Today's devotion is based on Acts 27:22-26, "Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night, there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you. So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island."
Let's set the scene. The apostle Paul, in custody, is sailing to Rome to stand trial before Caesar. He's sailing on a ship that is massive for its day. There are 276 people on board. Then, disaster strikes. A wind of hurricane force sweeps down and takes over the ship. All the crew can do is ride along. Days pass, but the wind is relentless. The crew begins to throw the cargo overboard in hopes of lightening the load and saving the ship. But more days come and go. The storm continues. The sun and stars do not appear. Everything is bleak. Everything is desperate. It looks as though all is lost. But it isn't if they listen to God's words through Paul, for, as Paul tells them, the Lord has chosen to protect all 276 lives on board.
While you probably never spent days on a sailing ship in hurricane-force winds. You've had your turn, however, at feeling the winds of trouble blasting through your life. You've felt the dashed hopes. You've felt the uncertainty. You've felt the fear of shipwrecked life. We all have. We are, after all, sinful, frail vessels in a sinful, stormy world.
But as Paul says, "The God to whom I belong and whom I serve" has bound himself to us through faith in Jesus Christ. The same God who has washed us clean in the blood of his Son is the same one who will see us through all things—even the shipwrecks of life.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord God, I give you thanks and praise that because you promised never to leave me. I know that when the shipwrecks of life come, You are there with me. In Jesus' blessed name, I pray. Amen.
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