Take Courage


Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.

~Acts 27:25, NASB


God’s aim is to grow your faith and sometimes, that means removing visible evidence so that you rely upon His word.

~Charles Stanley {Every Day In His Presence, p.120}

Paul had a quiet confidence that God was working through all the circumstance to bring about something good. Let’s face the facts; it is hard to see anything good in the story. They are in a horrific storm. They have not seen the moon nor the stars for two weeks. Ancient mariners navigated by the stars. This means that the ship was out of control and at the mercy of the sea and the wind. They have thrown the tackle and cargo overboard. Practically all hope of survival was gone. It was a dark and foreboding situation but in the midst of the terror, Paul stands and speaks courage to the crew and the passengers on board. He had no visible manifestation but the angel of the LORD did appear to him the night before and say, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has graciously granted you all those who are sailing with you.” So Paul didn’t see stars or a calm sea; all he had was God’s word but for Paul, that was enough.

I admit, I am hard on Paul at times: he was a hard-headed, obnoxious Jew. I don’t question his spirituality, his intellect or his devotion to Christ. I have said many times: if I had the choice of going on a mission trip with Paul or Barnabas, I would take Barnabas. I would probably be a John Mark if I sailed with Paul because Paul was OCD to the max. An over zealous ball of energy who expected everyone in his presence to march to the beat of his drum. But when it comes to a battle tested faith, I have to tip my hat to Paul. Paul did not record these things about himself; it is Luke who gives us the details and in this storm Paul shines; he becomes the light, the hope and the courage of the crew. Paul was not a sailor; matter of fact, he preferred walking to sailing but he became the captain of this ship. He became the visible leader and it was due to his incredible faith. I don’t know what Paul was thinking during the darkness of those two weeks, bobbing up and down on an angry sea, like a cork on a fishing line, but he may have thought about Philippi: “At least I am not in a prison cell, chained to the wall.” There is no doubt that the previous test forged the faith that took command of that ship and lead them to safety. Now would I take a back seat if Paul walked into the room? Oh, yes! Would I question him or talk about his OCD or mannerisms? Oh no! I may try to avoid him when I get to heaven. Do you think he will chew me out? I hope he doesn’t read this blog. He was a man of incredible faith and that I do admire.


Another good weekend report: The LORD is good which is easy for me to say. Our attendance was down a little but we had over $1,000 given to the building fund and we had a good service. I helped Spencer yesterday evening with Dan Breeding’s grave side. Spencer did the message inside and did an excellent job. I got to sit with the Cole family and it was good fellowship. We had a good service last night at DBC. I may have said too much but it is water over the dam and I will have to live with the consequences.

We do have friends that are hurting. We cannot forget them: they are on our mind and our heart. I pray for them all to have a good day. They do have one advantage; they are living one day at a time and that is how we should all be living. When I pray for Mrs. Edith she tells me before I pray…”Bro. Jack, pray that I will be nice today.” It is a good prayer for us all. As Paul said in Ephesians, Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

Have a great week: thanks for reading the blog.

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