August 3

Acts 27:23-25 23Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.' 25So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.

When Paul returned to Jerusalem, James and the elders encouraged him to go to the temple with others for rights of purification. They reasoned that this would show the Jewish believers that Paul was one with them in keeping the Law. Some Jews from Asia spotted Paul. Making false claims, they stirred the crowd into a frenzy almost killing him. The Romans came to the rescue. After numerous indecisive trials, Paul appealed to Rome.

On the way to Rome, the ship ran into a fierce storm. Everyone gave up hope of surviving, but Paul had seen a messenger of the Lord. In the morning he gathered them and told them of the visitation. This angel told Him the same thing Jesus had said to the disciples when they thought He was a ghost walking on the lake. "Do not be afraid!" God sees your situation and is there with you.

Paul was told that he had a job yet to do in testifying to Caesar, but He also said that God had graciously given him the lives of all who sailed with him. Paul must have been praying for them. What a testimony he was to the soldiers and other prisoners! Everything he said came to pass. His peace in the storm, his prayers for them, and his testimony on the island surely won a number of them to Jesus. Paul passed on to them what he has obtained from the Lord, courage and faith.

Remember: When we face the inevitable difficulties of life, let us follow this Christ centered example. Pray for others. Hear from the Lord and pass on the faith and courage that He imparts to you for a testimony to those around you.