Text Version | Afrikaans | Italian
"Make sure you come back to see us again.""I hope the weather stays nice for your trip.""MAY GOD BE WITH YOU.""GOOD-BYE!"
Paul turned and waved at his friends one last time, then continued down the road to the harbor. Julius, the Roman centurion, had been especially nice by allowing Paul to visit with his friends while they were in Sidon. He was so glad they had made this stop.
"What a long, exciting journey THIS is turning out to be!" he thought all the way across the Mediterranean Sea to the city of Rome, the most important city in the whole wide world.
He and the other passengers boarded the ship.
They raised the sails.
They brought up the anchor.
"ANCHORS AWAY!" they all shouted.
The ship began to sway with the waves and they were on their way. But NO ONE had any idea what adventures they would encounter!
The wind began to blow fiercely. The water was rough. The waves were getting higher and higher. The ship was tossing to and fro, ALMOST OUT OF CONTROL! The Captain had to change course in order to keep the ship from being overcome by the waves.
"LOOK!" someone cried out. "Isn't that LAND I see over there?" Sure enough, it was land. They safely brought the ship to rest in the city of Myra.
"WHEW! THAT was a close one," someone exclaimed.
"IT SURE WAS! I thought we were all going to sink with that ship," someone else remarked.
"Well, I'm just glad it's all over and I can rest easy now," another man said with a sigh of relief.
Julius, the centurion in charge, wasn't going to let a little squall like THAT keep him from doing his job! It was his duty to get these passengers to Rome, and that was exactly what he intended to do! He found a different ship that was heading to Italy and gathered up all the men. "COME ON NOW! BREAK TIME IS OVER! IT'S TIME TO CONTINUE ON OUR WAY! GET ON THIS SHIP!" he ordered the men roughly.
The passengers did as they were told.
They boarded the ship.
They raised the sails.
They brought up the anchor.
"ANCHORS AWAY!" they all shouted.
The ship began to sway with the waves, and they were again on their way.
Once more, the wind began to blow fiercely. The water was rough. The waves were getting higher and higher and the ship was tossing to and fro, ALMOST OUT OF CONTROL!
They sailed very slowly for many days. It was certainly a rough ride. Some of the passengers began to worry. They were beginning to wonder if they would ever arrive in Rome!
As they were passing a place called "The Fair Havens," Paul approached Julius and the Captain. "Sirs, I don't think this voyage is going to be successful. The wind is TOO FIERCE and the waves are TOO HIGH. If we continue on, we will certainly be in BIG TROUBLE and may even LOSE OUR LIVES!"
"YOU are just a passenger. What do you think YOU know about all this?" they said to Paul with a sneer. "It is our job to get all of you people to Rome, and that is exactly what we are going to do!"
They continued on their way to Rome in spite of the fierce winds and high waves that were threatening to sink the ship.
One day the storm calmed down and a nice southerly breeze began to blow softly. The passengers were relieved that the weather was good, and they no longer needed to fear for their lives. Julius and the Captain thought the worst was over. "See! We were right all along!" they boasted. "There will be smooth sailing the rest of the way. There was never anything to be worried about."
As they were passing by Crete, SUDDENLY . . . OUT OF NOWHERE . . . A TERRIBLE HURRICANE AROSE!
The winds blew even more fiercely than any of the previous storms.
The waves were higher than they had ever been.
The ship was tossed to and fro and battered by the salty seawater.
This was worse than any of them could EVER have imagined.
Everyone, including Julius and the Captain, was fearful.
The raging waters were crushing the ship. The sails were being torn off by the blustery winds. Pieces of debris in the sea were smashing into the sides of the ship. Everyone was TERRIFIED. They began throwing any unnecessary items overboard into the sea, thinking that would help, but it didn't. Before long, they began throwing EVERYTHING overboard, but it STILL didn't help. They realized the situation was hopeless and there was NOTHING more they could do.
Paul had been watching silently as people began to give up hope. He had been fasting and praying to the Lord about this hopeless ordeal.
He stood up in front of all the people on the ship and made a speech. "Sirs," he said, looking sternly at Julius and the Captain. "You should have listened to me when I told you not to continue on to Rome. But since you didn't, and now we are in the middle of one of the worst storms in history, I have something to say."
"Hmmm.... I wonder what he is going to tell us NOW?" Julius thought. "But since he DID happen to be right the first time, I suppose I'd better listen."
"BE OF GOOD CHEER!" Paul shouted out above the noise of the raging storm.
"Be of good cheer? How can I possibly be of good cheer with all of THIS happening?" Julius thought to himself.
Paul continued his speech. "Not one person will die in this storm. The ship will be lost, but there will be no loss of life."
"I wonder how he knows these things," the Captain was thinking.
Just as that thought crossed the Captain's mind, he heard Paul say: "An angel of the Lord stood by me saying 'Fear Not! You must go to Rome, and all these people will be going with you.'"
At midnight, on the fourteenth day of the terrible storm, they saw land nearby. They were thrilled that they were going to be safe, but their joy was cut short.
They noticed that the land was surrounded with rocks and huge boulders. The Captain knew he couldn't steer the ship any closer to the land because it would hit one of the rocks and would certainly be smashed to pieces. He decided to throw out the anchor and let the ship toss in the water.
Some of the men wanted to jump out of the ship and try to swim to shore. Paul convinced them to stay with the ship. He also made sure they had something to eat while they were waiting for daylight.
At the crack of dawn, after they had eaten, they threw the rest of the food overboard. Then they discovered a creek with no rocks, which led them closer to land. They pulled up the anchor and steered the mangled ship as closely as possible to land and let it run aground. Some were able to swim ashore; others used wood from the damaged ship to float to land.
They were all of GOOD CHEER because they were finally safe. No one had died. God had kept his promise to Paul!
REMEMBER: Even during the worst times you can be cheerful because God always keeps his promises.
Why would Julius and the Captain not listen to Paul?
How did Paul know they would all be safe?
A VERSE TO LEARN
". . . be of good cheer" (Acts 27:22a).
Dear God, thank You for loving me and caring for me.
Help me to be cheerful in all situations because
I know You are always with me.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
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Narrated by Max Lucado, Joni Erickson Tada, Rebecca St. James, Roy Clark & Many More
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The Bible MiniSeries DVD Set
God's Story from Creation to Eternity (listen & watch online)
What's in the Bible? Vol. 11: Acts—Spreading the Good News
An Historical Examination of Acts 27 and 28
Helping Your Kids Deal With Anger, Fear, And Sadness
Paul The Emissary DVD (Drama)
Peter & Paul DVD
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