In Acts, chapter 27, Paul writes about an encounter he had on a large ship that held 276 people. They were sailing to Italy. It was on this boat that he was held as a prisoner, along with many other prisoners on board. However, it wasn’t an easy ride. The wind had become very boisterous and the people were very fearful about the boat being destroyed and sinking. Now, Paul knew differently since he was being led by God. Even an angel appeared to him. It is written, “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 there 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 27:21-26) What Paul said about trusting in God is so true, even when it seems that things can’t get any better. I love how he told them to be of good cheer, for he believed in God and what the angel said. We can also believe what the Lord God says in our lives through the Holy Spirit. Take courage through Jesus Christ, our Lord, and God, my friends, even unto salvation. Allow Him to lead you in all things through the Holy Spirit. His joy will come over you if you let it in.
It was when the seamen were about to jump into the sea, in order to save their lives, that Paul again comforted them with his words. Read what he said and take courage in doing the same things for people you know who are going through a rough time. It is also written in the same chapter, “and while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.” (Acts 27:33-37) Imagine people running back and forth in fear and a single man sitting calmly praying unto God. This was Paul at that moment. Praise God. He even took many people and sat them round about him, while breaking bread and giving thanks to God, while breaking their fast. This got them to forget, even for a minute, what was happening on the boat. This brought smiles to their faces. They were of good cheer because of Paul’s great example. They even ate meat with each other with gladness. My friends, no matter if things are looking really bad, we can pray to God and find instant peace for our struggles. His joy will fill us up, and in that moment His guidance will also fall down upon us. Amen.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that we will come to You at all times and in all places, no matter the season in our lives. When things are not going well it is easy to look at the bad things in life and become very discouraged. Surely, this is what the enemy wants us to be thinking. He doesn’t wish us to be full of cheer, while in Your presence. Instead, he wishes that the storms of life will continue to beat us down. But Lord, I trust that You are still our deliver. I know that You can do all things in my life and others of whom I pray for. What we need are more believers coming together in prayer and fellowship. Then, would You be able to move in more people’s lives at once. Church is one thing, but seeking Your hand throughout the week is another. Lord, I am lost without You, but am encouraged and full of life when You are with me. I love it when I am at a brother and sister’s house in the faith and we are praying, reading the Bible, and/or breaking bread together. My heart is always racing in these moments, and I come out of it so alive in You, Jesus. It makes me want more of You and less of me each time. Lord, there are things that I could be doing better. That I could be removing more things that are of the world, of which are holding me back still. And so I give it to You now, knowing that You will replace these things with blessings and wisdom from heaven. Yes, God, I no longer seek what is earthly, but what is in heaven. May Your hand of mercy be more than visible in my life and others that I reach for Your kingdom. I love You, Lord. You are my God, Jesus, and I worship You. Amen.