Acts 27:20-22 NIV
20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. 21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.”
When addressing a group of people who are experiencing self-inflicted damage and loss, what Paul does NOT say is just as impactful as what Paul DOES say. First of all, Paul does NOT blame this difficult situation on the storm, but on their disobedience that led them to sail INTO the storm. Secondly however, he takes the opportunity to point them to the hope/courage that God offers even in the midst of their disobedience. Finally, although he addresses the certainty of the impending destruction of their ship, he phrases it in a way that reminds them that their hope/courage never should have been in the ship to begin with!
When we are facing a “stormy” or “destructive” season, we must examine our situation in its proper context by asking ourselves a few questions: 1. “Did I/am I currently making disobedient or unwise decisions that led me into this storm?” 2. “Do I have enough hope/courage to trust that God is powerful and loving enough to protect me from every storm… even the ones that I brought upon myself?” 3. “Have I been putting too much trust in my comfort, possessions, luxuries, circumstances, etc. and forgotten that the only TRULY unbreakable source of hope is Jesus Christ?”
Heavenly Father, please help me to live a life of obedience that is glorifying to you. I acknowledge and repent of the fact that there are moments where I’ve chosen to be disobedient, and I pray that the storms that arise because of those decisions will strip away any pride or sinful desires that are at war within me. I thank you for your never-ending protection from the eternal consequences of my sinful decisions, and that you still have a purpose and a love for me in my disobedience! Please reveal to me any areas of my life - possessions, relationships, circumstances, etc. that I’m leaning on too much so that I’ll ONLY lean on you! In Jesus name I pray, Amen.