It Could Have Been Worse But God by Jonathon Wright
Acts 27 starts with Paul getting on a ship headed to Italy, where he would stand trial before Caesar in Rome. These were unsettling times for Paul. He may have felt uneasy, but had faith that God would see him through no matter the outcome. Little did Paul know that his trip to Rome would not go as planned. He would face many adversities and even a hurricane of epic proportions. I am sure had he known this, he would have been so eager to look into the eye of this storm.
We have all seen the devastation these types of storms can produce. You would not catch me on any kind of boat in the middle of a hurricane. Even if it was a large ocean cruise liner or ship navigated by the Phoenicians, who were legendary seamen. This storm could have easily snuffed out their lives in two seconds. But God did many things to help them to get through the dangers that awaited. All this leads me to make a few statements that start with the phrase, it could have been worse but God.
It could have been worse, but God surrounded Paul with good friends.
Notice verses 2-3 of this chapter.
2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us.
3 The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs.
(The author describes Paul in the third person and then says we. Many understand this to be Luke because of the similar opening addresses between the Gospel of Luke and Acts. Aristarchus from Thessalonica is also with them.)
Shortly after this, a centurion named Julius allowed Paul to go see his friends to help with Paul’s needs.
God even used Julius to help spare Paul’s life when others wanted to kill the prisoners. I am glad Julius was not a fair-weather friend like some other thugs in this story. We make our problems and the lives of those around us worse by not caring and helping. These are things God calls us to do.
It could have been worse, but God had a plan.
After 14 days, the storm showed no sign of lessening. Most of the men had lost all hope of being saved. I am sure in their minds, things could not have been any worse. But little did they realize that God was speaking to Paul and that God had a plan for Paul and those on the ship. The Lord stood by Paul and helped them survive this tsunami of a storm.
In Philippians 1:13-14, Paul mentions palace guards knowing that Paul was in chains for Christ. His stance for Christ was giving others the courage to proclaim the gospel without fear. I wonder if Julius eventually turned to Christ because of all that he saw in Paul’s life. There is a good possibility. Philippians 4:22 mentions some in the family of Caesar coming to Christ and sending greeting. It could have been worse, but God had a plan for them and the Gospel to go to Rome and the ends of the world.
It could have been worse, but God spoke to Paul through an angel and stood by him. We may not all have the privilege of hearing God or an angel speak. But we do have the words of God right by our side. The Word of God is supposed to encourage our hearts, lift our spirits, and help grow our faith. If we do not open His book and meditate on His Word, how can we live the abundant life He has promised to give us? As we come into this New Year, may we commit to being the kind, good people God has called us to be. When we do this, we are making the world a better place. It could be worse, but God and His people were there and here even today.Try Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks