I. PAUL IS ON HIS WAY TO ROME TO BEAR WITNESS OF JESUS CHRIST.
A. He is going as a prisoner because of his appeal to Caesar.
1. A Roman centurion named Julius, who was of the royal guard, has been given the responsibility to see that Paul gets to Rome.
2. There are other prisoners traveling with them.
3. Julius seems to respect Paul and treated him very kindly.
4. When they had stopped in Sidon he allowed Paul the freedom to visit with the Christians who were there.
B. The journey up the coast has been slow because they were sailing into the winds, thus much tacking.
1. They finally arrived to the port in Myra where they got on a larger cargo ship that was transporting grain from Egypt to Italy.
2. They were still having trouble with the winds thus the journey was very slow.
3. They finally arrived at a place called fair havens but because it was getting late in the year Paul warned them about trying to go any further.
4. The captain and owner of the ship with the crew convinced the Centurion that they knew more about the seas than Paul, so they set sail intending to make it to another port on the island of Crete, the harbor called Phenice which was a much better place to spend the winter.
C. They had hardly begun the journey before a north easterner began to blow, it was almost of hurricane force.
1. They could not bear up to the wind so they decided to just let the wind drive them.
2. They undergirded the ship with ropes and began to throw overboard the tackling to lighten the ship so that they could ride higher on the water.
3. After many days the storm had not abated and they began to give up hope of ever making it out of the storm alive.
II. AT THIS POINT PAUL TOOK CHARGE.
A. We are told that he stood forth in the midst of them and said, "You should have listened to me and not tried to sail from Crete, you would not have suffered this loss. But be of good cheer for though the ship will be wrecked, there will be no loss of life. For last night there stood by me the angel of God, whose I am and who I serve. He told me not to fear for I must stand before Caesar. He said that all that are with me will be saved, there will be no loss of life. I believe God that it will be just as it was told to me. Paul then encouraged them to eat something.
1. During the fierce storm none of them had much of an appetite. They had probably all been pretty sea sick.
2. But Paul began to eat some hard tack, and he encouraged the others to eat.
III. THINGS TO NOTE.
A. Paul was in this vicious storm by no cause of his own. Paul had warned them not to sail.
1. The Lord does not always deliver us from the storms of life. Nor does He promise to do so.
2. Sometimes we experience severe storms where we realize that we have no control over the situation.
a. We feel that our life is out of control.
b. We are driven by circumstances beyond our control.
3. We read that they did not see the sun nor stars for many days. They seemed to be engulfed in darkness.
a. So with our lives, there are times when we can not see the light, we can not see any purpose for the trials that we are experiencing.
b. Everything seems to be dark around us.
4. They had given up hope of ever surviving, they thought that surely they would go down with the ship.
B. The Lord was with Paul in the storm.
1. Though he did not deliver him from being in the storm, He was with him in the storm, and comforted Him with the assurance that he would survive the storm.
a. So with our lives, the Lord does not promise deliverance from the storms.
b. None of us are immune from the storms of life.
c. But the Lord will be with us in the storm.
d. He has promised, "I will never leave you or forsake you."
2. Your work for the Lord is not over. You must be brought before Caesar.
a. There are times when because of the storms, we feel that our work for the Lord is over.
b. I will never survive this one.
c. Paul's ministry was not over. The Lord had purposed that Paul give a witness of Jesus Christ to Caesar Nero.
3. There was a second must. You must be cast up on a certain island.
a. We realize that they are not being driven aimlessly as they thought, but that the Lord through the storm is bringing them to an island where the Lord is going to open the door to Paul for a great ministry.
b. We often do not see the purpose behind the storms in our lives.
c. I believe that it is interesting that the purpose was not revealed until the next chapter.
4. So often this is the actual case in our lives. Everything seems to be darkness, we have not been able to see the light for a long season, we have given up hope. We begin to sink into despair.
a. The Lord came to Paul and said, "Cheer up." It's not over Paul, there are a couple musts. You must appear before Caesar, and you must be cast up on a certain island.
b. The next chapter is going to be very exciting as you will be bringing My work, My Word, and My love to hundreds of people as well as to the governor on the Island of Melita.
c. The next chapter will glorious as you see the Lord at work through your life.
C. Later when Paul wrote his letter to the church in Philippi from his prison cell in Rome, he said to them, "I want you to understand that the things that happened to me have resulted in the furtherance of the gospel. So that by my bonds, Christ has been manifested in all the palace.
1. As we had earlier mentioned the Roman centurion Julius who was in charge of getting Paul to Rome, was drawn to Paul in the beginning. But he now had seen Paul in action as the servant of Jesus Christ ministering the healing of Christ to the hundreds on the island of Melita.
2. Julius as we told you was one of the Palace guards, I believe that he began to witness to others of this man that he had brought to Rome and I expect to meet Julius in heaven.
3. Through temporal hardships and storms God so often works.