God's Promise Will Deliver You Through Your Storm - Pt. 1 - Acts 27

The backdrop and inspiration for this particular story comes from the Book of Acts chapters 27 & 28. Here we find the Apostle Paul traveling to Rome by ship. On this particular journey, Paul isn’t traveling with his missionary buddy Barnabus, or either of his mentees Timothy or Silas. But make no mistake about it, although Paul wasn’t traveling with his normal crew, he was traveling with a purpose and operating in his assignment from God. On this journey, he is, in fact, a prisoner under the watchful eye of a centurion (Roman officer) named Julius. The Bible records that Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to receive care from his friends while at port.

As they continued on their travels towards Rome, Paul could see that the weather was changing. He could feel the change in the wind and see the moving of the water with his eyes. Sometimes when God wants to get your attention He will use a natural circumstance to warn you of a prevailing event. Paul attempted to warn the officers in charge of a prevailing event. 10 “Men,” he said, “I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on—shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to our lives as well.” 11 But the officer in charge of the prisoners listened more to the ship’s captain and the owner than to Paul (Acts 27:10-11 NLT). Doesn’t it amaze you that even when you warn people of the obvious troubles ahead, they completely ignore your warnings? I’ve always been amazed by the wisdom of some who dare to take a calculated risk. Equally so, I’m disturbed by others who are cavalier with their decisions that negatively affect the lives of innocent people.

The scripture tells us that the storm lasted for many days and nights. The crew found themselves in a dire situation looking for answers, but desperate for a solution. All of them, with the exception of Paul, had given up hope. When they had tried every possible answer they could come up with, an angel from God intervenes with a promise (solution) from God for Paul to provide a word to the people. ”Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ 25 So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. 26 But we will be shipwrecked on an island” (Acts 27:23-26 NLT). Standing on God’s promise through faith will always lead you to your solution. God’s promise will deliver you through your storm. However, God’s purpose will lead you to your destiny. Man’s purpose will lead you to your demise.

As we turn our attention to the end of the chapter, the men found themselves being saved by God’s grace from the storm and kept by His mercy from the centurion officers who wanted to kill them. Could it all have been because they did something on the fourteenth night that they had never done together before – they prayed. Prayer won’t always silence your storm, but prayer will bring you closer to God.

 Points to remember:

  • It was a divine setup for Paul to travel with Julius. Note: “Centurions were chosen (from amongst Romans) that were stable and reliable and who had demonstrated their courage and maturity.” Manners & Customs of Bible Times
  • Never make a hasty decision under duress, or through fear. Julius relied on his flesh, Paul relied on his faith.
  • Even in the midst of your storm your faith can’t waver. Paul’s faith stood strong under pressure.
  • The scripture mentions 14. The number 14 represents a double measure of spiritual perfection, deliverance and a double completion. Example: 14 Generations from Abraham and Joseph. The fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover, when God delivered the firstborn of Israel from death.
  • Although they were in a storm, God still delivered them through their struggle.

Part 2 

God’s Purpose Is Greater Than Your Past

Have you ever found yourself in a good place where you thought you were safe from something, or someone? Have you ever been in a place where you survived a storm and didn’t know how you made it through? That should be a pause or a moment of reflection to thank God that He isn’t through with you. God’s purpose for your life is greater than the issues of your past.

As we discussed in part 1, Paul and the other prisoners were in a storm. We concluded that although they were in a storm, God still delivered them through their struggle. Now, Paul and the prisoners find themselves in a safe place deserted on the island called Malta. For them this wasn’t an announced trip or a planned visit. They were there as a result of their previous storm. Have you ever been through a storm and found yourself in an unfamiliar place afterwards? You never know how God will use your past to enhance your story for His glory. Just turn the page.

There they were on a cold and rainy day on the island trying to settle into their new environment. They found themselves being warmly welcomed by the islanders. As they are building a fire, Paul is bitten by a venomous viper snake. The story says, Paul was laying down the sticks on top of the fire when out of nowhere a poisonous viper snake bit him on the hand. Isn’t it amazing that every time you find yourself coming out of a storm there seems to be another situation brewing out of nowhere? There’s a saying by man that says, “You’re either in a problem, leaving a problem or heading towards a problem.” Conversely, there are litanies of scriptures in the Bible that speak truth to life from a spiritual perspective. One of those scriptures is found in the Book of Isaiah 54:17 KJV, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” The scripture never tells us that the weapons won’t be formed, it says, they SHALL NOT PROSPER.

The viper was driven out by the heat. I love Paul’s response as everyone looked in amazement and wondered if Paul was some type of criminal that karma was coming back on. They just knew that he would swell up and die. Paul fooled them all. He just shook it off and continued about his business. We must strive to become so resolute in our faith that regardless of the attack, we can just shake it off. Paul knew that the problem didn’t come from the bite, the problem would have been magnified had he focused on the bite and not God’s purpose. Satan’s bite is too insignificant for God’s purpose.

The fact of the matter is that vipers are one of the most poisonous snakes on the planet. There are 26 different forms of vipers found between North, South and Central America, Asia, Africa and Europe. When a viper bites into its prey it injects a high dosage of poison to disable their muscular system to cause paralysis. Isn’t this exactly what the enemy tries to do with us? He injects doubt, fear, negativity, discouragement, frustration and low self-esteem into our minds attempting to cause paralysis.

We all remember the story of Adam and Eve in the garden when out of nowhere a serpent appeared. This serpent lured them into eating from the forbidden tree. Sadly, they fell into his trap and sin entered into humanity. Fortunately for mankind God showed compassion and sent His son to redeem us from the curse of sin. In this particular story with Paul, Paul may not have seen the serpent, but he recognized his methodology. The snake can only remind you of your past. He’s not after your history, he’s after your destiny. Be encouraged in God’s divine intervention in Paul’s case and many others where He has protected us from terror and fear. God’s purpose for your life is greater than the pain of your past, or the fear of tomorrow.

Beware, snakes come in many different sizes and colors. Sometimes, they show up in your life in the form of a friend, co-worker, family member, spouse, news program, social media or even in the church. The devil comes to prey on your ignorance of the word to make you question God and second guess yourself. He attempts to instill fear by recounting your failures. His tricks and traps are usually guilt, shame and blame. Don’t be fooled! Remain vigilant and be encouraged because the story ends with Paul arriving safely to his destination, performing the miracles of healing and walking in his purpose.

Points to remember:

  • God’s purpose for your life is greater than the issues of your past.
  • Don’t be fooled by the enemy’s tactics. A snake bite never killed anyone just the venom.
  • Be a soldier for God’s purpose not a prisoner to your situation. Paul might have been a prisoner in his situation, but he was certainly a soldier for God’s purpose.
  • Satan’s bite is too insignificant to the Power of God’s purpose. Paul knew that the problem didn’t originate from the bite, but was cunningly crafted to be a distraction that would magnify the problem had he focused on the bite and not God’s purpose. What has your focus? What are you magnifying in your life?