You Will Survive: Sometimes It’s the Storm(s) Inside You That Stop & the Storm Around You Rages On

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament scriptural account of the spiritual body of Jesus the Christ which is written and recorded in the New Testament book of Acts by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses twenty-seven through forty-four of the twenty-seventh chapter. ALL HOPE THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVED WAS TAKEN AWAY! FELLOWSHIP OF THE STORM! FELLOWSHIP IN THE STORM! DISCIPLES IN THE STORM WITH JESUS! DISCIPLES IN THE STORM WITHOUT JESUS! COMMUNION IN THE STORM! STANDING IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! STANDING IN THE MIDST OF THE WIND! STANDING IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! FOURTEEN DAYS IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! THE DECEPTION OF FLEEING FROM THE STORM! THE DECEPTION OF FLEEING FELLOWSHIP IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! STRENGTH FOR THE STORM! STRENGTH TO SURVIVE THE STORM! THEY ESCAPED ALL SAFE TO LAND! “Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.” “Sirs, ye should have heartened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and los. 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; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.” “Except thee abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.” “This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, haven taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.” When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find the journey being made to transport the apostle Paul—together with other prisoners—unto the city of Rome which was in Italy. As the twenty-seventh chapter of the book of Acts opens up and begins it does so with the beloved physician Luke writing and describing how it has been determined that these prisoners and those others who would accompany them set sail and chart a course for Italy where prisoners would appear before Caesar there in the midst of the most powerful city within the most powerful empire the world had seen up until that time. It’s actually quite unique to think about and consider the fact that although the apostle Paul—together with at least two of his companions which were the beloved physician Luke and Aristarchus—would be on the same ship bound and headed unto Rome which was there in Italy. We know from the writings of the apostle Paul that Aristarchus was a fellow prisoner with the apostle Paul, however, we are uncertain and it is unclear whether or not the physician Luke himself was also a prisoner. We do know that Luke was indeed a physician and that he was in fact a Gentile, so it might very well be possible that he was aboard the ship headed to Rome to provide medical care and attention for the prisoners. We know from both the gospel of Luke, as well as this treaties concerning the life and ministry of the apostles and early church that Luke was a gentile physician who had been converted and had become a follower of the Way and had become a Christian during those days. It’s actually quite remarkable to think that even though the apostle Paul was and went bound unto Rome to stand before Caesar, he was accompanied by two of his closest companions which were Aristarchus and the physician Luke.

As you continue reading the words which the beloved physician Luke wrote in this particular passage you will find that they initially set Saul from Caesarea in order that they might make their way unto Rome which was in Italy. Initially their journey seemed as though it would be successful and prosperous, and it appeared that there would be no trouble, nor any type of struggle or conflict what would appear along the way. If and as you continue reading the words which are found within this chapter you will find that while it initially appeared that the journey unto Rome would be smooth and would be absent trial, conflict and struggle, the journey would be anything but smooth and easy. In fact, you will find the apostle Paul at one point speaking unto the centurion and the captain of the ship warning them that their journey unto Rome would be met with much harm and damage to the ship, and quite possibly even to their own lives. In order to understand the events which took place within this chapter it’s worth noting that despite the warning the apostle Paul spoke unto those who were responsible for transporting these prisoners unto Rome, they ignored the warning assuming that the peace and calm they were witnessing and experiencing meant and suggested that their journey unto Rome would be one that would be met with success and prosperity. The truth of the matter that there were essentially two distinct warning signs which would be sounded unto the centurion who was responsible for the apostle Paul, as well as unto the captain and crew of the ship. The first warning and alarm that would be sounded was the wind which they experienced upon first attempting to set sail for Rome. The second warning which they would receive and experience would be the words, the caution and warning which the apostle Paul himself would speak unto them. It’s worth noting that not only was the initial warning of the contrary wind ignored by the captain of the ship and those who were in charge, but so also were the words and so also was the warning of the apostle Paul ignored as well. Showing absolutely no regard for their initial experience and encounter with the wind which was contrary to them, and showing no regard for the words and warning which the apostle Paul has spoken unto them, the journey unto Rome would take place at that time—a journey, however, which would be met with much resistance, labor, toil and struggle. You can continue reading the words which are found within this chapter and you will find that having ignored both warning signs which were sounded at that time the ship still set sail headed unto Rome, and in all reality would set sail during what would seem like a period of calm and peace. Oh how much I am amazed how many times we can misinterpret and misunderstand certain peace we experience within our lives and assume that the peace which is before us is a sign that we should in fact proceed with our desires, our intentions and that which is in our hearts and minds to do. The truth of the matter is that there are times within our lives when although we might in fact be experiencing peace at that particular moment, that doesn’t mean that it is a sign to be taken that we are and have been released to continue with that which is found within our hearts and minds.

The more I sit here this morning and think about and consider the account of the apostle Paul—together with all the other prisoners and crew who were aboard this ship—the more I can’t help but be gripped and captivated with and by the fact that when you read of the great tempest and great storm which rose yo against the ship in the midst of the ocean, you will find that it actually has a name. WHEN THE TEMPEST HAS A NAME! WHEN THE STORM HAS A NAME! I sit here this morning and I can’t help but be absolutely and completely gripped and captivated by the fact that when you read concerning the storm and tempest that came upon the ship and crew it did in fact have a name that was given to it. EUROCLYDON! As you read the words which are found within this chapter you will find that when this great storm and tempest rose up against the ship together with its crew this storm did in fact have a name which was given unto it during that time. I happen to find this to be absolutely incredible and intriguing for the storm and tempest which threatened the ship and crew was one that did in fact have a name and one that many of them might very well have been familiar with. I am absolutely and completely convinced that there is a word that is found within this reality—one that speaks to us within our lives at this present time. I firmly believe that while we might not be prepared for the storms we face within our lives, and while the storms we face might come without any warning or caution, such storms do in fact have a name and can be identified within our lives. I happen to find it incredibly OT telling that when you read of this storm within the lives of the prisoners and ship it did in fact have a name which might very well have been common to that area, and even unto some who were present on that ship as well. This is an incredibly intriguing truth when you think about and consider it, for there are those among us right now who are facing and experiencing storms which have come upon us without any warning and without any word of caution. There are many who might be reading the words found within this writing who are in the midst of a storm which came upon them suddenly and without any warning and word of caution. With that being said, however, it is imperative that we know that these storms can be identified. Perhaps the question that must be asked right now at this juncture is what storm are you currently facing within your life? What storm has come upon you suddenly and without any warning or caution? Perhaps your storm has and bears the name of SICKNESS OR ILLNESS! Perhaps the storm you are facing has the name DEBT AND FINANCIAL STRUGGLE! Perhaps the storm you are facing right now in your life is ADULTERY OR INFIDELITY! Perhaps the storm you are presently facing within your life is a storm that is called ADDICTION! What is the storm which you are currently facing and experiencing within your life right now? What storm is presently taking place within your life that you might not understand, however, you can in fact identify the nature and name of the storm itself? There is not a doubt in my mind that when and as I read the words which are found within this passage of scripture that it points to and reveals unto us the incredible reality that the storms we face within our lives can in fact, and in most cases—does in fact—have a name.

I read the words which are written and recorded within this passage of scripture and I can’t help but be absolutely and completely captivated with and by the fact that not only did the storm and tempest which the apostle Paul and all those who were aboard the ship have a name, but it is possible to read the words found in this chapter and see it as a wonderful and powerful picture of surviving storms when they do in fact take place within our hearts and lives. The words which I find in this passage of scripture are absolutely and incredibly intriguing, for when you read them you will come face to face with the wonderful reality that even though you might very well find yourself in the midst of a storm, it is possible to survive the storm and to come out on the other side. There are those among us who might not think or even consider that it is possible to come out on the other side and to survive the storms we face, however, this passage brings us face to face with the truth that this is not true. It is true that we do in fact face storms within our lives, and it is in fact true that the storms we face within our lives might come without warning and might threaten our very existence, however, we must recognize and understand that despite the storms we face within our lives, it is possible to come out on the other side and survive the storm. Would it shock and surprise you to know and understand that it is possible for you to come out on the other side of the storm? Would it shock and surprise you to know and to hear that it is possible for you to survive the storms you face within our lives? There are countless men and women among ya today—even within the body of Christ—who grow discouraged and frustrated in the midst of the storms they face within their lives. There are men and women who find themselves thrust into the midst of a storm that comes upon them suddenly and without any warning or signs, and they immediately feel as though all hope is lost. How many times have you found yourself in the midst of a storm within your own life, and as a direct result of entering into that storm you are immediately flooded with thoughts of doubt, fear and confusion? How many times have you faced a storm within your life, and have no answers for the storm and why you are experiencing such a storm? What I so absolutely love about what we find and read within this passage is that it reveals the awesome and incredible reality that it is in fact possible to survive the storms we face within our lives. The words we find written within this passage points to and reveals the awesome and wonderful reality that it is possible for us to come out on the other side of the storms we face within our lives, and although it might be uncomfortable and inconvenient within our hearts and minds we can and will in fact come out on the other side of the storm. It is in fact possible to come out on the other side of the storm which has come upon us in this life suddenly and without any warning or word of caution. I fully recognize that it might be incredibly easy to allow ourselves to be caught up and consumed with doubt when we find ourselves in the midst of the storm, however, I am completely and utterly convinced that we must acknowledge the fact that it is in fact to survive the storms we face within our lives. It is in fact possible to come across storms within our lives and to be in the midst of those storms filled with doubt and confusion—even fear, terror and dread—and yet come out on the other side of those storms. I read the words which are found within this passage of scripture and I can’t help but come face to face with the fact that it is possible to survive the storms we face within our lives, and to live and not die.

I sit here this morning and I think about and consider the words which are found within this passage and I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the fact that there was a certain captive who was found on this ship who would not only be unafraid and unmoved during the storm, but would also stand up in the midst of the storm and speak to those who were aboard the ship. As you read the words which are found within this chapter you will come face to face with the fact that the apostle Paul who was in fact a captive aboard this ship was unmoved and unwavered by the storm, and stood up in the midst of the storm and before all those who were aboard the ship. In all reality, you will find and read the words which are found within this chapter and you will encounter the reality that there were in fact three separate times when the apostle Paul stood in the midst of the storm and spoke unto the centurion, the captain, the crew, and all those who were aboard the ship. You cannot read the words found within this passage and not come face to face with the tremendous and incredible reality that the apostle Paul was indeed able to stand in the midst of the storm—was indeed able to stand in the midst of the wind that was raging all around him, and stand in the midst of the ship that was tossed by the waves—and to speak words of life, words of hope and words of encouragement unto all those who were aboard the ship. The apostle Paul who was himself a prisoner aboard this ship recognized the danger they all faced, and was aware of the danger which threatened each and every one of them who were aboard, and although his words of warning and caution were ignored, there would be no loss of life that would take place on this particular day. There is not a doubt in my mind that there were countless individuals who were present upon this ship who were filled with fear, terror, dread and confusion, and yet the apostle Paul was able to stand in the midst of the storm and speak words of hope, words of life, words of encouragement, and words of faith and confidence unto those who were aboard the ship. I find it absolutely and incredibly fascinating when reading the words found in this chapter that not only was the apostle able to stand in the midst of the storm, but the apostle was able to stand in the midst of the storm on three different occasions. We must read the words which are found within this chapter and come face to face with the reality that the apostle Paul not only survived the storm that came upon this ship—together with all who were aboard—but the apostle Paul also stood in the midst of the storm and spoke unto those who were aboard. In all reality, I can’t help but see a wonderful and strong parallel between the apostle Paul standing in the midst of the storm which came upon this ship and speaking words of encouragement unto those who were aboard the ship, and Jesus the Christ whom he faithfully served and followed who stood in the midst of a different storm. What’s more, is that I am convinced that in order for us to understand the apostle Paul’s actions in the midst of this storm we must acknowledge the storm which Jesus the Christ stood in the midst of. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded within the New Testament gospel which John Mark wrote, and consider the words which are written concerning the storm which came upon the disciples while Jesus was asleep in the midst of the boat:

“And the same day, when the even was come, He saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took Him even as He was in the s hip. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, what manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:35-41).

As you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find that what began with Jesus asleep on a pillow in the midst of a storm would eventually and ultimately culminate in His rising up in the midst of the storm, standing in the midst of the storm and facing the wind, the waves and the rain, and rebuking the wind, the waves, and the storm itself. Mark writes and records how immediately after Jesus spoke unto the wind and the waves they obeyed and responded to Him, and a tremendous peace and calm came over the sea. There is a track on an album I have in my music library, and one of the tracks on the album is entitled “Speak to the Storm.” I remember hearing this track and then some time later writing about Jesus in the midst of this very storm, and I couldn’t help but be gripped and captivated with and by the fact that before we can speak to the storm that is present within our lives, and before we can speak to the wind and the waves, we must first stand in the midst of the storm. We must remember that Jesus was in fact asleep in the midst of the ship while the storm was raging all around the disciples and Himself, and when they cried out to Him for fear for their lives, He responded by rising from His place of slumber, standing in the midst of the storm, and speaking to the storm itself. It is easy to think that it is enough to simply speak to the storm from where we are, however, there is not a doubt in my mind that before we can in fact speak to the storm we must first possess the courage to stand in the midst of the storm. It takes an incredible amount of strength, a tremendous amount of courage, a tremendous amount of faith to be able to stand in the midst of the storm, and it takes a tremendous amount of confidence and trust in the living God to speak to the storm. I am absolutely and wonderfully convinced that it takes a great deal of courage and strength to be able to stand in the midst of the storm and to stand in the midst of the storm—even though the wind and the waves are raging before and all around us. It takes a great deal of strength and courage to stand in the midst of the storm, and I am convinced that it takes a great deal of faith, confidence and trust in the living God to be able to speak to the storm. When you read the words which we find and read concerning Jesus the Christ in the midst of this storm and in the ship with His disciples, we must recognize and understand that He didn’t merely speak to the storm, but before He spoke to the storm He first stood in the midst of the storm. In all reality, I would dare say that there would, and there could be no speaking to the storm if there weren’t in fact a standing in the midst of the storm, for it is only when we are willing to stand in the midst of the storm that we are able to speak to the storm. It is only a direct result of the courage, the strength, and the tremendous fortitude within our hearts and spirits that allows us to stand in the midst of the storm that allows us to then be able to speak to the storm that is before and all around us.

While it is true the apostle Paul didn’t speak to the storm itself, it is in fact true the apostle stood in the midst of the storm—and not only once, but three times. If and as you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find that the apostle Paul stood in the midst of the storm, and on three separate occasions spoke words of life, words of encouragement, and words of hope in the hearing of all those who were aboard the ship. What’s more, is that as you read the words which are found within this passage you will find that as the apostle Paul stood in the midst of the storm, and stood in the midst of the ship which was tossed to and fro by the wind and the waves, he stood against three specific mindsets which were so prevalent on that ship. I can’t help but read the words which are found within this chapter and read of the apostle Paul’s standing in the midst of the storm, and how when he stood in the midst of the storm, he didn’t merely stand once, but he stood three times. What’s more, is that each time the apostle Paul stood in the midst of the storm, he stood against something very specific. If and as you read the words which are found within this passage you will quickly encounter the awesome and incredible reality that the apostle Paul stood in the midst of the storm, and this captive who followed, walked with and served the Lord Jesus the Christ stood in the midst of the storm and spoke to three specific mindsets and three specific realities which were present aboard the ship. We must read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture and recognize that while it is true the apostle Paul stood in the midst of the storm, and while it is true that he stood in the midst of the storm on three separate occasions, he stood with a purpose. The apostle Paul didn’t merely stand in the midst of the storm for his own sake, and because he felt like standing rather than sitting, or perhaps even sleeping. When the apostle Paul stood in the midst of the storm which was present in the midst of the sea, he did so in order that he might speak to something very specific. The apostle Paul did not speak to the storm itself, however, the apostle Paul did speak to the storms that were raging within the hearts and lives of each and every one who was aboard that ship. There is a song on an album I have which is by Scott Krippayne, and the title of the song is “Sometimes He Calms the Storm.” The entire premise of the song is that sometimes Jesus calms the storm that is raging all around and before us, and there are other times when He doesn’t calm the storm itself, but rather He calms us as we are in the midst of the storm. As you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find that the apostle Paul did not speak to the storm which raged around the ship and all those who were aboard, but rather he spoke to the storms that raged inside the hearts and minds of those who were aboard. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul spoke unto those who were aboard the ship—not once, not twice, but three times:

“But after long abstinence, Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have heartened unto 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; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island” (Acts 27:21-26).

“Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except thee abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved” (Acts 27:31).

“And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you” Acts 27:33-34).

It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found within this chapter—particularly as it pertains to the apostle Paul standing in the midst of the storm—for the words which the apostle spoke are absolutely extraordinary and truly remarkable. What we find within this passage is not the apostle Paul standing in the midst of the storm and speaking to the storm as his Lord and Master Jesus the Christ did, but we find the apostle Paul standing in the midst of the storm and speaking to the storms which raged within the hearts and minds of those who were aboard the ship. As you read the words which are found in this passage you will find that the apostle Paul spoke to three distinct and three specific storms which were present within the hearts of those who were aboard the ship—the storm of fear, the storm of flight, and the storm of fatigue. I read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the fact that the apostle Paul possessed enough courage, enough fortitude, enough strength, enough confidence, and enough trust in the God whom he served to stand in the midst of the physical storm which raged all around them and speak to the storms which raged inside the hearts and minds of those who were present on this ship. The first storm the apostle spoke to was the storm of fear, as you will read that when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and the tempest which was upon them was no small tempest, all hope that any should be saved was taken away. It was in the midst of this hopelessness, it was in the midst of this fear and terror the apostle Paul stood and spoke to the storm of fear that was present within the hearts and minds of those who were aboard the ship. The apostle Paul did in fact stand in the midst of the storm, and rather than speaking to the storm itself, he spoke to the storm of fear that was present within the hearts of those who were aboard the ship. What’s more, is that as you continue reading the words which are found here in this chapter you will find the apostle Paul speaking to the storm of fleeing and flight, as the apostle Paul would speak to those who thought they could be saved by casting a smaller ship into the water and that they could somehow escape danger by entering into this ship. When the apostle Paul saw the intentions of certain aboard the ship, he instructed and declared unto them that unless they abide and stay with the ship they would most certainly perish and would not be saved on this day. In other words, the only way for them to remain safe was to stay aboard the ship—despite the fact that it might have appeared to make more sense to enter into a smaller vessel and a smaller ship to save their own lives. The apostle Paul stood a second time and spoke to the storm of fleeing and flight, as he declared unto those who were present on the ship that unless they abided within the ship they would and could not be saved. The third and final storm the apostle Paul spoke to was the storm of fatigue, as the apostle Paul stood in the midst of them all and instructed them to take meat, for not only was it for their health, but they would also need strength to endure the storm which was present before and all around them. The apostle Paul stood a third time and spoke unto the storm of fatigue which was present within the lives and physical bodies of many who were aboard that ship, for they had eaten nothing up until that time. With that being said, we must understand that it was necessary for the apostle Paul to stand in the midst of the storm and speak to the storm of fatigue (perhaps even fasting to a certain degree) and to instruct them to eat, for they would need strength to endure the storm.

I have to admit that I absolutely love the third and final exhortation the apostle Paul spoke unto all those who were aboard the ship on this particular day, for the apostle Paul knew that if they were going to survive the storm they would need strength in their physical bodies. Not only was it absolutely necessary and imperative that they remain with the ship, for only to the degree and measure they were willing to remain and abide with the ship would they be saved and spared. With that being said, it is absolutely critical that we pay close attention to the exhortation the apostle Paul spoke unto those who were aboard the ship, for when he instructed them to take and eat meat, he was in all reality declaring unto them that if they wished to survive the storm which was before and all around them, they would need their strength. Although perhaps many of them refused to eat because they were incredibly fearful and were filled with terror and dread, the apostle Paul instructed and courage them to take and eat, for not only was it for their health, but they would also need their strength if they were to survive the storm. I am convinced there is a tremendous and wonderful word of encouragement that is found for us in this day concerning the storms we face, for not only must we remain and abide with the ship if we are going to survive the storm, but so also must we take and eat for we need strength if we are going to survive the storm. Oh that we would recognize that it is absolutely critical and necessary to have strength in our physical bodies to survive the storms we face in this life, and that we must be willing to take and eat in order that from that which we consume we might obtain the necessary strength to survive the storm. With that being said, we not only see the apostle Paul exhorting them to take and eat meat, but you will also find the apostle Paul breaking and blessing bread and eating it with all those who were aboard the ship. In all reality, not only do we find the partaking of meat in the midst of the storm, but we also find the partaking of communion in the midst of the storm. I believe there is a wonderful and tremendous truth that is contained within this chapter, for not only must we take and eat meat in the midst of the storm, but we must also be willing to partake in communion in the midst of the storm. It is absolutely incredible and astonishing to think about and consider the fact that if we are going to survive the storms we face—we might very well need physical strength which is received through partaking of physical meat in the natural, however, I firmly believe that if we are going to survive the storms we face we must partake of the spiritual meat which is found within the Word of God. There is not a doubt in my mind that if we are going to survive the storms we face in this life, we must partake of the meat which is found in the Word of God, for it is for our health, and it is necessary to survive the storm we are facing. What’s more, is that if we are going to survive the storms we face within this life we must be willing to partake of the body and blood of the living Christ, for it is when we partake of the body and blood of Jesus the Christ that we receive strength in our physical bodies, as well as strength in our spiritual bodies. I firmly believe that if we are going to survive the storms we face in this life it is absolutely necessary and critical that we partake of the spiritual meat which is found in the divine Word of God, as well as partake of communion which is representative of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is only to the degree and measure we partake of these that we obtain the strength needed to survive the storm.

With all of this being said, I am convinced that there is yet another reality that is found within this passage of Scripture concerning our surviving the storms which we find ourselves facing in this life. If and as you continue reading the words found within this passage you will find that if we are going to survive the storms we face within this life we are going to need to learn to let go and accept losing that which we think we need in the midst of the storm. As I read the words found in this chapter I can’t help but come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that part of what helped those who were on board this ship survive the storm was being able to let go of that which they might otherwise have held on to, and let go of that which they thought and perceived they needed. What’s more, is that as you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find that they were able to strive the storm by losing that which they thought they needed to survive—not only did they lose the smaller ship and vessel after cutting it loose from the ship, but they would also lose the ship itself. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the tremendous reality that those who were aboard this ship were able to survive because they let go of that which they thought and perceived they needed, and even because they lose that which they would have otherwise needed, or believed they needed to survive. Consider if you will the following three references found within this passage of Scripture which point to the tremendous reality of their letting go of that which they thought they needed, as well as losing that which they had within their lives and possession:

“And we being exceedingly tossed with tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; and the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship” (Acts 27:18).

“Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon the rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day” (Acts 27:29).

“Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off” (Acts 27:32).

“And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea. And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. And when they had taken up anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore” (Acts 27:38-40).

Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of that which is found within this chapter, for within this chapter we encounter and come face to face with the reality that more often than not if we are to survive the storms we face within this life we must learn and engage ourselves in the practice of letting go and accepting the loss of those things which we thought and perceived we needed. It is necessary that we recognize and understand that sometimes surviving the storm means that we must let things go, and sometimes surviving the storm means losing those things we would be tempted to hold on to, and perhaps even those things we thought we would and could use. What’s more, is that letting go may very well mean letting go of those things we think might indeed and might in fact save us in the midst of the storm. Letting go might very well mean that we need to get rid of those things in our life in order that we might lighten the load in the midst of the storm. What’s more, is that letting go might very well mean that we lose everything before and around us, and yet escaping with our life and surviving the midst of the storm. I absolutely love how what we find and what we read in the midst of this storm is that although they lost the ship which some thought to escape in, and although the ship itself would be lost, they would escape with their lives and would survive the storm. Oh that we would recognize and come face to face with the reality that if we are going to survive the storms we face within our hearts and lives, it might very well be necessary to let go of those things we would otherwise hold on to in order that we might trust and rely solely on the true and living God. What’s more, is that there might very well be the tendency to attempt to flee the storm and to enter into a different vessel thinking that by doing so we might very well escape with our lives, and yet the truth of the matter is that if we are going to survive the storm we face within our lives, we must learn to let those things go which we entered the storm with—and even those things we thought and believed we needed. Oh that we would come face to face with the tremendous reality that we must indeed and must in fact learn to and accept the fact that our survival in the midst of the storm might very well require us to let go of that which we would hold on to, and that which we think we might very well need. Furthermore, we might need to accept and be willing to lose those things within our lives which we thought we would need and those things we would otherwise hold on to. More often than not, the lighter the load and the lighter the vessel, the more we are able to survive the storm which we face in this life. Oh how absolutely wonderful that even though the ship itself was destroyed, there was not a single one aboard the ship whose life was lost, for all escaped with their lives, and all made it safely to the shore with their lives. That which the angel of the Lord had spoken unto the apostle Paul had in fact come to pass, and each and every one of those aboard survived the storm and escaped the storm and ship with their lives. Oh that you and I would recognize and understand that we too can survive the storm(s) we face, and that we too can escape with our lives and make it safely to the other side.

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