Read Acts 26
Paul's defence before Agrippa; Paul's voyage to Rome; storm at the sea: shipwreck at Melita; Paul at Rome.
All hope that we should be saved was then taken away (Acts 27:20).
Paul had been imprisoned in Caesarea for two years. Festus, the new governor of Judea, placed Paul in the custody of a centurion soldier who was to take him to Rome to stand trial. Little did any of those involved realize that God had a purpose and plan ahead for this trip. Even in prison, Paul was still God's chosen vessel. Though his life might be getting closer to the end, God was not finished with Paul. He was about to do another great work.
Though Paul was not elderly, he knew his time was drawing near. Often when we get older, we feel we might be of less use to God. However, even in old age, God continues to use those available to Him. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren (Luke 1:36).
Shortly after their departure on a cargo ship, a storm caused their ship to eventually sink. During that fearful ordeal, Paul stated, All hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But God had placed the Apostle Paul on that particular ship to accomplish His divine purpose. God used a storm and a shipwreck for an unplanned Gospel crusade where many turned to the Lord. God will oftentimes use the strangest of circumstances to do His greatest works. None of these events were outside of God's control. It is He who made the sea. Therefore, it should be no surprise that He would have control over it. Actually God was in complete control of the entire situation and had a plan. Paul was to lead this revival. God would ensure his safety during this ordeal. 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 (Acts 27:42-43).
One of our greatest blessings in being a Christian is the assurance that, although life's voyages may be stormy, there will be a day that the tempest we have weathered will be insignificant compared to what God was able to accomplish because of it. So, as the troubles of life mount in front of you, have hope. You never know what great thing God is about to make happen in the middle of this storm in your life.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong (2 Cor. 12:10).
Thought for Today:
Quietness and confidence in the midst of trial is the result of faith.
For Acts 28:26-27: See Is. 6:9-10.
26:5 most straitest, most exact, strictest; 26:7 instantly, earnestly; 27:7 under, close to, on the side sheltered from wind; 27:12 commodious, suitable; 27:30 under colour, under pretense; 28:2 barbarous people, foreigners who don't speak your language well; 28:13 fetched a compass, circled around; 28:16 suffered, permitted.
Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:13