In the 27th chapter of Acts, we are told that Paul, along with several other prisoners, was placed on a ship headed for Rome. After several days of slow sailing, the weather changed abruptly. A light breeze quickly turned to gale force winds, and then strengthened to a wind of typhoon strength. The storm continued for many days and the crew and passengers of the ship were filled with fear—except for Paul. An angel had appeared to Paul one night, offering words of assurance from God that they would all survive and arrive safely in Rome. Paul confidently shared the message with the ship’s crew, telling them that things were going to be rough, and the ship would eventually go down, but everyone on board would be okay. But the storm continued, and as the ship grew closer to land the sailors were again filled with fear.
29 At this rate they were afraid we would soon be driven against the rocks along the shore, so they threw out four anchors from the back of the ship and prayed for daylight.
30 Then the sailors tried to abandon the ship; they lowered the lifeboat as though they were going to put out anchors from the front of the ship. 31 But Paul said to the commanding officer and the soldiers, “You will all die unless the sailors stay aboard.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes to the lifeboat and let it drift away. ~Acts 27:29-32 NLT
In the morning, the ship made its way toward the land. It ran aground too soon and began to break apart, but everyone aboard either swam or floated on debris, and made it safely ashore.
Paul knew that the sailors needed to stay with the boat and trust the anchors to keep them away from danger, while they waited out the long and difficult night. How could he be so sure? Paul’s confidence came from his trust in an even greater anchor. He was anchored by the words of God, sent to him through an angel. Paul knew that the words, and the Sender, could always be trusted.
We are living through some very challenging times right now and many of you may feel like you are adrift at sea, facing a long and stormy night. You may feel like the winds are going to overtake you, the waves are going to wash you away, or that your ship is breaking apart as it crashes against the turmoil you are facing daily. It’s time to drop anchor, and trust that anchor to keep you safely afloat until the morning comes again.
Where can you find an anchor you can trust? In the Word of God. Scripture is filled with promises and words of hope and assurance, such as these:
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. Hebrew 6:19a NLT
Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. ~Romans 15:4 NLT
Many of you may have special Bible verses that bring you strength, comfort, hope, assurance, or courage. You may have memorized them, so that when things are tough, you can call on just the right verse to keep you securely anchored during whatever storm you’re facing. Here are a few that I find especially relevant right now: Philippians 4:13, Isaiah 40:31; 41:10, Joshua 1:9, Romans 8:35-39, and Psalm 28:7. I hope you will take the time to look them up.
What are your anchor verses? Are they holding you in place during your storms? If you don’t have any verses to anchor you right now, ask a friend what some of her favorite verses are, or search for verses related to what you’re going through (Google is great for this).
Yes, we are in the midst of some serious storms. Let’s be anchored in the Word of God as we face these storms together.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. ~Psalm 119:105 NLT
Be blessed and be well.