When Hope Is Lost In the Midst of the Storm

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament book of Acts—the account of the spiritual body of Christ—as it was written and recorded by the physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage is found in the first twenty-six verses of the twenty-seventh chapter. “And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thesssalonica, being with us. And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylica, we can to Myra, a city of Lycia. And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein. And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; and, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea. Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, and said unto them, 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. NEverhtless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than thnose things which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete and lieth toward the south west and north west. 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 Claudia, 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 they lightened the ship; and the third day we cast out with our own hand the tackling of the ship; and the third 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 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 others 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 27:126).

 

            STANDING IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! STANDING NOT SUNKEN! STANDING NOT DROWNED! When you come to the twenty-seventh chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will encounter the beginning of the journey which the apostle Paul would take to Rome—the capital city of the Roman Empire. Everything leading up to this point from the twentieth chapter through the twenty-sixth chapter was all groundwork and the framework for the apostle Paul ultimately making his way unto the city of Rome. What makes this truly interesting when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that the apostle Paul knew when speaking to the elders of the Ephesian church that he was going bound in the Spirit unto the city of Jerusalem. The apostle Paul did not know nor was he aware of the fact that he would be ordained and appointed by the Lord to testify of Him in the capital city of Rome, however, it would be while in the midst of the city of Jerusalem the Lord would appear unto him and declare that just as he testified of him in that place so also he would testify of Him in the city of Rome itself. When speaking unto the elders of the Ephesian church in Miletus the apostle Paul would indeed declare unto them that the Spirit testified and bore witness unto him that bonds and afflictions awaited and abode him in Jerusalem and would then go on to declare how none of this moved him for he was ready to be imprisoned and even die in Jerusalem for the sake of the word, the gospel and the name of the Lord Jesus.

 

            It’s actually quite interesting to continue reading the twenty-first chapter of this New Testament book how while the apostle Paul was in Tyre after departing from Miletus the disciples there proclaimed through the Spirit that he ought not to go up unto the city of Jerusalem. After departing from Tyre and coming unto Caesarea the apostle Paul would come unto the house of Philip the evangelist who himself had four daughters who prophesied. There in the house of Philip the prophet Agabus would come from Judaea with a prophetic word for the apostle Paul—one that would be directly linked and connected to the journey of the apostle Paul unto the city of Jerusalem. The apostle Paul would have his girdle taken from him by the prophet Agabus who would bind his own hands and feet with the girdle. Once Agabus had bound his own hands and feet he would then go on to proclaim the word of the Lord and declare that just as his hands and feet were bound by this girdle so also would the owner of it be bound by the Jews in the midst of the city of Jerusalem and delivered into the hands of the Gentiles. It would be when those who were with the apostle Paul there in Philip’s house heard these words that they besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. The apostle Paul would indeed respond unto them asking them what they meant by weeping and breaking his heart for he was ready to not only be bound but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord. Luke goes on to write that when the apostle Paul could not be persuaded nor convinced that he ought not to journey unto the city of Jerusalem they ceased their trying to convinced him not to make the journey and would instead declare and proclaim “The will of the Lord be done.”

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in these chapters for the apostle Paul would eventually depart from Caesarea and would come unto the city of Jerusalem. Upon coming unto the city of Jerusalem the apostle Paul would come unto the brethren who would indeed receive, embrace and welcome him. There in the midst of Jerusalem the brethren would hear of all the great and wonderful things the Lord wrought through the apostle Paul among the Gentiles and upon hearing it would glorify the Lord. With this being said, however, the brethren in Jerusalem would also speak unto him concerning the many thousands of Jews which believe and were zealous of the law. The brethren which were in Jerusalem would also go on to declare that these Jews which believed and were zealous of the law were informed of him and how he taught that all the Jews which were among the Gentiles and alleged that he instructed them to forsake Moses proclaiming that they ought not to circumcise their children nor walk after their customs. The brethren which were present in Jerusalem would go on to declare that the multitude must needs come together for they would hear that he had come. With this being said the brethren which were there at Jerusalem instructed the apostle Paul to take unto himself four men who were among them who had a vow on them. The apostle Paul was to purify himself with them and be at charges with them that they might shave their heads and all would know such things whereof they were informed concerning him and that the apostle Paul walked orderly among the customs of the Jews. Furthermore the brethren which were there at Jerusalem would speak concerning the Gentiles which believe and how they had written and concluded that they observe no such thing save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. The apostle Paul would take the men and the next day would purify himself with them entering into the temple to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification until an offering should be offered for every one of them.

 

            It is absolutely necessary and important to recognize and understand the words which are found in these verses for despite the best efforts of the brethren to try and protect the apostle Paul from the envy and the uprising of the Jews the Jews which were in Asia would stir up the people toward and against the apostle Paul. Luke goes on to write how when the seven days were almost ended the jews which were in Asia—when they saw the apostle Paul in the temple—stirred up the people and laid hands on him crying out in the midst of the Temple. That which the Jews which were in Asia cried out concerning and against the apostle Paul was how this was the man which taught all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place and further brought Greeks into the temple and polluted this holy place. What we find here in this passage of Scripture how they had seen before with him in the city of Trophimus an Ephesian whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the Temple. The narrative goes on to reveal how the city was moved and the people ran together and took Paul and drew him out of the temple and shut the doors of the temple. All those who were come upon Paul went about to kill him and would have done so until tidings came unto the chief captain of the band that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. Upon hearing the report and tidings come unto him the chief captain of the band would immediately come with soldiers and centurions and ran down unto them. When they came unto that place where the apostle Paul was the Jews which were present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem would leave of beating the apostle Paul and Paul himself was bound with two chains by the chief captain of the band. The chief captain of the band demanded who the apostle Paul was and what he had done—an inquiry which had different views and opinions which would be spoken by those who were present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem.

 

            There is a need for us to recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for what we find in the midst of it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely incredible truth concerning the fulfillment of the prophetic word which Agabus would himself speak concerning the apostle Paul in the midst of Caesarea. Agubus—the prophet come from Judaea—would indeed declare and prophesy according to the word of the Lord that the apostle Paul would indeed be bound in the midst of the city of Jerusalem and would be delivered into the hands of the Jews. What we find and read in this passage of Scripture would indeed be a partial fulfillment of that which Agabus would declare unto the apostle Paul and all those who were together with him in Caesarea—that which they would initially seek to dissuade and persuade the apostle Paul to adhere to and not journey unto the midst of the city of Jerusalem. What makes these words all the more intriguing when you take the time to consider it is that there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem the apostle Paul would indeed give testimony concerning the Lord Jesus before all the Jews as he would speak unto them in the Hebrew tongue. The twenty-first chapter concludes with Paul being led into the castle and his speaking unto the chief captain of the band asking to have a word with him. The chief captain of the band supposed the apostle Paul was an Egyptians which before those days made an uproar in the midst of the city and led out into the wilderness four thousand men who were murderers. Paul himself would declare that he was a man which was a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia and a citizen of no mean city. The apostle Paul entreat him that he suffer him to speak unto the people. The chief captain of the band would give the apostle Paul license to speak unto the people there in the midst of the Jerusalem and the apostle Paul would stand on the stairs and beckon with the hand unto the people. When there was made a great silence the apostle Paul would speak into the people in the Hebrew tongue, saying:

 

            “Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense which I make now unto you. (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith) I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me. Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou. Persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid: but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me. I came into Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; and saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat me in every synagogue them that believed on thee: and when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles” (Acts 22:1-21).

 

            There in the midst of the city of Jerusalem the apostle Paul would give witness and testimony unto the Jews—both those who believed and those who accused and sought to kill and destroy him from among them in their midst—concerning his conversion and even concerning the Lord Jesus. If you continue reading the words which are found in this passage you will find that the Jews gave audience unto the word which the apostle Paul spoke and then lifted up their voices and called for this man to be carried away from the earth for it was not fit that he should live. The Jews which were present in the midst of Jerusalem cried out and cast off their clothes and threw dust into the air. Upon hearing and witnessing this the chief captain of the band commanded the apostle Paul to be brought into the castle and bid that he should be examined by scourging that he might know wherefore they cried against him. As they bound the apostle Paul with thongs, however, the apostle Paul would speak unto the centurion which stood by and asked him if it was lawful for them to scourge a man that was a Roman and un condemned. Upon hearing this the centurion went and told the chief captain, saying, “Take heed what thou doest for this man is a Roman.” The chief captain would come unto the apostle Paul and ask him directly and point blank if he was indeed a Roman. The apostle Paul would respond unto the chief captain declaring that he was indeed a Roman and the chief captain would declare how he obtained his Roman citizenship with a great sum of money which he had paid for it. Immediately after speaking with the apostle Paul the chief captain of the band and the centurions which were set to scourge the apostle Paul would depart from him concluding that it was not wise nor prudent to examine him through scourging. The chief captain was then afraid after he knew that he was a Roman and because he had bound him with chains and thongs. The twenty-second chapter of this book concludes with the chief captain seeking to know the certainty of those things which the apostle Paul was accused of the Jews and loosed him from his bands and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear. Having brought the apostle Paul down from his place he would set him in the midst of the chief priests and their whole council whereby the apostle Paul would speak unto and for himself among them.

 

            As you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find that the apostle Paul earnestly beheld the council and would speak of how he lived in all good conscience before God until that day. The high priest—upon hearing the words which the apostle Paul spoke—commanded those who stood by to smite him on the mouth. The apostle Paul would respond by speaking directly unto the high priest and proclaim, saying, “God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and command east me to be smitten contrary to the law?”Those which stood by would ask the apostle Paul if he would dare to revile the high priest to which the apostle Paul would respond by saying, “I wist not brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.” Upon continuing to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find that when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees he cried out in the council proclaiming that he was a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee and how it was of the hope of the resurrection of the dead he was called into question. Upon speaking these words there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the multitude was divided for the Sadducees said that there was no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit while the Pharisees confess both. Immediately following this there would arise a great cry and the scribes which were of the Pharisee’s part arose and strove declaring how they found no evil in this man. Moreover there were those who were present who would go on to declare if a spirit or an angel had spoken unto him they ought not to fight against God—something which was very much similar to the words which Gamaliel—that one whom the apostle Paul trained under—would speak unto what might have been the same council when the apostles were brought before them there in the midst of that same city however many years earlier. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the fifth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts and the words which Gamaliel spoke unto the council and the Sanhedrin when the apostles were themselves brought before them:

 

            “Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. Then came one and told them,s saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? And, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:17-32).

 

            “When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; and said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as man as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. After his man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: ;But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to death and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:33-42).

 

            Returning back to the twenty-third chapter of this New Testament book of Acts you will find that when there arose a great dissension there in the midst of the council as the apostle Paul stood before them the chief captain—fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them—commanded the soldiers to go down and to take him by force from among them and to bring him into the castle. It’s actually quite interesting to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for while in the twenty-second chapter we find the apostle Paul standing before the Jews themselves and giving defense and testimony concerning the person of the Lord Jesus we find him giving defense and standing before the chief priests and the council in the midst of the city. Here in the twenty-third chapter of this book we find the apostle Paul standing before the Pharisees and Sadducees and creating a stir and dissension among them knowing that they themselves were divided with part being Pharisees who believed in the resurrection, and angels, and spirits while the Sadducees themselves did not. Here within this passage we find the apostle Paul transitioning from standing before the people to now standing before the religious leaders and council of that day after the chief captain of the band had called unto himself the chief priests and the council seeking to understand more perfectly concerning the apostle Paul. Undoubtedly the chief captain of the guard was still uncertain and unclear as to what crime the apostle Paul had committed and even when we read the words found in the twenty-third chapter we find the scribes which were of the Pharisees’ part declaring how they found no evil in the apostle Paul. This is something which we must needs recognize and understand for this is incredibly similar to what we find concerning Jesus when he stood before Pontius Pilate. If you turn and direct your attention to the four gospels you will find that the Jews together with their religious leaders and council find great fault and evil within Jesus of Nazareth and yet Pilate who was neither a Jew nor one who held to their law and customs found no fault, nor evil, nor wrong in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

            If you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find that on the following night the Lord stood by the apostle Paul and would encourage him to be of good cheer for as he had testified of Him in Jerusalem so also he must needs bear witness also at Rome. Even as I’m reading the words which are found here I have to ask myself if there is a difference between the Lord speaking unto Paul concerning his testifying of Him in Jerusalem and his bearing witness in Rome. When speaking of that which the apostle Paul had done there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem the Lord would speak of his testifying of him in the midst of the city. When, however, the Lord spoke concerning the apostle Paul being present in the midst of Rome He would declare that he would bear witness also at Rome. I have to admit that I find myself asking what the difference was between the apostle Paul testifying of the Lord in Jerusalem and his bearing witness also at Rome. Is there indeed a difference between testifying in Jerusalem and bearing witness at Rome? Remember that when the Lord spoke unto His disciples and followers which were with Him at the mount of Olives He declared unto them how they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem first, then in all Judaea, and in Samaria and ultimately unto the uttermost parts of the earth. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the opening verses of the first chapter of this New Testament book:

 

            “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:1-11).

 

            Turning our attention back to the twenty-third chapter of the New Testament book of Acts it’s necessary we think about and consider the words which we find here for when the Lord appeared to the apostle Paul there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem we find Him not only speaking of His testifying of Him in Jerusalem but also speaking unto him concerning his bearing witness also at Rome. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it is for I have to ask if there is indeed a difference between testifying of Jesus and bearing witness. I have heard it stated that the word “witnesses” in the first and opening chapter of this New Testament book can best be translated and understood as martyrs and how that which the Lord Jesus was speaking unto the disciples and His followers was that they would receive power after the Holy Ghost came upon them and they would be His witnesses or martyrs—first in Jerusalem, then in all Judaea, then in Samaria and ultimately unto the uttermost parts of the earth. This is something which is truly astonishing when you take the time to think about it for when you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you seemingly find a powerful difference between the apostle Paul testifying of Jesus in Jerusalem and his bearing witness at Rome. Is it possible that these words spoken by Jesus would have been understood by the apostle Paul to mean that he would lay down his life in the midst of Rome? The apostle Paul declared those who were present at the house of Philip the evangelist in the midst of Caesarea that he was not only willing to be bound in Jerusalem but also give his life for the sake of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul would not give his life for the sake of the word and name of the Lord Jesus in Jerusalem, nor would the apostle Paul give and lay down his life for the sake of the word and name of the Lord Jesus in Caesarea and would instead do so in the midst of the city of Rome. What I can’t help but wonder is whether or not there is a drastic and noticeable difference between testifying of the Lord Jesus and bearing witness of the Lord. Is it indeed possible that one speaks of proclaiming the word, the gospel and name of the Lord while the other actually speaks of laying down one’s life for the sake of the same? Oh I can’t help but read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and encounter and come face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the apostle Paul testifying of Jesus in the midst of the city of Jerusalem but when it came to the city of Rome he would bear witness for the word and name of the Lord Jesus.

 

            If you continue reading the words which are found in these chapters you will find the Jews conspiring together and binding themselves under a curse saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed the apostle Paul. Luke goes on to write how there were more than forty who had made this conspiracy and how they came unto the chief priests and elders and declare how they had bound themselves under a great curse that they would eat nothing until they had slain Paul. These who were part of the conspiracy besought them that they would signify to the chief captain that he bring the apostle Paul down on the following day as through they would inquire something more perfectly concerning him and when he drew near they would kill and put him to death. What’s actually quite remarkable when you read the words is how the apostle Paul would obtain help from the Lord once more there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem for having already obtained help from the Lord through the person of the chief captain of the band who rescued him from the midst of the Jews so also would he once more obtain help from the Lord who would deliver him from the conspiracy and murderous threats of certain Jews who sought to kill and put him to death. The apostle Paul’s nephew would learn of this conspiracy and would make the apostles Paul aware of it who would instruct him to bring word unto the chief captain of the band. The nephew of the apostle Paul would make him aware of how the Jews had agreed to desire the apostle Paul to be brought down on the following day into the council as though they would desire something more perfectly of him. The nephew of the apostle Paul would warn him against doing such a thing for there were more than forty men who bound themselves under a curse as part of a conspiracy to kill the apostle Paul. The chief captain permitted the young man to depart urging him to tell no man that he had showed these things unto him. The chief captain called unto him two centurions and asked him to make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen a the third hour of the night and provide them beasts that might set the apostle Paul and bring him safely unto Felix the governor.

 

            Moving on further within these chapters you will find the apostle Paul being brought by the soldiers unto Antipatris and on the following day they left the horsemen to go with him and returned unto the castle. Upon the arrival of the apostle Paul in Caesarea the letter written by Claudia Lysias—the chief captain of the band—would be delivered unto the governor as well the apostle Paul being presented unto. When the governor had received the apostle Paul and read the lead he asked of what province he was and when he understood that he was of Cilicia he agree to hear him when his accusers were also come. Felix who was the governor commanded the apostle Paul to be kept in Herod’s judgment hall until the accusers of the apostle Paul would indeed come from the city of Jerusalem to that place. After five days Ananias the high priest would descend with the elders, and with a certain orator name Tertullus who informed the governor against Paul. The apostle Paul would listen to the accusations and words which Tertullus would speak against him and after listening to the words which were spoken against him would beckon unto the governor that he be permitted to speak. The governor would indeed grant the apostle Paul permission to speak freely unto him and the apostle Paul would speak the following words unto him:

 

            “Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself: Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in thee synagogues, nor in the city: neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call Hersey, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: and have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men. Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with the multitude, nor with tumult. Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me. Or else let these same here say,  if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day” (Acts 24:10-21).

 

            Upon hearing the words which the apostle Paul had spoken and having a more perfect knowledge of that way and that which occurred in Jerusalem he deferred them and said, “When Lysisas the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.” Felix the governor would them command a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him. It would be after certain days when Felix came with his wife Drusilla which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul and hear him concerning the faith in Christ. As he reason of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come Felix trembled and answered unto the apostle Paul urging him to go his way for this time for when he had a convenient season he would call for him. Luke goes on to write how he hoped that money should have been given him of Paul that he might loose him and it was for this reason he sent for him more often and more frequently and communed with him. After two years Porcious Festus would come into Felix’ room and Felix willing to shew the Jews a pleasure left the apostle bound. When Festus was come into the province after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem. The high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul and besought him, and desired favor against him that he would send for him to Jerusalem as they laid in wait in the way to kill him. Festus, however, would answer and declared that Paul should be kept at Caesarea and that he himself would depart shortly thereafter. Festus would then urge those among them who were able to go down with him and accuse this man if there be any wickedness in him. When Festus had tarried among them more than ten days he went down unto Caesarea and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought. When the apostle Paul was brought the jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about and laid many grievous complaints against Paul which they could not prove. There in the midst of Caesarea Festus—willing to do a favour unto the Jews—asked the apostle Paul whether or not he was willing to go up to Jerusalem and there be judged of the things before him. The apostle Paul would indeed respond by declaring how he stood at Caesar’s judgment seat where he ought to be judged. The apostle Paul would go on to declare that it was unto the Jews he had done no wrong as Festus very well knew. The apostle Paul would go on to declare that if he was an offender, or had committed any thing worthy of death he refused not to die, however, if there be none of those things whereof he was accused then no man may deliver him unto them. The apostle Paul would immediately appear unto Caesar and would be granted by Festus to be taken unto Caesar whereby the apostle Paul would give witness.

 

            If you continue reading the words which are found in the remaining portion of the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth chapters of this New Testament book you will find that Agrippa the king and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus. When they had been there many days Festus declared Paul’s cause unto the king revealing how there was a certain man left in bonds by Felix about whom when he was in Jerusalem the chief priest and the elders of the Jews informed him desiring to have judgment against him. Festus would declare unto Agrippa that it was not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have license to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. Festus would go on to declare that when he sat on the judgment seat and commanded the man to be brought forth that he might hear and listen to him. When the accusers stood up they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed but had certain questions against him of their own superstition and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. Because Festus doubted of such manner of questions he asked him whether he would go up to Jerusalem and there be judged of these matters. When Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus [Caesar] then Agrippa said unto Festus that he would indeed and would in fact hear the apostle Paul. On the following day when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp and was entered into the place of hearing with the chief captains and the principal men of the city Paul was brought forth at Festus’ commandment. Upon the arrival of the apostle Paul Festus would indeed speak unto all those who were present there concerning this man and how he had indeed been found guilty of nothing that was worthy of death. The apostle Paul was indeed brought before Agrippa the king and those who stood to accuse the apostle Paul that Agrippa might hear and listen to the words which the apostle Paul would indeed speak. The twenty-fifth chapter of this New Testament book concludes with the apostle Paul standing before Agrippa, before Festus, before the chief priests and before others whom he would indeed give testimony concerning the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the twenty-sixth chapter of this New Testament book beginning with the second verse:

 

            “I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all things whereof I am accused of the Jews: Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accuse of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee: delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision; but shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:2-23).

 

            The twenty-sixth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts concludes with the apostle Paul concluding speaking for himself and Festus declaring with a loud voice that Paul was beside himself and that much learning did make him mad. The apostle Paul would indeed respond declaring unto Festus that he was not made but spoke forth the words of truth and soberness for the king knew of the things before whom he had spoken freely as he was persuaded that none of these things were hidden from him for this thing was not done in a corner. The apostle Paul would then ask Agrippa the king if he believed the words which the ancient Hebrew prophets had spoken to which Agrippa declared unto the apostle Paul that he was almost persuaded to be a Christian. Paul would go on to declare that he wished to God that not only Agrippa but also all those who were present were such as he was except for the bonds. After the apostle Paul had thus spoken the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and those which sat with them and talked among themselves when they were gone aside. What makes this truly astonishing and captivating when you read the words found here is how when they talked and conferred among themselves absent of the presence of the apostle Paul they declared how they found this man guilty of doing anything worthy of death. Moreover Agrippa would even declare unto Festus that the apostle Paul might have been set at liberty if he had not appealed unto Caesar. It would be the apostle Paul appealing unto Caesar that would indeed set his course for Rome and that which sets the tone and stage for what we find in the twenty-seventh chapter. It is in the twenty-seventh chapter of this New Testament book we find the preparation for and the beginning of the journey which the apostle Paul indeed take unto the city of Rome where the Lord had already confirmed unto him a vision during the night that he would bear witness there at Rome just as he had given testimony of Him in the midst of the city of Jerusalem.

 

            When you come to the twenty-seventh chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find the beginning of the journey which the apostle Paul would take to the capital city of Rome. When the twenty-sixth chapter of this book concludes and the twenty-seventh chapter begins it does so with the apostle Paul being brought forth from Caesarea and preparing to come unto the city of Rome. If you begin reading with and from the opening verses of the twenty-seventh chapter of this b ok you will find that the apostle Paul together with other prisoners were delivered unto a man named Julius who was a centurion of Augustus’ band. The apostle Paul together with the other prisoners would enter into a ship of Adramyttium and launched by the coasts of Asia. On the next day the apostle Paul and all those who were together with him aboard the ship would touch down at Sidon and Julius would courteously entreat Paul and give him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. After the apostle Paul had refreshed himself there in Sidon they launched from that place and sailed under Cyprus because the winds were contrary. When they sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia they came to Myra which was a city of Lycia. It would be there in that place the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy and put the apostle Paul and the other prisoners who were with him. When they had sailed slowly many days and were scarce in coming against Cnidus because the wind didn’t suffer them they sailed under Crete over against Salmone. Eventually they would come a place which is called The fair havens where they would disembark and seek for a more opportune time to set forth. Luke continues writing how after much time was spent and when sailing was now dangerous because the fast was already past Paul admonished them concerning the journey they were about to take. Luke records how the apostle Paul would admonish them of his perception that the voyage they were about to take would be with much hurt and much damage—not only of the lading and the ship but also of their lives. This is something we must needs understand for there were previous signs that pointed to the danger of the journey they were about to take to Rome. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s the repeated warnings which were present in this passage of Scripture.

 

            As you read the words found in the twenty-seventh chapter of this book you will find in verse four how upon sailing from Sidon they sailed under Cyprus “because the wind was contrary.” In the seventh verse of the same chapter you will find Luke writing how upon departing from from Myra they would sail slowly as they headed to Italy and were scarce come nigh unto a certain place “the wind not suffering us.” In the ninth verse of this passage of Scripture you will find Luke writing how after coming unto a place called The fair havens they spent a considerable amount of time Luke wrote of sailing being dangerous because the fast was at that already past. Please don’t miss the incredible importance of what is found here for in the fourth verse we find the wind contrary, in the seventh verse we find the wind not suffering them and in the ninth verse we find sailing being dangerous—perhaps undoubtedly because of the wind and the conditions upon the sea. It is in the tenth verse of this chapter we find the apostle Paul seeking to warn the captain of the ship that he perceived the voyage would be with much hurt and damage—both of the lading and ship as well as of their lives. It is as you continue reading you will find the centurion believing the master and owner of the ship more than those things which were spoken of by the apostle Paul. Essentially that which we find in this passage of Scripture calls and draws our attention to the warning and word of caution the apostle Paul would give unto the centurion and unto the owner and master of the ship—a warning which you would think the owner and master of the ship would have heeded having undoubtedly been familiar with the sea and the conditions which were present upon it. It is in the twelfth verse we find Luke writing that the haven was not commodious to winter in and the centurion and the master and owner of the ship were advised to depart if by any means the might attain unto Phenice and there to winter—Phenice which was a haven of Crete. In the thirteenth verse we read of the south wind blowing softly and the centurion and master of the ship supposed they had obtained their purpose loosing from that place and sailing close by Crete.

 

            When you come to the fourteenth verse of this chapter you will find that not long after they departed from The fair haven there arose a tempestuous wind called Euroclydon. If you continue reading you will find that when the ship was caught and could not bear up into the wind those aboard the ship let her drive in the midst of the wind. Continuing to read within this passage you will find that there was a continued struggle which would ensue being caught in the midst of the storm and in the midst of the winds which were contrary to the ship and the journey itself. Luke writes how those aboard used helps to undergird the ship fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands and in the eighteenth verse Luke wrote how they were exceedingly tossed with a tempest and the next day they lightened the ship. 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 with there being no small tempest laying on them many abandoned any and all hope that they should be saved. WHEN ALL HOPE IS LOST! HOPE LOST IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! WHEN HOPE IS LOST IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM! It’s actually quite remarkable to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture as it brings us face to face with the abandoning of hope when there is nothing seen before and around you but strong winds, dark clouds, rain and the like. Undoubtedly there were many who were present aboard this ship who thought and believed that they would lose their lives aboard that ship as it was tossed to and fro in the midst of the sea by the fierce winds which raged against it. What many aboard that ship didn’t realize was that the living and eternal God specializes in storms and not only speaks to them causing them to be still, and not only walks in the midst of them on the wind and the waves but is also the king over and above the flood. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that the living and eternal God is Master over the wind, Master over the rain, Master over the clouds, Master over the sea, Master over the waves and has full authority over any and every storm which we face within our lives. If there is one thing we must needs acknowledge within our hearts and spirits it’s that Jesus Himself exercised authority and dominion over—not one, but two storms.

 

            If you turn and direct your attention to the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ you will find that He was indeed master over the storms which threatened the lives of the disciples and even that storm which the disciples perceived threatened His own life. Perhaps one of the greatest truths that is found in the four gospels is that not only does Jesus have authority to stand up in the midst of the storm, confront the storm head on and speak to it but Jesus also has full confidence, peace, trust, assurance and faith to sleep soundly and peacefully in the midst of the storm. It’s one thing for Jesus to stand up in the midst of the storm and speak to it causing the wind and the waves to be still, however, it is something else entirely for Jesus to sleep peacefully and soundly in the midst of the storm. Jesus sleeping in the midst of the storm with the wind and the waves being boisterous all around him demonstrated the trust and confidence He had in His Father which was in heaven as well as the peace which was present within His own heart and soul. It’s one thing to experience the storm itself being brought to peace but it’s something else for the storm inside of you to be brought to peace and brought completely still. I am absolutely convinced that in the passage of the storm in which Jesus and the disciples found themselves in there were two storms which Jesus needed to speak to and address. The first storm was the physical and natural storm which could be seen with the eyes and heard with the ears—the wind, the waves, the rain, the clouds and perhaps even the thunder and lightning. The second storm was the unseen and invisible storm of fear, of doubt and one which demonstrated a lack of faith within the hearts and souls of the disciples themselves. It is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize this and how truly captivating it is for within this same chapter we find Jesus speaking to and addressing both the unseen storm as well as the storm which could indeed be seen, heard and felt. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which the psalmist David wrote in the eighteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Psalms concerning the authority the living and eternal God has over any and every storm that is present within our lives—even authority over the physical and natural storms that arise within nature itself:

 

            “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub and did fly: Yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong fro me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:6-19).

 

            Consider if you will the following words which are found in the ninety-seventh chapter of the same Old Testament book of Psalms beginning with the first verse:

 

            “The LORD reigned; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory. Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods. Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced. Because of the judgments, O LORD. For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness” (Psalm 97:1-12).

 

            Consider also the words which are found in the one-hundred and seventh chapter of the same Old Testament book of Psalms beginning with the twenty-third verse:

 

            “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of the trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people and praise him in the assembly of the elders. He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the water springs into dry ground; a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into water springs. And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation; and sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which. May yield fruits of increase. He blessed them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease. Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction and sorrow. He poured contempt upon princes, and accuseth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way. Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock. The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the LORD” (Acts 127:23-43).

 

            As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words found in the twenty-seventh chapter of this New Testament book of Acts as it directly confronts the authority the living God had over the storm. The apostle Paul, Luke, the other prisoners and those who were aboard the ship would not be delivered from the storm and the apostle Paul would not pray that the winds cease, the waves be stilled and the rain, thunder and lightning cease. What we find in this passage of Scripture, however, is the apostle Paul standing up in the midst of the storm and standing up in the midst of those who were aboard the ship and declare unto them how the angel of God had appeared unto him and encouraged him that there would be no loss of life and that all lives aboard the ship would be spared. The Lord would give into the hands and care of the apostle Paul all those who were aboard the ship and would take this one who was a prisoner and make him a captain in the midst of the storm. The apostle Paul would indeed be able to stand firm in the midst of those who were present on the ship and stand firm in the midst of the storm declaring unto them that none of them would experience loss of their lives for the living and eternal God had given them into his hands. This is something we must needs recognize and understand when reading this passage of Scripture for there are times in our lives when the Lord can and will cause the storms we face to subside and to be still while there are other times when the Lord will come to us walking in the midst of the storm. It is in these storms when they will not subside or cease until He is in the ship together with us. There are still other times when we are forced to weather the storm and even experience the breaking apart of the ship we are in hanging on for dear life to broken pieces of the ship knowing that we can and will be saved and see the salvation of the Lord.

 

WEATHERING THE STORM AND SUFFERING THE BREAKING OF THE SHIP! There is a great and present truth that is found here in this passage of Scripture for what we find here is the apostle Paul together with all those who are aboard the ship not only being called to weather the storm that raged before, upon and all around them but also experiencing the breaking apart and destruction of the ship. The angel of God declared unto the apostle Paul that although the ship would itself be destroyed there would be no loss of life in the midst of and as a result of the storm. This is something we must needs acknowledge within our own hearts and lives for there are times when we indeed called to weather the storms which are present before, upon and all around us and even experience the destruction and breaking of the ship and yet even in the midst of it the Lord preserves us for His glory and His purpose. What’s more is there are times when we aren’t the only ones who are present in the storm and there are others who are forced to weather the storm with us. The living and eternal God calls us to weather the storm and does not calm the storm nor does He still the waves but instead sustains, undergirds and upholds us in the midst of it. Oh there is something we must needs recognize when reading this passage of Scripture for we cannot and must not always assume the Lord will cause the wind and the waves to cease and to be still. There are times when we do in fact need to weather the storm which comes upon us within our lives and even experience the breaking and destruction of the ship which we find ourselves in. What’s more is that even in the destruction of the ship there is salvation for it is through the breaking apart of the ship that the necessary materials are provided to safely weather the storm. Pause and consider the fact that it would be through and as a result of the breaking of the ship that the necessary pieces would be afforded for those who were aboard to cling to and safely make it to shore. This is something we dare not and must not miss and ignore when reading this passage of Scripture for there are indeed times within our lives when we are called to and must weather the storms that come upon us—even the destruction of the ship we find ourselves in—knowing that salvation has been granted through the storm as the Lord brings us safely to the other side and safely to shore where he can and will take care of and provide for us.

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