13 A gentle south wind began to blow. They thought that this was what they had been waiting for. So they pulled up the anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14 Before very long, a wind blew down from the island. It had the force of a hurricane. It was called a “northeaster.” 15 The ship was caught by the storm. We could not keep it sailing into the wind. So we gave up and were driven along. 16 We passed the calmer side of a small island called Cauda. We almost lost the lifeboat. 17 So the men lifted it on board. Then they tied ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. They were afraid it would get stuck on the sandbars of Syrtis. They lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. 18 We took a very bad beating from the storm. The next day the crew began to throw the ship’s contents overboard. 19 On the third day, they even threw the ship’s gear overboard with their own hands. 20 The sun and stars didn’t appear for many days. The storm was terrible. So we gave up all hope of being saved. 21 The men had not eaten for a long time. Paul stood up in front of them. “Men,” he said, “you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete. Then you would have avoided this harm and loss. 22 “Now I beg you to be brave. Not one of you will die. Only the ship will be destroyed. 23 I belong to God and serve him. Last night his angel stood beside me. 24 The angel said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must go on trial in front of Caesar. God has shown his grace by sparing the lives of all those sailing with you.’ 25 “Men, continue to be brave. I have faith in God. It will happen just as he told me. 26 But we must run the ship onto the beach of some island.”
This passage shows us how unreliable our faith is if we are basing it on circumstance.
When Paul told the centurion not to sail from Crete, the centurion wouldn’t listen, but followed the advice of the pilot (experience) and the owner of the ship (money).
So, when a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted. They were very proud and believed they made right decision.
very long, the big storm came, neither sun nor stars appeared for many days. And finally, they gave up all hope of being saved.
No doubt, we all like these circumstances follow our decision which shows how good/wise we are. But, the truth is only God’s word is eternal and stands firm in the heavens (Psalm 119).
I am not saying “good” circumstances are
“bad” or lead to a “bad” result, but, we do need to verify/review our decision making process, are they based on God’s word or circumstance/experience/money.
Thanks God, He never gives up us (even sometimes when we make wrong decisions). He used Paul to encourage all the people on the boat and pointed out not one of them will be lost. Paul has faith in God that it will happen just as He told him.
Dear Lord, help me to keep the faith in you no matter what the circumstance is!! Amen.
Written by Allen Leu