Monday, January 28, 2019

Hope while the Storm Rages: When No Signposts Light the Way

Sunset on Oahu - May 2018

When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued ranging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. Acts 27:20 NIV

The story of Paul’s voyage to Rome is a prime example of the trials and tribulations on the walk of faith all through the human story. Although it is a common theme in modern Christianity that the pathway of faith is strewn with riches and all good things while God lifts all His faithful followers out of the plane of difficulties, real experience is quite the contrary. Every one of the “great cloud of witnesses” lived lives of alternating trials and triumphs. (See Hebrews 11).

Paul is an example of how much a child of God can suffer without losing hope. Paul boosts of his suffering (See 2 Corinthians 11:22-33 for the list.) Though broken in body, he was never broken in spirit. The account of this particular shipwreck tells of his being tossed upon a stormy sea for days on end. Yet during this time he encouraged the others, even when no common sign posts lit the way. The other seafarers gave up all hope of being saved. Paul knew he couldn’t save himself; his hope was in God.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 KJV

For people to live in this everyday world in real surroundings with a hundred and one practical conditions which have to be met in practical ways, hope in God lifts us out of the plane of common sense and trials where our faith is perfected and His love and mercy see us through the storms. 

Like Paul, trust God, and many besides yourself will receive deliverance and salvation. 

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4 NIV
Sunset on Oahu - May 2018