“Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”
Paul found himself in a precarious situation. He was on a ship to Rome with several other prisoners to be tried for the accusations that were charged against him. He warned the centurions that they should not set sail because of a storm that would hurt and damage the ship and those inside of it. Yet, they didn’t listen to him, and they set sail only to find that Paul was right and that they were in the midst of a great storm that was about to sink the ship.
The encouraging words that I find in this verse is that Paul said, “I believe God.” In the midst of a violent storm that seemingly would take his life, he believed God would get Him to Rome, and that they would somehow make it to land. His belief in God was founded to be right when they all made it to land, even though the ship had been broken. Several situations are revealed in this incident in Paul’s life that should teach the believer to believe in God in spite of what they face. Let me share these times with you.
First, believe God when fear tells you to doubt God. God told Paul in verse 24, “Fear not…” When your circumstances of life are causing you to fear, you can believe that God is there to help you in those scary times. Fear may have a good case that you won’t make it, but God can make the solid case against you disappear. You will never go wrong by trusting God instead of listening to the voices of fear.
Second, believe God when the experts tell you it won’t happen. Paul was told that the ship was going to sink, but he believed God. God has a way of making the experts look like fools. When the experts say that it can’t happen and God says that it can happen, you would be wise to look like a fool to the experts and trust God.
Third, believe God when storms are driving your life. Paul didn’t say that he believed God when times were easy, but he believed God in the storm. It’s easy to say that you believe God when there are no storms in life, but the test of your belief in God is established when you still believe Him in spite of the storm. Just because the storm may be tempestuous doesn’t mean that God can’t get you through the storm. God is stronger than any storm that you will face, and you would be wise to trust God and what He tells you to do in those storms if you want to make it through the storm.
Fourth, believe God when others around you doubt God. Paul was the only one who believed God’s promise to deliver them, but that didn’t stop him from believing God. Don’t let the doubt of those around you to stop believing God. You are always right even if you are the only one who believes God. Certainly, the doubt of those around you can be troublesome, but don’t let their lack of faith cause your faith to waver.
Fifth, believe God when all hope seems to be gone. All hope that Paul would make it to shore alive was gone, but that didn’t stop him from believing God. Hope may seem to be a distant light that is fading away, but the light will never go away as long as you have your hope in God.
My friend, I don’t know what you are facing today, but let me encourage you to continue to believe in God. The circumstances you face may dictate that there is no hope for your situation, but believe God that He will be there with you and will help you through it.