SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Paul, as a prisoner, is put on a ship that sails from the Israeli coast to the southwest corner of modern Turkey.
- There the Centurion takes him on another ship heading for Italy, but the heavy winds require them to reroute to the island of Crete.
- After being blown out into the open sea, eventually they shipwreck off an island named Malta.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Though the ship was at the mercy of the weather, we find out it was more at the mercy of God. Even in the midst of this difficulty, God was ultimately in control, seeing to it that Paul and all of those sailing with him would survive so that Paul could stand trial before Caesar.
- God had promised Paul over two years ago that he would get to share the gospel in Rome. It seemed like it would never happen, especially with the ship lost at sea. But in one of Paul's darkest hours, God sent an angel to encourage him and assure him that God had not forgotten his promise. God never forgets his promises.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- In what ways could you be an encouragement to people going through difficult times? Are there ways that you could provide for their needs or give them a chance to escape for a while?
- It may seem like God's promises will never happen, but our timeline is not God's timeline. Be patient and keep your heart and mind open for the people that God brings into your life. When life is tough ask God for encouragement so that you might be able to encourage others going through similar tough times.