Last time, we started to look at what Acts 27 shows us about the Apostle Paul as a humble hero. So, what are the traits of a humble hero?
The first trait we see in the text is that a humble hero has utter confidence in the Word of God.
You can see this very clearly in vv. 23-25.
23 For last night an angel of the God I belong to and serve stood by me 24 and said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul. It is necessary for you to appear before Caesar. And indeed, God has graciously given you all those who are sailing with you.’
25 So take courage, men, because I believe God that it will be just the way it was told to me.
This is truly a profound statement, and for two reasons.
The first is that the circumstances were truly dire. They were set in a harbor they could winter in, but also were at a point in the season where it was risky to sail. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, they made a choice and held on for their lives, but eventually all hope was lost.
Feel the weight of their situation in v. 20.
20 For many days neither sun nor stars appeared, and the severe storm kept raging. Finally all hope was fading that we would be saved.
The second reason Paul’s statement is fascinating is that Paul himself had looked at these circumstances rather objectively and concluded that they really were in a terrible spot. He saw all of it coming. Look at v. 10.
“Men, I can see that this voyage is headed toward disaster and heavy loss, not only of the cargo and the ship but also of our lives.”
So for Paul to say in vv. 23-25, “I believe God that it will be different than what we all see before us” … is truly a remarkable statement of faith … of confidence in God’s Word to trump our read on the circumstances.
Church family, this text causes me to wonder if we actually believe in the Word of God?
I wonder if we look at the circumstances of our lives and say with Paul, “I believe God that it will be just the way it was told to me.”
Can we be like Adam, who named his wife and bore children with her because he believed the word of God when God said, “You will have offspring who will one day crush the head of the serpent” (Genesis 3)?
Can we be like Abraham, who left everything because He believed God when God said, “I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12)?
Could we be like Joseph, who never lost hope in Pharaoh’s prison because He believed God when God said, “You will be the greatest of your brothers” (Genesis 37-50)?
Can we be like Moses, who walked right into Pharaoh’s throne room at risk of his own life and demanded he let the Jews go because He believed God when God said, “I will lead you out of Egypt into a promised land.” (Exodus)?
Can we believe God when He tells us He is our strength (Philippians 4:13)?
Can we believe God when He tells us He will never leave us (Deuteronomy 31:6)?
Can we believe God when He tells us that He hears our prayers and His very Son is interceding on our behalf (John 14:13-14)?
Can we believe God when He tells us that He will be our peace (John 14:27)?
Can we believe God’s Word? Or are we more interested in reading the tea leaves than we are the Bible’s pages?
A biblical hero does not depend on his own inherent ability to read the tea leaves, but rather has confidence in what God says the circumstances will be.
Rob is Teaching Pastor at Blackman Baptist Church.