When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.”

Acts 27:20–25 ESV Read More

There are so many times in Paul’s trial where you might ask “Who is really in charge here?” This is one of them!

This boat is basically like a big oval dock at this point. It is staying right side up because of all of the wheat in the bottom, but it’s getting thrown around like a rubber ducky in a little kid’s bathtub. Their only hope is to be saved by a better ship or to run aground on a good coast.

And then Paul gets up with the greatest, Holy-Spirit-inspired words ever.

I told you!

But he says this for all of the right reasons. He’s not dumping shame or exalting himself. He’s the Apostle Paul. He’s building an argument. But instead of an argument to convince them to do what he wants, he’s arguing for their encouragement and hope.

They know, if they have talked to him or heard his case, that he’s a holy man that claims to live a life in obedience to a divine being. With the authority of his “I told you so” he relays to them the words he got from God.

The best part, God has ‘granted’ Paul all of those that are sailing with him. They are his. Paul doesn’t lord that over them, but instead helps them, as people entrusted to his care, to see some hope and a path out of this mess.

His confidence and calm in the situation also help his authority. If he was always running around in a panic saying “Everything’s going to be ok. We’re going to be fine. We’ll be fine. I know it.” I’m not sure anybody would have believed him. I think we’ve all experienced somebody that’s doom and gloom or artificially happy and sappy at some point. It’s hard to take them seriously, isn’t it? It’s like crying wolf.

But when your serious and even-keeled friend says, “This is going to be a real problem.” That’s when you run out and buy all of the toilet paper and 50-pound bags of rice that you can find.

Paul’s authority over that ship came from God, but the fact that he presented it with calm humility helped the rest of the crew see it.

He was able to show it that way because he had full faith in God — that what God said was true. The rest of the crew seeing it is what helped them all survive.

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