...we finally gave up all hope of being saved.
That's how the NIV worded the last phrase of Acts 27:20. Other versions said hope was gradually abandoned, taken away, and disappearing. The circumstance for these dire sentiments was a storm on a tempestuous sea. Sailors, soldiers, and prisoners were in dread for their lives. The ship, on the verge of coming apart, was held together only by ropes.
The words were penned by the physician Luke, a friend and traveling companion of the apostle Paul. Luke was familiar with harrowing experiences. Paul was a magnet. No doubt, he shared many experiences with Paul where death was a probable outcome. Curiously, even though he had seen God work, and he had faith in God's protection, Luke confessed 'we' finally gave up hope. I don't know if Luke intentionally or unintentionally included Paul among those who had given up hope.
Finally, in the midst of the storm, God gave a word to Paul. Paul was told not to be afraid. God still intended that he should witness to Caesar and his household. But, there was going to be a little detour. That detour was the island of Malta. After days and days of fighting against the storm, they were at last able to see a beach. Land HO!
Why are there so many songs about storms? Because we have all experienced them. Why must we endure storms? Because they accomplish God's purposes.
In Acts 28, after arriving on Malta, Paul has the opportunity to heal the father of the island's leader, Publius. Many others with diseases were cured as well. Publius became a believer, and history indicates he was even a martyr for his faith. Without the storm, Paul would have missed Publius and the island of Malta.
As we search for hope in the storm, God has his eyes on the hopeless. As our hope of rescue disappears, God prepares us to bring salvation to others.
Tree63 has a new album called Land and a new song called The Storm.