Paul was on his way to Rome when they had ship troubles. They went against good advice and sailed into the sea when the conditions were rough and they faced terrible storms because of it. They were scared they were going to die and everyone was making really impulsive decisions.
It’s important to note a few things in this chapter. First, Paul’s actions gained him favor with the centurion on charge. This got him privileges (going to see his family) and protection (they didn’t just kill all the prisoners because they liked Paul). Our relationships, even with non- believers, are important. Not only because we can grow and learn, but because of the way God can use them.
Second, Paul’s faith was amazing. He saw the ships around him crashing and everyone on his ship was sure that they would die as well. Paul stood among them, against all sound wisdom, and spoke of what God has told him. He had confidence in the things God had told him and we can too. We can trust the truth of his word even when it doesn’t seem like we should. At the end of every one going crazy and a number of people trying to go about their own way, Paul was right. The staff tried to flee, the people at the top had crazy ideas about killing everyone, the ship did actually crash and shatter into pieces. Not one person was killed. Everyone walked away.
Sometimes we can let our circumstances dictate our actions. We know what we should do and how we should live, but for whatever reason something derails us. We know we should spend time with our family, but this project is important. We know we should be kind, but that person is so hard to love. We know we should be generous, but when it comes time to give our budget it tapped out. We know the right things, but the circumstances.
Paul stood on the truth, even in the face of death, because God had told him something. And he believed it. God has made promises to each of us. Do we cling to them? Do we hold the truths in his word close to our chest in the face of adversity? Or do we see the storm, the doubters, the opposition and fold?