by Jill Lienemann, Kesher International Missions | ©2013
“When they had been brought safely through…” (Acts 28:1a NASB)
A group of 276 men (Paul, Julius the Centurion, the Roman soldiers, the ship owner, the captain, the sailors and other prisoners) set sail during a dangerous month for sea travel. Their goal was the Phoenix harbor, less than 40 miles away from Fair Havens port on the island of Crete, where they would find refuge for the winter season. Along the way a terrible storm took their ship off course, endangered their lives, stole hope from some and forced abandonment of cargo, equipment and food. Read Acts 27 for the full details of this epic voyage. Fourteen days later they came upon land and while maneuvering into the inlet, the ship ran aground on a sandbar. All of those aboard swam or used floating pieces of the vessel to get to shore. No lives had been lost – just as God had declared earlier to Paul.
In efforts to get to your ministry destination, you may experience plane changes, missed connections, weather delays, location detours, transport substitutions, or other obstacles. Rather than become frustrated and upset about itinerary modifications and loss of time, follow Paul’s example.
Pray and continue believing God’s promise
“For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.” (Acts 27:23-25 NKJV) Paul accepted the Lord’s message of their safe delivery with faith. His certainty in God’s word provided encouragement to his fellow travelers.
Initiate worship and give thanks to God
“And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat.” (Acts 27:35 NKJV) Paul publically acknowledged God was the source of their provision. Through his thankful heart, he honored and magnified the Lord. “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me…” (Psalm 50:23 NASB)
Be a witness to unbelievers
Paul’s peace in the difficult circumstance was a result of his trust in the Lord. His confidence in the one true God was a sharp contrast to the distressed men on the ship who served pagan gods. “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me.” (Isaiah 43:10 NKJV)
KESHER PRAYER (connection): “For at his word the storm-wind arose, lifting up towering waves. The sailors were raised up to the sky, then plunged into the depths. At the danger, their courage failed them, they reeled and staggered like drunk men, and all their skill was swallowed up. In their trouble they cried to Adonai, and he rescued them from their distress. He silenced the storm and stilled its waves, and they rejoiced as the sea grew calm. Then he brought them safely to their desired port. Let them give thanks to Adonai for his grace, for his wonders bestowed on humanity!” (Psalm 107:25-31 CJB)
Lord, thank you for never abandoning us during our mission travel. You have been our front and rear guard protecting us during things we encountered and from situations that were unbeknown to our team. We do give you all the honor and glory for our secure arrival at our destination. In Jesus’ name, Amen.