"In fierce storms," said an old seaman, "we must do one thing; there is only one way: we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there."
This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you; and then you can do but one thing; there is only one way.
Reason cannot help you; past experiences give you no light. Even prayer fetches no consolation. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and keep it there.
You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may-- winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers-- no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God’s faithfulness, His covenant engagement, His everlasting love in Christ Jesus. -- Richard Fuller
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust him" (Job_13:15).
"For I know whom I have believed" (2Ti_1:12).
The Storm at Sea and The Shipwreck
Act 27:13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.
Act 27:14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.
Act 27:15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.
Act 27:16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:
Act 27:17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.
Act 27:18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;
Act 27:19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.
Act 27:20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
Act 27:21 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.
Act 27:22 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.
Act 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
Act 27:24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
Act 27:25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
Act 27:26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.
Act 27:27 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country;
Act 27:28 And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms.
Act 27:29 Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.
Act 27:30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship,
Act 27:31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.
Act 27:32 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.
Act 27:33 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.
Act 27:34 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.
Act 27:35 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.
Act 27:36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.
Act 27:37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.
Act 27:38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.
Act 27:39 And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.
Act 27:40 And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore.
Act 27:41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.
Act 27:42 And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.
Act 27:43 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:
Act 27:44 And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.
Riding Out The Storm
iii. Paul was not ashamed to say that he believed God. “I would to God that all Christians were prepared to throw down the gauntlet and to come out straight; for if God be not true let us not pretend to trust him, and if the gospel be a lie let us be honest enough to confess it.” (Spurgeon)
f. Therefore, take heart, men: Paul used his belief to strengthen the hearts of others. Most all of the people on this ship were not Christians, yet Paul still cared enough to strengthen their hearts by telling them about his belief in God. If Paul had the attitude of some people today, he would have thought, “Hey, they’re all going to hell anyway - who cares?” But Paul loved more than that.
g. On a certain island means that God did not tell Paul everything about what was going to happen. Paul had to trust that God knew which island they would run aground on! (Excerpt from David Guzik)