2 Corinthians 4:13 (NIV) “It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak.”
Acts 27 describes the account of what happened when Paul sailed for Rome as a prisoner, and the ship encountered a storm that resulted in a shipwreck. Although I have not personally gone through a storm and a shipwreck, I’ve read numerous articles recording similar events down through history. In every account, there was devastation, and most, if not all, the people involved died. In this biblical account, however, there were 276 onboard, and ALL of them survived. TALK ABOUT A MIRACLE!
This would not have happened if not for several key elements: the angel gave the word to Paul that all would survive; Paul believed that word and boldly proclaimed it; the soldiers, prisoners, and sailors believed and acted upon it. Can you imagine how difficult that must have been for them?! They had lightened the load by throwing all they could overboard. They had fought for days against the winds and waves, and even verse 20 declared, “...we finally gave up all hope of being saved.” Additionally, they had gone without eating for 14 days. Remember that the Roman soldiers did not believe in God, and chances are most of the other passengers were not believers. Yet, despite all the extreme stress and exhaustion, they took Paul at his word.
I believe there are 2 things that we can apply from this account as we begin a new year:
1. We have God’s word as a solid foundation for our faith, an anchor that we can cling to and believe in when we experience the storms of life. Many have told me they ask the Lord for a word for each new year, something that will provide guidance to them. If you’re not in the habit of doing so, I encourage you to seek Him for a personal word. Whether you have His written Word that resonates in your heart, or you have a personal word from God for 2021, be like Paul in this passage. Stand upon that word; let it sink deep into your soul, and trust in His love and faithfulness.
2. Boldly declare your faith, just like Paul did. There was undoubtedly something about his words, his boldness, his confidence, that convinced them to follow him. They were desperate to survive, even though all evidence pointed to catastrophe and ultimate death. Paul leaves us a powerful example. All around us are people who are desperately trying to survive, who need someone to confidently declare God’s love, His goodness, and His faithfulness. We, through our boldness and faith, can provide them the Hope they need.
Father God, I’m so thankful for your Word that becomes an anchor to my soul. Cause your Word to be planted deeper and deeper in my heart, that my faith will grow stronger. Help me to boldly declare your Word so that others’ hearts will be strengthened as well. Amen.
Faithfulness by Hillsong Worship