The Storm-Tossed Ship

Open Your Bible

Acts 27:1-44, Acts 28:1-10, Mark 16:17-18, Luke 12:4-7

When my dad met me in the courtyard to walk me down the aisle at my wedding, his face was green—literally green. 

In celebration of my pending nuptials he joined my groom-to-be and all of the groomsmen on a wedding day deep sea fishing excursion. That’s how we learned that the deep sea is no place for my dad. He became so seasick that his skin looked green, even hours after the boat returned to the dock. 

When I read about Paul’s sailing “adventures” in Acts 27–28, my dad’s seasick face comes to mind. As one often does when recounting something harrowing, the writer of these verses shares every detail. His descriptive words paint a picture of a trip gone terribly wrong: Dangerous. Disaster. Unsuitable. Fierce. Severely battered. Raging.

What my dad endured was nothing like what Paul and his companions went through. Yet we can all picture ourselves in the eye of a terrible storm. No, I’ve never been stuck at sea. I’ve never clung to a physical mast while winds and waves blocked the stars from my view, but I know how it feels to be storm tossed, to be pummeled by the tempests of life and wonder if I would survive. I think of the storm of my parent’s divorce. The storm of hearing that my child might not make it. The storm of painful church conflict. The storm of a severed friendship. The storm of cultural upheaval. The storm of my mother’s illness.

Because the storms keep raging, we all know how it feels when “all hope [is] fading that we [can] be saved” (Acts 27:20). As I consider the storm-tossed life, the story of Paul’s shipwreck tosses me a life raft of hope. Consider your own rough seas as you reflect on Acts 27:43–44. 

But the centurion kept them from carrying out their plans because he wanted to save Paul, and so he ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. The rest were to follow, some on planks and some on debris from the ship. In this way, everyone safely reached the shore. 

Though the going is rarely easy, the Lord who commands the seas and the storms always keeps us from sinking. Though we may be battered and bruised by our brokenness, still we can cling to hope in Christ. In every storm He is our anchor and the storm-tossed life will not end with our demise. Today we can keep paddling homeward even if we’re only clinging to the planks of our hope. Because Christ has promised the storms will not sink us. Someday we will safely reach heaven’s shore.

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38 thoughts on "The Storm-Tossed Ship"

  1. Angela Flowers says:

    I’m so thankful for his guidance and presence during storms! May I always be aware that he is there when I’m going through them.

  2. Aimee D-R says:

    Father let me always have faith and hope and trust like Paul. In Jesus name, Amen

  3. Taylor says:

    The Lord is faithful, and He will keep us from sinking. He is our only hope in the storm !

  4. Elaine Morgan says:

    I love today’s study! How can anyone read stories like this and say that life as a Christian is boring?!! People think they have to give up adventure and fun and all the enjoyment of life to follow Christ. If they would just read the Bible and listen to all the stories of how God works in our lives through the Holy Spirit and Jesus they would see how much more exciting it can be. Sure, we have brokenness and tribulations to deal with but the difference is that we have assurance that no matter what happens we have God as our Father and His promises are true. Oh to have the faith of Paul! Have a God filled day dear sisters!

  5. Penny Courtney says:

    Hanging onto the Plank of Hope, my Jesus, our Lord. He will get me safely to Shore.

  6. ERB says:

    I also really appreciated how Mark 16:17-18 tied in with the first few verses in Acts 28. Such a great and powerful reminder as well as a testimony!!! SO Good!!!

  7. ERB says:

    I know this is going to seem silly compared to the craziness of the raging storm that was going on in chapter 27 but the verse that stood out to me the most was this one:
    “Some sailors tried to escape from the ship; they had let down the skiff into the sea, pretending that they were going to put out anchors from the bow.” (Acts 27:30)
    It made me ask myself how many time had I done this? Pretended to be doing something when really I was doing something else… and also, how many times have I tried to escape and rescue myself instead of trusting & obeying God and letting Him rescue me…
    Wow. God forgive my arrogance!
    Help me to TRUST in and OBEY You and You alone!! Help me to clearly recognize, hear & discern YOU in the people you have placed in my life and surrounded me with. I want ears that hear and eyes that see. Thank You Lord. Amen!

  8. Jessica Fehland says:

    Thank you God for knowing us fully! For rescuing and sheltering us from the storms