Stay on the Ship!

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Friday, March 01, 2019

Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” Acts 27:31

My first motorcycle ride was a scary experience. I was in the back of a friend who wanted to take me for a ride around the mountains of West Virginia. The ride was tumultuous, to say the least. At the beginning of the ride, I thought about jumping off the motorcycle because I was afraid of crashing. But I knew my best chance of making it through that experience safe was to say on the bike until the end of the ride.

In today’s text, Paul is on a ship on his way to Rome with some other prisoners. Then a storm arose that threatened all the passengers on board. After throwing the cargo and food overboard, the passengers gave up hope of being saved. When they got closer to land on the fourteenth night, the passengers were tempted to jump off the ship to avoid the shipwreck. However, Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers that unless these men stay with the boat, they will not be saved.

Paul knew the ship would not wreck because the angel of the Lord told him that everyone on board would be safe. He trusted God to honor his word and believed that he would make it to Rome safe so he can stand trial before Caesar. And though it seemed that the ship would wreck because of the storm, Paul knew that the safest place for all the passengers was on the boat.

Sometimes, it may seem as if the best thing to do is to walk away from our spiritual convictions and compromise our integrity to achieve our goals. The enemy can pressure us to jump off the ship of our marriage or our ministry. We may feel like quitting on God, and the people he has called us to serve may be our best alternative. Yet it is only when we stay on God’s ship that we are guaranteed to make it to our eternal destination.

I must admit, staying on God’s ship can be troubling and frightening at times. When a loved one faces a terminal disease, or we lose our employment, or we’ve been deceived by a spouse or passed over for a promotion, we can quickly become tempted to find short-cuts to soften our pain. At times, the looming disaster can look so real that staying the course may not seem like a viable option. It is in those times we have to remember that he who can calm any storm is the captain of our ship. Therefore, we should not be afraid when the tempest of life rises against us, and we feel as if we are on the verge of a shipwreck.

Paul teaches us that the secret place of the Most High God is the best place to be when our lives are upended by a storm. Jumping off the ship would have been far more hazardous for the men than staying on board. Because the other passengers on the ship listened to Paul, none of them perished. In verse 41, the boat struck a sandbar and ran aground. All the passengers landed safely.

As I look back at my first motorcycle ride experience, I realize that staying on the motorcycle saved my life. Of course, I have not ridden on a motorcycle ever since. But at least I’ve lived to tell about that experience. When we stay the course amid a storm, we develop the vocabulary to help others with our testimony.

It saddens my heart when I hear of people who stopped going to church because they had a bad experience at a local church. That is precisely what the enemy wants people to do. He wants us to turn our backs on God and his Church. We cannot let him push us out of God’s church and away from God’s people. One bad church experience does not mean the Church of Jesus Christ is bad. One may have to go to another local church, but we should never forsake corporate fellowship and corporate worship.

As Christians, we should walk by faith and not by sight. Things will sometimes look petrifying and feel overwhelming. But those who trust in the Lord will never grow weary and be defeated. Those who stay onboard of God’s celestial ship may endure hardships and face trials. Though they go through sickness or financial difficulties or heartbreaks and disappointments or even death; yet they are guaranteed the crown of eternal life because of their faithfulness to the Lord.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help us to remain on the path of righteousness when we struggle to stay on course as trouble like the sea billows roll into our lives.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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