us conditions and circumstances that will challenge us and challenge our faith, our belief in God, and our courage. There's a story from the book of Acts that I just recently completed, we've been going through the book of Acts in our Bible classes, and it's the story of Paul's journey to Rome as a prisoner on the boat ride across the Mediterranean.
And as that story is told, we really are looking at not only a nautical journey, but also something that many episodes that teach us something about our life, and the journey of our life toward the Kingdom of God. As Paul had set out, very early on they met a great storm that lasted for many days. The people on-board the ship didn't know if they would survive. And the Apostle Paul, at one point, in Acts 27:21-25 Acts 27:21-25  But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the middle of them, and said, Sirs, you should have listened to 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.
 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
 Saying, Fear not, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar: and, see, God has given you all them that sail with you.
 Why, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
American King James Version×, here in this particular episode does something himself that was quite courageous.
When the soldiers, when the sailors had despaired and lost confidence and courage of what was going to happen, the Apostle Paul stands up in their midst. Beginning in verse 21 he says, "Men, you should have listened to me and not have sailed from Crete or we wouldn't be in this position" he says. "But now I urge you to take heart 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.' All have the assurance from God that the ship...the journey would come to a conclusion and there would be no loss of life.
And he concludes, he said "Men, therefore take heart. For I believe God that it will be just as it was told me." I believe God, it will be just as it was told me. So Paul tells them to not be afraid, to take heart, and to believe God. Now, whatever method we have to come to that, in this case, God gave Paul an actual vision that he needed at that particular moment. We have this story. We have countless other teachings, and promises, and stories from scripture of God's guidance, God's intervention, and God's promise to be with us. To help us understand that He will not forsake us in any part of our life, and that He never has. And our challenge is to have courage and to believe God, and to stand fast, and to take heart, and not lose the confidence that is ours if we hold onto the promises that God gives to us.
When you go through the rest of the story, they did have a lot of trial and difficulty, and actually, the boat did become shipwrecked. But not one person lost their life. God was faithful to His promise, in this very accurate telling of a nautical voyage across the Mediterranean in the first century with God's servant upon it.
God's taking us, you, me, his servants, on a journey, a great journey toward the Kingdom of God. Take heart, don't be fearful, believe God. He will see us through to the end.
That's BT Daily, join us next time.