For Such a Storm as This: The Lord Has Reserved His Captains of Salvations For the Storms Ahead

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament account of the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ—the Church—as it was written and recorded by the physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage begins with the twenty-seventh verse of the chapter and continues through to the forty-fourth verse. “And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a. tempest, the next day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when. Neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But after long abistence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened 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 27:13-36).

 

But when the fourteenth nigh was come, as we were driven up and down in Adira, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; and sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, the sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off. 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. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat”  (Acts 27:27-35).

 

            “Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. And we were in all in the ship two hundred and threescore and sixteen souls. 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 the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. And falling a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: and the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land” (Acts27:36-44).

 

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the narrative surrounding the apostle Paul on his way to the capital city of the Roman Empire—the city of Rome. After having spent more than two years living between Jerusalem and Caesarea in the land of Judaea the apostle Paul along with others would finally set sail from Caesarea and make their way unto Rome. As you read the words found within this passage of Scripture you will find that their journey unto Rome would not be an easy one as their time aboard the ships they used would be buffeted by wind that would almost seem as though there were forces working behind the scenes to either delay or buffet them from making their way to Rome. Prior to arriving at Jerusalem the apostle Paul knew that he must needs journey unto the city of Jerusalem and that bonds and afflictions abode and awaited him in every city he journeyed. The apostle Paul had heard the prophetic word spoken by the Judaean prophet Agabus who took Paul’s girdle, bound his hands and feet with it and then declared that thus would the Jews in Jerusalem bind the owner of the girdle before delivering him unto the hands of the Gentiles. Much like the Lord Jesus would be seized and bound by the Jews and the religious rulers and leaders of that day in the midst of the city of Jerusalem before being delivered into the hands of the Gentiles so also would the apostle Paul be bound by the Jews—and not only bound by the Jews but also beaten by them—before ultimately being delivered into the hands of the Gentiles. The apostle Paul would know that the city of Jerusalem would most certainly mean the stripping of his freedom as he would indeed be bound by the Jews and would express unto those in the house of Philip the evangelist in Caesarea that he was willing to not only be bound in Jerusalem but also to lay his life down for the sake of the name and cause of the Lord Jesus.

 

            Upon reading the words which are found in chapters twenty-one through the end of this New Testament book you will find that while the apostle Paul was still in the midst of the city of Jerusalem the Lord Jesus would appear unto him and encourage his faith and dispelling fear in the midst of the affliction and opposition he was facing. Moreover the Lord Jesus would declare unto the apostle that just as he had borne witness unto Him in the city of Jerusalem so also would he bear witness for Him in the city of Rome. This is actually quite remarkable when you consider it for prior to the apostle Paul making the journey unto the city of Jerusalem as a free man he had absolutely no idea that his journey to the city of Jerusalem would ultimately bring him to Rome where he would give witness and bear testimony before the most powerful rulers of the known world at that time. This man who had previously persecuted the Church of the Lord Jesus from city to city and had been converted by the Lord Jesus into the greatest champion and advocate for that same Church would now make his way unto the city of Rome where he would stand before Caesar himself. This apostle who had preached the word and gospel of the Lord Jesus unto both Jews and Gentiles alike would now make his way unto the city of Rome where he would bear witness and give testimony concerning the Lord Jesus.

 

            It is absolutely incredible to read the words which are found in these chapters for the journey which the apostle Paul took unto Jerusalem would not only result in his being bound by the Jews but it would also result in his standing before governors, rulers, kings, and leaders alike. With this being said it’s almost as if the bonds of the apostle Paul would be deliberately and intentionally transformed into a platform and podium for him with which he would stand before the political and religious rulers of his day. The more you read the words found within these chapters the more you will be brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the apostle Paul not only standing before the religious leaders of that day but also the political leaders. The apostle Paul would stand before the religious council, the Sadducees and Pharisees as well as Annas who was the high priest at that time. The apostle Paul would stand before the chief captain of the band, Festus, Felix and even Agrippa. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that the bonds and afflictions which the apostle Paul found himself experiencing and facing there in the city of Jerusalem as well as the city of Caesarea would serve as a powerful platform for the apostle Paul to bear witness and give testimony unto rulers and leaders alike. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the apostle Paul and his being bound in chains—although not being bound by man but by the Lord Jesus. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that the Lord Jesus could have kept the apostle Paul out of chains and could have kept him out of shackles and fetters and yet the truth of the matter is that the Lord Jesus deliberately and intentionally allowed the apostle to be bound with chains and ultimately delivered into the hands of the Gentiles.

 

            I can’t help but read the words found within these chapters and come face to face with the tremendous reality surrounding the apostle Paul being bound with chains and kept by the chief captain of the band and even being kept in Caesarea while it was determined whether or not he was guilty of committing any crimes and offenses worthy of being put to death. In all reality it is quite remarkable to read the words found in these chapters for one of the main and underlying reasons for the apostle Paul standing before the religious and political leaders of that generation was to determine if he was indeed guilty of crimes and offenses worthy of death. The sole reason Festus, Felix, Agrippa and Annas sought to have an audience with the apostle Paul was to hear the words he would speak that they might ascertain whether or not he was in fact guilty of any crimes and offenses. With this being said it’s actually quite astounding to read how there were those who examined and listened to the words of the apostle Paul and had determined that he had done nothing worthy of death. What’s more is that it would even be Agrippa himself who declared the apostle Paul would have potentially been put to liberty were it not for his appeal to Caesar. It’s truly something remarkable when reading the words found in these chapters for the words we find here in them brings us face to face with the fact that the apostle Paul was indeed innocent and not guilty of committing any crimes or offense worthy of death and/or even punishment and yet he would remain in chains and bound until the appointed time. For more than two years the apostle Paul would remain in Caesarea after having been brought forth from the city of Jerusalem after a conspiracy and plot was discovered to put him to death secretly and privately. The sole reason the apostle Paul would be brought forth unto Caesarea was to deliver him from the conspiracy and plot against him to try and put him to death.

 

            As I sit here reading the words which are found in these chapters I can’t help but see the hand of the Lord Jesus in the life of the apostle Paul—even in the midst of everything he faced and experienced. It would be very easy to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and perhaps even think the Lord somehow abandoned the apostle during his time in Jerusalem and Caesarea. The truth of the matter, however, is when you read the words found in these chapters you will encounter and come face to face with various instances of the hand of the living God being present within the life of the apostle Paul. Even as early as the twenty-first chapter of this New Testament book you will find the deliverance of the Lord Jesus in the life of the apostle Paul—even deliverance through chains and being bound. Upon reading the words which are found in the twenty-first chapter you will find the Jews coming upon and seizing the apostle Paul and giving themselves to beating him. The Jews themselves would have beaten the apostle to death were it not for report coming unto the chief captain of the band who would come and deliver the apostle Paul out of the hands of the Jews. Although the chief captain of the guard would bind the apostle Paul with two chains and would keep him secure during those days and at that time it would be those chains that would keep the apostle secure from the intention of the Jews. If there is one thing these chapters prove it’s that the Jews not only attempted to and would have killed the apostle Paul but would have also succeeded with it if they were permitted to. With this being said it is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and understand that even though the Jews vehemently hated and despised the apostle Paul and would have put him to death the Lord Jesus would not permit the apostle from being put to death.

 

            If there is one thing I absolutely love when reading the words found in these chapters it’s the tremendous presence of the hand of the Lord upon the apostle Paul. Even though the Jews from Asia would incite the crowd and mob against the apostle Paul and would set the city on an uproar against the apostle the Lord Jesus would not allow the apostle Paul to be put to death. Although the Jews which were present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem would have put the apostle Paul to death when they could actually lay their hands upon him the Lord Jesus would deliver him out of their hands through the chief captain of the band. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that deliverance can at times come from the must unexpected places and from the most unexpected sources. We wouldn’t think that two chains would and could be used as means of deliverance and divine protection from the hand of the Lord Jesus and yet the words presented in these chapters bring us face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the apostle Paul’s time in the city of Jerusalem and the hand of the Lord Jesus being upon him. The hand of the Lord Jesus would be upon the apostle Paul to deliver him and He would use the chief captain of the band to not only deliver the apostle Paul out of the hands of the Jews but also keep them from fulfilling their desire and intention of putting him to death. It is absolutely necessary for us to recognize and understand this for we would like to think that chains would and could have been means and instruments of suffering in the life of the apostle Paul and yet nothing could be further from the truth. The two chains which were placed upon the apostle Paul would in fact be used by the Lord Jesus to preserve and protect the apostle Paul in the midst of the city of Jerusalem and keep him out of the hands of the Jews.

 

            I read the words found within these chapters and I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the events which took place in the life of the apostle Paul. The words which are found here in this passage of Scripture bring us face to face with the truth that the Lord Jesus would and could use someone who perhaps didn’t even fear God to deliver the apostle Paul. DELIVERANCE THROUGH CHAINS! In all reality I am absolutely and incredibly captivated with the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it we see the hand of the Lord Jesus delivering the apostle Paul out of the hands of the Jews and how those chains were meant to be symbols and instruments of deliverance and preservation. Oh although the apostle Paul would indeed be bound with two chains those chains were not meant for his hurt or harm but rather as means of preserving and protecting him during those days. What’s more is that this same reality and truth is found in the lives of their fathers when they were carried away captive out of the land of Judah. It is in the Old Testament we read of the Assyrians carrying away captive the northern kingdom of Israel while the Babylonians carried away captive the southern kingdom of Judah. It would be very easy to view the captivity of the Jewish people as being a means to destroy them and bring harm upon them. The truth of the matter, however, is that this isn’t the case. If you read the words which are found in the twenty-ninth chapter of this New Testament book you will find and discover the Lord not only declaring unto the captives how He knew the plans He had for them but also how those plans were not to harm them and to bring them to an expected end. What’s more is that the Lord would invite and encourage them to marry and give themselves in marriage, to bear children, to build houses and to plant vineyards in the land of the Chaldeans while at the same time praying for the peace of the city wherein they were captives.

 

            There would be those who would read the Old Testament and consider the captivity of the Jews as being a means of punishment and judgment toward and against them and yet the truth of the matter is that when you read the words of the prophet Jeremiah you will uncover the tremendous truth that their captivity was actually means of protecting and preserving them. The words we find in the twenty-ninth chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Jeremiah are incredibly powerful for they bring us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the Jews and how their captivity would actually be used in the hands of the living God to preserve and protect them. We would like to read the words found in the Old Testament and view the captivity of the Jews as means of judgment and punishment toward and against them and while it was true the Lord allowed the land to be invaded, the city of Jerusalem to be destroyed, the Temple to be burned to the ground with fire and the people carried away captive it was not entirely about judgment and punishment. Believe it or not there were actually elements of mercy, grace and redemption found in the captivity of the Jews. Moreover there would also be means of protection and preservation for the Jews in the midst of their captivity for even before they went into captivity the Lord determined and set an expiration for said captivity. It would be through the prophet Jeremiah and later discerned and understood by Daniel that the Lord had determined and decreed seventy years for the captivity of the Jews before He would deliver them from the land of their captivity and restore them unto their own land.

 

            Perhaps one of the greatest truths surrounding the narrative of the apostle Paul within these chapters is that the chains with which he was bound were actually instruments of salvation, deliverance, protection and preservation. The more I read the words which are found in these chapters the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the apostle Paul and how the hand of the Lord was upon him to preserve and protect him. Although he would eventually give his life for the sake and cause of the Lord Jesus Christ the Lord would preserve and protect him—not only in the city of Jerusalem but also in Caesarea. The chains with which the chief captain of the band bound him with would be instruments of salvation and deliverance as so long as the apostle was under the watch and charge of the chief captain the Jews could not touch or harm him. What’s more is that as you continue reading the words found in these chapters you will be brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the hand of the Lord to preserve and protect the apostle Paul from those who would like in wait to put him to death stealthily and secretly. It would be in these chapters we encounter and come face to face with the tremendous truth the Jews not only conspired among themselves but also vowed a vow that none of them would eat until they had put the apostle Paul to death. Luke records how the nephew of the apostle Paul would discover this conspiracy and would bring it to the attention of the apostle. Upon hearing of this conspiracy and plot to put him to death the apostle Paul instructed his nephew to deliver the same message unto the chief captain of the band. It would be upon hearing of this conspiracy the chief captain of the band would bring the apostle Paul forth from the city of Jerusalem and unto Caesarea where he would abide and dwell for two years.

 

            There is something truly powerful about the words and language found in the chapters leading up to the twenty-seventh chapter for in order to understand what is found in the twenty-seventh chapter you have to understand what is found in the preceding chapters. There is absolutely no doubt or denying the hand of the Lord protecting and preserving the apostle Paul—even in the midst of the storm that would threaten his life as well as the lives of all those who were present aboard the ship—and we must needs recognize and see the hand of the Lord upon the apostle Paul from the moment he entered into the city of Jerusalem and the chief captain of the band delivered him out of the hands of the Jews. What’s more is that as you read the words found in these chapters you will find that there would even be an offer made unto the apostle Paul that he return unto Jerusalem to stand trial and be judged there in the midst of the same city he had departed. Luke, however, writes and records how this attempt to bring the apostle Paul back unto the city of Jerusalem was a means whereby he might be come upon while on the way and put to death. It is in the twenty-fifth chapter of this New Testament book you find the apostle Paul being asked if he would return to Jerusalem to stand trial and be judged and yet Luke also adds the commentary that there were those who would lie in wait for the apostle Paul upon his return unto Jerusalem that they might put him to death. Oh pause and consider the fact that not only had the Jews set themselves upon the apostle Paul to put him to death but the Jews also sought on two separate occasions to put him to death outside of and apart from the law. There were at least two conspiracies and plots against the life of the apostle Paul where the Jews conspired together that they might put the apostle Paul to death. What we find, however, is the hand of the Lord Jesus being upon the life of the apostle Paul and keeping the Jews from being able to carry out and enact their plots against this apostle of Christ.

 

            The more I read the words which are found in these chapters the more I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the apostle Paul and how the hand of the Lord Jesus was upon him for good and not harm. Although the apostle Paul would indeed be bound with two chains in Jerusalem and ultimately delivered unto Caesarea where he would abide and dwell for two years the apostle Paul would not only experience certain liberties in Caesarea but those companions of his who ministered unto and with him would not be hindered from coming unto him. Despite the fact the apostle Paul was still in custody of the chief captain of the band and would appear before men such as Festus, Felix, and Annas the hand of the Lord would be upon him for good that he might continue to bear witness and give testimony for him. It was the divine will of the Lord Jesus the apostle Paul stand before such men as Festus, Felix and Agrippa and the Lord would not allow the apostle Paul to be put to death until the appointed time had come. What’s more is the Lord Jesus would appear unto the apostle Paul in Jerusalem and declare unto him that just as he bore witness and gave testimony concerning Him in that city so also he must stand before Caesar in Rome and give testimony concerning the Lord Jesus. Oh it is necessary we recognize and pay close attention to this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the apostle Paul and the hand of the Lord upon him to preserve and protect him for there was still a work to do and there was still a message which needed to be preached. The apostle Paul must needs still appear before Caesar in Rome and give testimony and bear witness concerning the Lord Jesus and there was absolutely nothing any man could do unto him until the appointed time had come and until the apostle Paul had finished and completed that which was ordained for him.

 

            As you come to the twenty-seventh chapter of this New Testament book you will find the apostle Paul being aboard different ships that would set sail as the journey unto Rome would begin. It would be while sailing toward Rome that the ships would be buffeted by the winds upon the sea and certain stops would need to be made. In the twenty-seventh chapter of this New Testament book we find the apostle Paul and all those who were with him upon the ship together with the centurion and the captain coming unto a place called The fair havens. Luke describes how much time was spent there in that place and how sailing had in fact become dangerous because the fast was already past. It would be at this time the apostle Paul would warn and caution the centurion and the captain declaring unto them how he perceived that the voyage would be with hurt and much damage—not only of the lading and ship, but also of their lives. Luke goes on to write and record how the centurion believed the master and owner of the ship more than the things which were spoken by the apostle Paul. Moreover because the haven was not commodious to winter in they were advised to depart from that place if by any means they might attain unto Phenice and winter there. As the south wind blew softly the centurion and owner of the ship supposed they had obtained their purpose loosed from The fir havens and sailed close by Crete. Not long after they departed from The fair havens, however, there arose against the ship a tempestuous wind called Euroclydon catching the ship in its clutches and grasp. When the ship was caught in the midst of the storm and could not bear up in the midst of the wind the centurion and captain let the ship drive.

 

            It is actually quite remarkable when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it you will see the hand of the Lord Jesus continuing to be upon the apostle Paul. What’s more is that because the hand of the Lord Jesus was with and upon the apostle Paul the lives of all those who were present aboard the ship would be given into the hands of the apostle Paul. The apostle Paul would in fact be a captive and prisoner in the midst of the ship, however, what we find in this chapter is the captive being transformed into captain in the midst of all those aboard the ship. What’s more is that we must needs understand the apostle Paul was not necessarily captain of the ship but would be captain of something so much greater and so much more important. Oh there would indeed be a captain of the ship who would be responsible for steering the ship in in the midst of the sea and even in the midst of the storm, however, there would be another captain who would be raised up in the midst of the storm on this particular day. What’s more is that within this passage of Scripture we find how the apostle Paul and all those which were present upon the ship in the midst of the storm were caught in the midst of the storm for fourteen days. If there is one thing I find so absolutely incredible about this particular chapter it’s how the Lord Jesus would take this captive in the midst of the ship and appoint and ordain him captain in the midst of them. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would take the apostle Paul and raise him up as a captain of a different kind unto all those who were aboard the ship—namely a captain of salvation. It would be as captain of salvation the apostle Paul would hear a word from the Lord as an angel of God would appear unto him and encourage him to not faint or lose heart in the midst of the storm. If you begin reading with and from the twenty-first chapter you will find the apostle Paul standing up in the midst of all those present upon the ship and delivering unto them a word and promise he had received from the Lord on that particular day. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning with the twenty-first verse of he chapter:

 

            “But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened 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 nigh 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).

 

            Please don’t miss the incredible importance of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the words which we find here bring us face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the apostle Paul being taken from captive aboard this ship to being captain among all those which were present. What we must needs realize is that the apostle Paul initially tried to give warning and urge caution before the ship departed for its journey declaring unto them how he perceived that the journey would be with hurt and much damage—not only to the lading and the ship but also to their lives. The words which the apostle Paul would give as warning and caution would be ignored and disregarded as the centurion would choose to listen to the owner and captain of the ship itself. As a direct result of the apostle Paul’s warning and word of caution being ignored they would set forth from The fair havens only to find themselves being caught in the midst of a tempestuous wind that would threaten their lives, the ship and everything that was present within and upon the ship. What’s more is the apostle Paul and all those who were aboard the ship would spend fourteen days caught in the midst of this storm without sun or moon or stars appearing in the sky. For fourteen days the apostle Paul and all those who were present aboard the ship would indeed and would in fact be caught in the midst of the storm and would even fear for their lives. In fact it would be Luke who would write how on the third day they cast out with their own hands the tackling of the ship and when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared and no small tempest lay on them all hope that they should be saved was then taken away.

 

            AND WHEN NEITHER SON NOR STARS IN MANY DAYS APPEARED, AND NO SMALL TEMPEST LAY ON US, ALL HOPE THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVED WAS THEN TAKEN AWAY! Please don’t miss the tremendous significance of what is found within these words in the twentieth verse of the chapter for within it Luke records how all hope that they should be saved was lost and taken away. There in the midst of the storm all those who were aboard the ship had given up and lost all hope that they should be delivered, rescued and saved in the midst of the storm and all began fearing that their lives had indeed come to an end. Luke writes how neither sun nor stars appeared in many days and how the tempest which was upon them was one of immense size and strength. As a direct result of this all those who were aboard the ship and finding themselves caught in the midst of this tempest and storm and it would be there in the midst of the storm men would lose heart and would give up all hope of being saved. There in the midst of the storm there would be men who would fear for their lives and would lose all hope they would be saved and delivered in the midst of the storm. Undoubtedly those who were present upon the ship thought and believed they would lose their lives and that their lives had in fact come to an end. Oh it is truly astonishing to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and consider how neither the sun nor stars appeared for many days and how all hope of being saved and making it out of the storm had been lost. In fact I am absolutely convinced there is something we must needs recognize and pay close attention to when reading the words which are present in this chapter. I firmly believe that what we find in this passage of Scripture is a powerful picture of what is coming in the days ahead. I firmly believe we are preparing to enter into dark and dangerous and tumultuous days which are going to be incredibly difficult and trying for countless men and women.

 

            As I sit here today I can’t help but think about and consider how there have been prophetic voices in previous generations—even prophetic voices who have been and are still present in this generation—who have warned concerning the storms which are ahead for us in the coming days. It is absolutely unmistakable and undeniable that we are indeed living in the Last Days and that dark and dangerous times are ahead. One needs only look at last year and even the way this year has been progressing to know and understand that we are in store for tempestuous, dark and dangerous days before us. We would like to think that the days ahead of us are going to be easier and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply is not the case. We would like to think that the days which are before us are going to be days of peace, days of quietness, days of rest and days of calm and yet I am absolutely and completely convinced that the opposite is true. I am convinced there have been powerful prophetic voices in recent years and generations who have warned and urged caution concerning the days which are ahead for us—not only in this nation but also in the world as a whole. There have been prophetic voices who have warned that great calamity, devastation and destruction are ahead for us in the coming days and by and large those voices have been ignored, despised, and rejected. Much of the words and warnings which have been given in recent generations have been entirely and altogether ignored and rejected—much like the words of caution and warning the apostle Paul gave to the centurion, the owner and captain of the ship and all those who were present there on Crete.

 

            If there is one thing I absolutely love about the twenty-seventh chapter of the New Testament book of Acts it’s that despite the fact that many days had passed without sun or stars appearing and despite the fact that many lost hope of being saved because of the tempestuous wind and storm the Lord Jesus would raise up and appoint a captain of salvation aboard and upon the ship. What we must needs acknowledge and come face to face within this passage of Scripture it’s that even though the warning and word of caution which the apostle Paul had given went largely ignored and rejected the Lord Jesus would raise up and appoint the apostle Paul as captain of salvation for and unto all those who were present upon the ship. This is something we must needs realize and recognize for the Lord Jesus would raise up and appoint the apostle Paul as captain of salvation for those who had ignored and rejected his warning and words of caution while present at Crete. Despite the fact that the centurion and owner of the ship had largely dismissed and ignored the words of the apostle Paul it would be in the midst of the storm the Lord Jesus would raise up one from among them who would not only be captain of the storm but also captain of salvation. This is something which must be carefully considered for I am absolutely convinced that in every storm there is and there must be a captain of the storm and captain of salvation. What’s more is that this is as much true about the personal and private storms we face as disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus as it is the storms we face as a collective group of individuals and even as a nation. There is not a doubt in my mind that in the personal and private storms we face within our lives the captain of the storm and the captain of salvation is in fact the Lord Jesus who not only declares unto us that His grace is sufficient for us but also that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the twelfth chapter of the second epistle which was delivered unto the saints which were in Corinth:

 

            “…And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

            The more I read and consider the words which are found in the twenty-seventh chapter of the book of Acts the more I am absolutely convinced that in every storm there is a captain of the storm and a captain of salvation. There is not a single storm that arises—regardless of whether it’s a personal and private storm within our own lives or a corporate storm which we collectively face as a body or even as a nation—where the Lord Jesus does not have a captain of the storm and a captain of salvation. We must needs recognize and understand that in those personal and private storms we face it is the Lord Jesus Himself who is the captain of the storm and who is the captain of salvation. There are times within our lives when we face personal and private storms that are specific to us and the Lord Jesus steps up and steps in as the captain of salvation and captain of the storm. If we are honest with ourselves and with others we would admit that in those personal and private storms we have faced there has been a great and tremendous need for the Lord Jesus to rise up as the captain of the storm and as captain of salvation. Much like the disciples who found themselves caught in the middle of two different storms the Lord Jesus would rise up among them as the captain of the storm and captain of the salvation. It’s actually quite remarkable to consider the first storm the disciples found themselves in Jesus was present in the ship with them and was sleeping when the storm rose up against them in the midst of the sea. When the disciples found themselves in the midst of the storm they cried out to Jesus fearing for their lives and their safety. Of course the scripture reveals how not only did the Lord Jesus stand up in the midst of the storm and speak to the wind and the waves—the captain of the storm—but Jesus also spoke unto the disciples as well—the captain of salvation. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this reality as it brings us face to face with the tremendous truth the Lord Jesus is indeed captain of the storm(s) we face as well as the captain of salvation in the midst of those storms.

 

            As you read the words found in the New Testament gospels you will find the disciples being caught in the midst of another storm upon the sea while Jesus was still present upon the land praying and communing with His Father in heaven. It would be from the land Jesus would look out upon the sea and see the disciples struggling, laboring and toiling against the wind. What the gospel authors write next is how Jesus came unto the disciples who found themselves caught in the midst of the storm as He came walking upon the waters in the midst of the wind and the waves. There were the disciples caught in the midst of the storm laboring and toiling against the wind and yet Jesus would come unto them walking upon the water in the midst of the wind and the waves completely unaffected by the storm. Whereas in the first storm Jesus was present in the midst of the ship and storm with the disciples this particular storm would find the disciples in the ship in the midst of the storm without Jesus only to discover the Lord Jesus coming unto them walking upon the water. What so amazes me about this passage is how Jesus exercised His authority as captain of the storm—not only in walking upon the water in the midst of the wind and the waves but also by inviting Simon called Peter to come unto him. Upon hearing the invitation given by the Lord Jesus Simon called Peter would step out of the ship and place his feet upon the water. Not only this but Simon would also begin walking on the water as he walked toward Jesus in the midst of the same storm he had previously found himself caught in together with his disciples. Now here he was walking upon the water in the midst of the same wind and waves which had not dissipated nor diminished there upon the sea. It is incredibly important we understand this for Jesus would demonstrate Himself as the captain of the storm—not only by walking upon the water in the midst of the wind and the waves but also by inviting Simon Peter to come unto Him walking upon the water. Moreover, Jesus didn’t calm the storm and cause the wind and the waves to cease before inviting Simon called Peter to come unto Him but rather invited Simon to come unto Him walking on the water in the midst of the storm.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering this particular reality and I can’t help but see Jesus exercising His authority as captain of the storms by sleeping in the midst of them, standing up in the midst of them, and even speaking to them. CAPTAIN OF THE STORM: SLEEPING, STANDING, SPEAKING! What’s more is that Jesus exercised His authority as captain of the storms by walking upon the water in the midst of the wind and the waves and then by inviting one of His own disciples to join Him upon the waters in the midst of the storm as the wind and the waves raged all around them. I am absolutely and completely convinced that were it not for the fear of the apostle Peter and taking his eyes off Jesus and looking at the wind and the waves he might have not only made it all the way to Jesus but also stood there in a place of fellowship in the midst of the storm. Not only this but I would dare say that if the apostle Peter came walking unto the Lord Jesus upon the water in the midst of the storm and stood there fellowshipping with Jesus in the midst of the storm the other disciples might have joined Simon Peter and their Lord upon the water in the midst of the storm. There is not a doubt in my mind that it was possible for all the disciples to step out of the boat and onto the waters in the midst of the storm with the wind and the waves raging all around them. Much like the three Hebrews who walked unbound and unharmed in the midst of the flames of the fiery furnace together with one who was likened unto the Son of man so also could the disciples have stood upon the water in the midst of the wind and the waves together with the captain of the storm and the captain of their salvation. The same captain of salvation who not only delivered Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego through the fires of the furnace by walking together with them was the same captain of salvation who could have allowed the disciples to stand in the midst of the storm upon the water with the waves and wind raging all around them.

 

            With all of this being said we must needs recognize and understand that just as the Lord Jesus is indeed the captain of the storm and the captain of salvation in the personal and private storms we face He also raises up and appoints his servants to be captains of storms and captains of salvation in the midst of the storms that rage all around others. I read the words found in the twenty-seventh chapter of the book of Acts and I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the apostle Paul and how he was transformed and transferred from being captive in the midst of the ship to being captain in the midst of the storm and captain of salvation. What’s more is I can’t help but think about the fact that in every storm the Lord has a captain of the storm and captain of salvation in reserve whom He is holding back until the appointed time. The centurion and owner of the ship would not heed the words and warning of the apostle Paul prior to launching out from Crete and when they found themselves in the midst of the storm the LORD would raise up and release the apostle Paul to stand in the midst of them as the captain of the storm and captain of salvation. Not only this but the apostle Paul would not only be a captain of salvation but would be captain of the salvation of those who were present upon this ship. The apostle Paul emphatically declared and proclaimed unto those who were present in the midst of this storm and upon the ship that the angel of God appeared unto him and declared unto him how the souls of all those who were present upon the ship were given into his hands. Despite the fact the words and warning of the apostle Paul were ignored the souls of all those present upon the ship were given into his hands that none of them should perish.

 

            I have previously written how I am absolutely convinced the Lord Jesus is preparing men and women right now whom he is going to raise up at the appointed time as captains of the storms and as captains of salvation. There are men and women who right now might seem like captives and who might even seem like obscure and insignificant people and yet the Lord Jesus is preparing and making them ready to stand in the midst of the storms which are going to come in the coming days. What’s more is the Lord Jesus is preparing and making ready men and women into whose hands the souls of others might be given that none might perish. Much like Noah was the captain of salvation during the days of the flood as the souls of his wife, their three sons and their wives were entrusted into the hands and care of Noah so also are men and women being prepared and raised up that the souls of others might be delivered into their hands lest they perish in the midst of the storms that are going to rise up in the midst of us in the coming days. Much like the souls of all the animals, beasts and creeping thing which was upon the ark during the days of the flood were given into the hands of Noah so also will the Lord have those whom He has in reserve right now whom He will raise up as captains of salvation and captains of the storms. I absolutely love how the Lord Jesus raised up the apostle Paul in the midst of the storm—not only as captain of the storm but also as captain of the salvation of all those who were present. The apostle Paul would stand up as captain in the midst of the storm for not only would he profess the word of the Lord as spoken to him by the angel of God but he would also encourage them to eat that they might have the strength needed to survive the storm and make it to land. Moreover the apostle Paul would also declare unto those who thought to launch out from the ship in smaller vessels that unless they abode with the ship they would surely perish. It would be the apostle Paul who would stand up in the midst of the storm and provide all the encouragement and instruction that was needed to survive the storm and to in fact make it safely to land.

 

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the tremendous truth that is found in this chapter for it brings us face to face with the powerful reality of the apostle Paul being raised up in the midst of the storm—not only as captain of the storm but also as captain of salvation. Oh the apostle Paul would not cause the storm to subside and the apostle Paul would not speak to the wind or to the waves as Jesus did, however, he would stand up in the midst of all those who were present upon the ship and declare unto them how none of their lives would be lost. The apostle Paul would and could not cause the storm to cease from raging all around them but he would provide them with all the instruction and encouragement they would need to survive the storm that raged all around them. What I so love about this passage of Scripture is that the Lord Jesus had indeed given the souls of all those aboard the ship into the hands of the apostle Paul and it was this very truth that would signify the apostle Paul as the captain of salvation. The Lord Jesus would place all the souls aboard and upon the ship into the hands and care of the apostle Paul and would appoint him as captain of salvation in the midst of that storm. We must needs recognize and understand this for I do not believe the Lord is going to calm the storms which are going to rage before and all around us in the coming days but He is going to raise up and appoint captains of the storms and captains of salvation.

 

            I am absolutely convinced there are dark, dangerous and tempestuous storms which lie ahead for us in the coming days ahead. With that being said, however, I am absolutely convinced the Lord Jesus has men and women whom He is readying and preparing to be captains of the storms and captains of salvation in the midst of those storms. .I am absolutely convinced there are going to be men and women whom the Lord Jesus is going to raise up as captains of salvation—those into whose hands the souls of others will be entrusted. There are men and women who right now might not be in the spotlight and who might not have a platform or podium or microphone and yet the Lord Jesus is going to raise them up and release them at the appointed time as captains of salvation. Oh there are going to be dark and dangerous days ahead in which countless ships are going to go down in the midst of the storms—and please note that I am not merely speaking of physical ships. When I speak of ships sinking and going down I am speaking about companies, businesses and the like. There are going to be countless ships which are going to go down as a direct result of the storms which can and will rage all around us in the coming days and the Lord Jesus is going to raise up captains of the storms and captains of salvation in the midst of those ships and in the midst of the storms. I firmly believe there are men and women who are strategically placed in companies and business right now whom the Lord is reserving as captains of salvation and captains of storms as the Lord is going to entrust into their hands the souls of others. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it brings us face to face with the undeniable truth that there are dark and dangerous days ahead for us that can and will be filled with tremendous storms which can and will rage all around us and as a direct result of this the Lord is going to raise up captains of salvation into whose hands the souls of men in women might be given that they not perish or fall away and be consumed in the midst of them. It is with this in mind I leave you with the following words which are found in the third chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Peter as I am absolutely convinced it paints a powerful picture of the captains of salvation the Lord Jesus is going to raise up in the coming days and the purpose for their being raised up—namely the salvation of men and women that they not perish. Consider if you will the following words found in this passage beginning with the first verse of the third chapter:

 

            “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a theif in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless, we according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such  things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him that hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things, before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in all grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:1-18).

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