We might find ourselves in the midst of the raging seas and boisterous winds. Feeling all alone without a helper, things seeming to get worse over time, until we give up and surrender to the circumstances around us. In these instances, we feel overwhelmed, unable to change or surpass those circumstances, hopelessly entrapped in a vicious circle that we are unable to escape. This may be the case at work, home or school due to social, financial or sociological turmoil that fill us with fear and anxiety about what the future might hold in store for us. Finally, our lives become like a ship with a broken helm that has lost all sense of direction and we finally surrender to the waves and wind, just as those that were with Paul on the ship going to Rome said. “….So we let the wind carry the ship. ….” Act 27:15
This was their final resort, as they had lost all hope of rescue….but in the midst of these harsh conditions and the rowdy winds that led to the ship getting wrecked, the angel of the Lord appeared to Paul and said “…. Fear not, Paul! You must stand before Caesar. And behold! God has given you all those who sail with you........” Act 27:24. What an encouragement these God sent words were to Paul and to those who were with him. Even though, the ship was wrecked, the captain had failed, and they had lost all hope of rescue and had said “.... now all hope that we would be saved was taken away.........” Act 27:20
But only Paul had faith and peace from God. He alone was not troubled by all these incidents surrounding them. Even though, he was about to be imprisoned and convicted to death at Rome (their destination), he was not affected by all the despair around him, but was confident that he would safely survive the wreckage along with all those with him, so he said “Therefore, men, be of good cheer, for I believe God, that it will be so, according to the way it was told me. ” Act 27: 25.
This reveals his great faith and hope in the Lord. He felt secure about his future which was in God’s hands. Also, he knew he would stand in front of Caesar at Rome and not a single word which the Lord had spoken would fall.
So, he started encouraging those around him saying “Therefore, men, be of good cheer…” Act 27:25….. the Lord will rescue you and get you safely out of the storm without any loss of life.
Paul had many similar experiences that he talked about in 2Cor 11:23-33….I have been in labors more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in prisons more, in deaths many times. Five times I received stripes… Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the deep.
All this did not make him lose hope or give up preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. But he came out of every distressing situation strong in the lord, assured that the Lord was with him “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me………And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work…” 2 Ti 4:17-18
Consequently, this gives us assurance, that whatever we might face in life, would add to our record of experiences that would consequently build our trust and faith in the Lord Jesus. Not only this, but we are confident of our salvation, knowing that afflictions work out patience (not failure or despair), so that we come out of every tough situation stronger , full of faith and hope more than we had prior to that experience. And hope does not make us ashamed. Rom 5:3-4
Moreover, we know that we have a Saviour who died and rose victorious for our sakes, so that He would give us victory in all things, and nothing shall separate us from His love Rom 8:35
Comprehending that : “The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” Hab 3:19 He makes us stand above every high mountain and makes us cross over every distress without fear.
Dear reader… to be freed of every anguish, adversity or unrest, the Lord Jesus must be captain of your life. Just as a ship submits to its captain, so must you also submit to Him and let Him lead your life without murmuring or rebellion. He should be the One “ For in him we live, and move, and have our being… “ Act 17:28. The only anchor of your soul. Heb 6:19…. Go to Him and rest from all your burdens… receive new power to continue in your walk with Him with all joy….and may your heart and mind be filled with His peace that surpasses all understanding Rom 4:7
That peace that removes all anxiety, distress and weariness. And He also will lead you from the mouth of distress to a wide place not cramped Job 36:16
Be at rest and peace with no one to make you afraid of either present or future. Trusting that “... You'll be safe here with me.“1 Sam 22:23
He holds all your circumstances in His hand, guaranteeing a better life for you, that will not be lost because He is strong in power. Isa 40:26
Thus, be thankful to Him always and receive from His hand all things with joy. Being fully convinced that He is your refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble Psa 46:1
He will strengthen and help you in all that you are going through. Believe that He is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able to withstand .1Co 10:13
Because He is not far away from you, but knows your strengths, weaknesses and sympathises with you. Heb 4:15
When He was in the flesh he suffered like you so that He could be able to help you Heb 2:16every pain and distress because He is a faithful God who will never leave you nor forsake you. He is with you always until the end of the age Matt 28:20.