The Book of Acts tells the story of the Early Church and the missionary voyages of Paul the Apostle. In Acts 27, Paul writes about his experience sailing through a treacherous storm. Paul’s gripping narrative offers us insight into riding out the storms of life.
First, we must note the reason for these storms; we will all find ourselves in ferocious waters at some point, due to the nature of this sinful world.
Storms can be engineered by our own disobedience or foolishness. God could also send us into a storm for our own development. Or, like Paul in this passage, we could also be dragged into storms by other people.
When Paul was a prisoner on his way to Rome, he was transported into a storm by others. His circumstances were out of his own control.
Acts 27:9-11 says, “So Paul warned them, ‘Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.’ But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship.”
When we face difficulties due to other people’s mistakes, Acts 27:9-20 reveals five things not to do if we want to keep the ship afloat:
Make decisions in haste (v. 9)
Depend upon worldly wisdom rather than godly wisdom (v. 11)
Take the easy way out (v. 12)
Follow the crowd (v. 12)
Depend upon circumstances (v. 13)
*If you want an in-depth study of these five things, we invite you to take our Email Challenge, “What Not to Do in a Storm.”
Verses 14-20 illustrate what happens when an ungodly man gets himself into a storm. His direction dissolves, his effort increases, resources are wasted, and he begins to lose hope. As a result, he becomes very foolish; he’ll try to abandon ship and escape.
But the godly will react differently to the storms, as Paul says in Acts 27:22, “But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost…”
Paul’s faith in God was stronger than his fear of the storm; as a result, God’s promise to see Paul through to Rome was fulfilled.
Adrian Rogers says, “Every bad decision they made could not overrule the will of God. Where God does not rule, He overrules.”
Apply it to your life
Are you riding out a storm you weren’t expecting? Depend upon godly wisdom and resist the temptation to take the easy way out. Do not depend upon your circumstances. Put your whole faith in God to see you through.
Yeah, many of us see difficulties in every opportunity. The apostle paul saw opportunity in every difficulty you put him in prison Soon he becomes the jailer. He’s singing songs in the night, you put him before King Agrippa and he’s the defendant. Before long, he’s the prosecuting attorney. He takes every opportunity and applies to it the word of God which says thanks be unto God, who cause of us. Always the triumph in christ, jesus. Adrian Rogers was a motivator, an encourager and a leader of the faith who presented a clear invitation to follow jesus at every opportunity. He was also passionate about presenting scriptural application to everyday life circumstances. And you’ll see that in this series of messages that were calling, how to weather the storms of life. Have your bible ready and join us for this study from God’s Word. Before we begin, remember, you can follow along with pastor Rogers outline notes, a transcript and other resources related to today’s message all at L WF dot org. Now let’s join Adrian Rogers take God’s word And turn with me please to ax the book of acts. Chapter 27, You know anything about the Book of Acts. You know that the Book of Acts is a narrative. It tells how the early church began to spread and it tells of the missionary journeys of the Apostle paul And in acts chapter 27, it tells of the Apostle Paul aboard a ship and that ship rides into the teeth of A ferocious storm. Now in this particular story before we break in. I want to remind you that the apostle paul is a prisoner, He’s been taken prisoner for preaching the Gospel of christ, and they’re taking him Tyrone to be adjudicated. He started out by the way on this ship as a prisoner, but we’re gonna find out before it was over. He was the captain. You know, paul was different than most of us. Many of us see difficulties in every opportunity. The apostle paul saw opportunity in every difficulty. Now, even before we read. Well, let’s just read a little bit here, look in verse 20 if you will, he describes the storm and when mitt, and when neither sun, the stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest liens. Now, folks, that’s just old english for saying it was a big one. No small tempest Leonis all hope that we should be saved, was then taken away. Maybe that’s where you are. I mean, you’re in the midst of a terrible storm, and all hope seems to vanish from you. But after long abstinence paul stood forth in the midst of them and said, Sir, she should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from crete to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you be of good cheer, for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For they stood by me this night, the Angel of God whose I am and whom I serve saying Fear not paul, for thou must be brought before caesar. And lo God hath given thee all them to say with the wherefore serves b good cheese for I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me. Well, let’s back up a little bit. And Basically three things I want you to see as we look in this passage of scripture today. First of all the reason for these kinds of storms. And secondly, I want you to see the reaction of people when they get into storms. Good people and bad people Godly and Godless. And then thirdly, I want you to see the result of the storm. What it does in the lives of those who are people of God and in the lives of those who don’t know the Lord. Now we all get into storms. Whether you saved a lot. Actually, basically, There are four basic kinds of storms in life. one just the normal storms that come because we’re part of nature. The bible says God makes it to rain upon the just and the unjust. And if you’re a human being, you live in a world that has storms just because we’re here. Well that’s one kind of storm we get into. There’s another kind of storm that we get into and these are the ones that we ourselves engineer by our foolishness and they’re caused by disobedience. And that’s the kind of a storm that Jonah got into when Jonah tried to flee from the presence of the Lord. You remember that story, He spent the night on the phone, blubber mattress. You remember? He he was swallowed by a whale. What was the problem with Jonah? He was out of the will of God and he ran right into the teeth of the storm. Now there’s a third kind of storm. They’re storms that God sends us into for development. Remember the story there in the gospels where jesus commanded his disciples to get in the ship to go to the other side of the sea and jesus knew that a storm was brewing but there he was trying to teach them a lesson for their development for their discipleship. And sometimes we do get into storms. Not because we’re out of the will of God like Jonah was, but because we’re in the will of God. But now here’s the here’s the fourth kind of storm we get into. We get into some storms because we’re dragged into them by other people. That’s where the apostle paul was. Now he was a prisoner but he was also a mariner. I mean he had had been through shipwrecks before he’d sailed before he was a seasoned traveler and he knew that this ship ought not to sail and he tried to warn everybody but they would listen to him. He was guarded by a centurion. He had to go along the higher power said we’re going to sail and he sailed with them. Look, if you will in verses nine and 10 now, when much time was spent because and when sailing was now dangerous. There’s a certain time in the Mediterranean, especially in those days, you didn’t sail because the fast was now already passed, paul admonished them and said unto them, sir, I perceive that this voyage will be with her and much damage not only of the lady in the ship, but also of our lives. Now. The Apostle paul had his spiritual radar. He would say, don’t sail, don’t sail. Don’t sail. But again, the matter was taken out of paul’s hands. There really wasn’t much he could do about it. Look in Verse 11. Nevertheless, the centurion believed the master and owner of the ship more than those things which were spoken by paul. Now you have a business man. He owns the ship. He’s a he is a shipping tycoon. He’s he’s motivated by profit. He’s led by whirly wisdom. It’s over here, you have the man of God and over here you have the man of the world. And the centurion has to make a decision. So he just says, well, I’m not gonna go with a religious fanatic. I’m not going to go with the prisoner, I’m going to go with the man who is obviously a successful man. He owns this ship. And so he said, we are going to sail. Now, let’s talk a little bit about the reaction are to the storms of life. How do people react? Well, let’s begin now in verse 14 and read through verse 21 but not long after their rose against it. A tempestuous wind called your Oakland. And when the ship was caught up and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. What does that mean? They couldn’t control it. I mean the wind just picks up the ship and they said, we can’t turn this way, we can’t turn that way and it’s just blown along by the storm. What’s the first thing happens to an ungodly man when he gets himself in a storm? Well, ah, they they just let her drive. What I mean by that is there are broken dreams, The old ship’s captain and owner and the centurion not as strong as they thought they were. The bible says they couldn’t bear up. I’ve seen it happen many times. These people, these moguls, these tycoons, these know it alls let the storm come and they find themselves now driven by winds that they cannot control. They’re at the mercy of forces that they cannot understand dimly comprehend. They’re aboard floundering vessel. Dreams dissolve. # two. They began to labor with a desperate effort. Look if you will in verse 16 and running under a certain island which is called Claudia. We had much work to come by the boat that is. They got on the lee side of that island and things lightened up a little bit and they said, hey, we’ve got to get this thing straightened out. And so now with beads of perspiration on their brow and their backs aching. They’re trying to get the tackle of the ship back together. They’re trying to get it all back together and they are working with much labor. You know what the devil will tell you, the devil will tell you. It is hard to be a christian. That is a lie, jesus said, take my yoke upon you and learn to me for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. The bible says the way of the transgressor is hard. I don’t mean there’s no discipline in being a christian. I don’t mean that at all. I don’t mean there’s no hardness in being a christian. Yes, were to endure hardness as good soldiers of jesus christ, but as far as the labor, the, the, the grueling gruesome toil that comes with sin, there’s so many people who are making this desperate effort to try to put things back together. The old devil has lied to you. But not only do dreams dissolve and not only does work increase, But resources are wasted. Look, if you will in verses 18 and following and being exceedingly tossed with the tempest the next day they lightened the ship, what does that mean? They started throwing stuff overboard And the 3rd day we cast out with our own hands. The tackling of the ship, why? they just they’re just dumping things into uh the ocean and then look in verse 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 taken away. But after long abstinence paul stood forth in the midst of them and said, Sirs, you should have hearkened unto me. Well, he said, I told you, I told you and and not have loosed from Crete. Now look at this last sentence now and not to have gained this harm and loss. one of the most costly things around is sin, sand. These people, they work and they waste, they’re throwing it overboard. Everything that they sought. What was so precious is not precious. Now, the worldly man spends the first half of his life gaining his wealth. He spends the last half of his life spending his wealth to get his health back. And he’s unhappy in both halves of his life. What a colossal waste it is. And you’ve got there are people sitting in this building who would give everything they possess right now to have their son sober again, to have their family back again, to have the emotional stability of a loved one restored again. But these people aboard this ship, they’re driven by the wind, They wander, they labor, they work, they throw it overboard. They waste. People talk about a war on poverty. You know what we need in America war on sand. The war on scene. I mean that when people get right with God, the bible says God takes pleasure in the prosperity of his servants and so their resources, our waste. And then they they they lose hope. Look, if you will, if you will in Verse 29 of the same chapter and fear, unless we should have fallen upon rocks, They cast out four anchors out of the stern and wished for the day, Oh, if I just had some light, if I just knew what to do, they rejected God’s light and now they find themselves in darkness. You see, listen, the sailors of that day, they didn’t have the modern instrumentation that we have today. They sail by the stars, the sun, the moon, the land, the shore. But the Bible tells us in verse 20, all these things disappear. They come all of the things that they said were so important. Their business charts, their surveys, their polls, all of these things, they’re gone. What do you do, dear friend, when the stars go out of your night and the sun disappears out of your day. These people in this stygian darkness wishing for the day, hopes vanish and then you know what they do. They get very foolish. They began to make foolish plans because they don’t have stars to steer by. And so there’s sort of an inner gyro that takes over. Look if you will in verses 30 and following. And as the shipment were about to flee out of the ship when they had let down the boat into the sea under color as though they would have cast anchors out of the flagship, paul said to the centurion to the soldiers, accept these abide in the ship, you cannot be saved. Now there were some sailors aboard. They said, let’s pretend we’re going to let an anchor out of the bow of the ship. There’s a little boat there, there’s a little lifeboat there, we’ll get in that lifeboat, we’ll get off this big ship. We escaped, paul said, you tell those guys, they don’t stay on the ship. There’s no hope at all. What was this? It was a form of escapism that was built upon selfishness. The wind is driving them along. They’re working, They’re throwing everything overboard. They can’t see which way to go. Do you know, people like that folks, the world is full of And it was a storm that they’ve been warned about to begin with not to get into it. Now, that’s how the Godless sometimes go through storms. But what about the Godly? Let’s see the old apostle paul here, this is a blessing to you. Look if to me, look, if you will in verse 22, here’s the apostle paul, he calls everybody all hands on deck. And the apostle paul says, I’ve got, I’ve got an announcement to make And now I exhort you be of good cheer. Can you imagine a man saying that in the in the midst of these problems? Now today there’s some of us, they think we’re just Pollyanna. They think we don’t know what we’re talking about. When we when we give a good message. In the midst of the days that we’re in, there are three classes in America, those who are afraid, those who don’t know enough to be afraid and those who know their bibles, here’s the apostle paul. He says, be of good cheer for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you. But of the ship that is the ship is going to be lost. For he says, for they stood by me this night, the Angel of God whose I am and whom I serve. So the Angel of God, here was the Lord jesus, Does he belong to jesus? And the Lord jesus got on board that ship with the apostle paul and and he says, Don’t be afraid for Paul. And then again in verse 25, he gives that message that he often gives when we’re in the midst of the storm. Be of good cheer paul, who puts that smile on your face in the midst of the storm paul says the same one that gave me songs in the night when I was in a dungeon in philippi, his name is jesus. I see the apostle paul walking on the deck of that ship, quoting the word of God psalm 107 verses 23. And following they that go down to the sea and ships, they they do business in great waters. These see the wonders of the Lord and his wonders in the deep for he commanded and raises the stormy wind which lift us up the winds there of they mount up to the heavens, they go down again into the depths. Their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man and are at their wits in. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble and he brings them out of their distresses. He makes it the storm of calm so that the ways thereof are still then, Are they glad because they be quiet for he bring with them under their desired hate difference in the reaction of those who know the Lord and those who don’t know the Lord when they get in the storm. Maybe if you’re in a storm right now, you might want to read this song. It would be a great blessing to your psalm 107. Now let’s go to the last thing very quickly. What was the result of the storm? Well, look again, if you will in verse 23 for they stood by me this night, the angel of God whose I am and whom I serve saying Fear not paul. Now folks underscore this right now for thou must be brought before season Now, who was season? He’s a roman emperor. Where did he live in Rome? Where was the ship? Hidden? Toward Rome? Toward Italy God says paul, that’s where you are going. Now, listen to me folks, God had a plan and God’s plan was to get paul to Rome In Acts chapter 23: verse 11. God had said to paul, thou must bear witness also at Rome, no ifs ands and buts about it. God had predetermined that In Acts 28 verse 14 After this 27th chapter it says and and so we went toward Rome. Now listen your past. I don’t know a better illustration in the word of God than this. That shows divine sovereignty and human responsibility at the same time, was it God’s plan that that ship set sail? No, God had told paul with spiritual radar don’t sail. That was not the plan of a loving God. But did that stop God’s ultimate plan? Absolutely not. What was on that ship? Paul was on that ship. I’ll tell you what else was on that ship. Ephesians and Philippians and colossians was on that ship. I’ll tell you what else was on that ship. The gospel of luke And the Book of Acts was on that ship. I’ll tell you what else was on that ship? The sovereign will of Almighty God. And every bad decision they made could not overrule the will of God. Isn’t that amazing where God does not rule God. Overrules. Do you ever get on one of these great big airplanes going overseas, say 747, you can sleep and get a drink of water, eat or not, eat, have a coke or a coffee, whatever you want. But friend, while you’re making all those little decisions, that old ship is just that airplane is just headed to a certain airport. I mean, there’s there’s a there’s a pilot that is carrying that ship. There’s a predetermined plan that is taking that ship to that airport and on board you say, well, I’m making this decision and that decision, but at the same time there’s another power. Let’s just bring it on now. You listen, listen, we serve a mighty God. Christians may fail. They may flounder, they may sin, but if they belong to jesus christ, there’s a sovereign power that says one day, my child will be just like my son, the Lord jesus. And all hell can’t stop. We are predestined to be conformed to the image of God’s son. The old The old Church. The wonderful Church. The Church founded by the Lord jesus christ. Sometimes the church makes so many bad decisions. So many times. We fail so many times we do things we ought not to do as a church. And I’m talking about the Church in general. But you know what jesus said, jesus Said upon this rock, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against God is building for himself a bride and all. Hell can’t stop and all of the rulers of this world and all of these people who are against our Lord and his christ read song too. Oh they make their their rules, their laws against our Lord. They don’t want him, they don’t want his commandments, they don’t want his word, they don’t want his morality. And they say let us break his bonds a sunday And cast them from us. And yet God says in Psalm two. Yet have I set my son upon my holy hill of Zion and jesus will reign where the sun doth his successive journeys run, his kingdom spread from shore to shore. Still moon shall wax and wane. No more folks, You listen to me win our own the winning side, He cannot fail. He must prevail. There was a storm. But paul said so we went to Rome paul said, be of good cheer. I believe God verse 11 says the centurion believed the owner of the ship. You know what? All life comes down to just who you believe. Just who do you believe, paul said, Ha believe don’t make the mistake believing the wrong person, because if you do, you may be engineering a storm that you’re not like at all. Our heads in prayer, heads about and eyes are closed. Why don’t you say in your heart right now. I believe God in the midst of the storm. I believe God Before the storm After the storm I believe God I’m taking my stand on the word of God. And if you’ve never been saved, listen now not to the words of some college professor or some business expert, listen to the words of God. Believe on the Lord jesus christ, thou shalt be saved. Say it. I believe God pray come into my heart. Lord jesus come now forgive my sins save me. Thank you for dying for my sin. I believe you’re the son of God. I believe that God raised you from the dead and now today I receive you as my Lord and savior. Help me never to be ashamed of you because you died for me in your name. I pray well, amen thank God for these. And this beautiful worship center who prayed as christ to come into the heart and many of you may have done the same thing. Here’s the wonderful news the bible says for who so ever shall call upon. The name of the Lord shall be saved and friend that includes you. And if you prayed with us and asked christ to save you, would you write us and let us know so we can rejoice. We’ll send you some literature to help you to get started in your christian life. We hope that today’s message has been an encouragement to you. And if so you can strain this message again as well as other messages from this series and download other resources related to this message all at L WF dot org or the my L WF app. While you’re there, be sure to check out our new bible studies on this series as well as many other topics at L WF dot org. You can also subscribe to our daily heartbeat. Email. Each heartbeat contains a devotional message from Adrian Rogers, a 92nd inspirational audio clip also from Adrian Rogers, as well as a link to our daily radio program, all in one place, delivered directly to your computer or mobile device each day. And don’t forget you can catch up with our program each week on our facebook page or Youtube channel or on the my L WF app. Thanks for joining us for today’s message. We’ll see you next time. Wisdom is in itself a treasure. You have gold not have wisdom and die rich food. But if you have wisdom, you are wealthy because you’re able to see life from God’s point of view. See life from God’s point of view with God’s hidden treasures. A book of inspirational and devotional thoughts from Adrian Rogers with brevity and lighthearted warmth. Adrian Rogers guides readers towards faith, wisdom, peace and joy for your gift of any amount. We’d love to send you God’s hidden treasures call us at 1 806 47 94 100. Or give online at L WF dot org God’s abundance awaits to be discovered. Find God’s hidden treasures. Call or go online today.