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Dear Believer

If you are in a tight spot, then this is for you.

In the events recorded in Acts 27, the apostle Paul finds himself on a ship (as a prisoner) (*1), on his way to Rome to stand trial before Caesar for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then the following events took place:

14. Before very long, a wind of hurricane force (*2), …, swept down from the island.
15. The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind (*3)
16. …, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure (*4).
17. …the men … passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together (*5).
18. We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard.
20. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved (*6).
22. But now I urge you to keep your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed (*7).
23. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me …
24. … and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar (*8); …
25. So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he has told me (*9).

What do I take from this:

*1: Events, not of your doing, has caught up with you. That, however, does not make you a victim. As we see from this scripture, although Paul was a prisoner, he was indeed victorious.
*2: You may be facing a huge challenge sweeping over you, something that can be compared to “a wind of hurricane force” …
*3: … and you may not be able find your way in this mighty headwind, …
*4: …, your efforts just seem to be inadequate.
*5: You can’t imagine a more futile effort; passing ropes under a ship in order to hold it together. But this is what our efforts are often like when we act in panic, not trusting and not waiting upon God, who allows the storm but who is in full control. He holds the storm in His hand!
*6: It does not matter how long the battle is, do not give up; cling to God and do not let go of your faith in Him.
*7: The ‘stuff’ we treasure, the ‘stuff’ we often rely on, instead of relying on God, may be lost, but God will never let go of us.
*8: Don’t give up. Although this is a testing time, persevere! God has an even greater calling on for your life. Your current situation is your testing ground, your preparation, your opportunity.
*9: If you put your trust in God, wait on Him and allow Him to display His love and power in your life, He will do for you ‘… more than what you ask or (even) imagine” Eph. 3:20

Gerhard Papenfus
11 May 2020