Corona virus is causing people to panic. Hoarding and paranoia have become the norm in the past few weeks.
I encourage Christians to be the symbol of peace during these times because our faith declares that God is in control over all our circumstances.
To remind us of the proper way to act in critical times, let’s observe how the apostle Paul behaved during one of the hardest moments of his life.
We can find this story in Acts 27.
The Romans were transporting Paul to Rome when they faced the storm. Paul and the people in the ship experienced much trouble:
They had difficulty securing lifeboats
The ship was breaking apart
They drifted at sea because they couldn’t anchor the ship
They had to throw away cargo and the ship’s tackle
They couldn’t navigate because they the sun and the stars weren’t visible
The storm raged for days
The people lost hope of surviving
New International Version
21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said:
“Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.
22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.
23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and 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.’
25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
Let’s break down Paul’s actions during the storm:
He encouraged the people around him.
Paul told everyone to take courage. He had reasons to focus on the captain and crew’s mistakes, but he chose to dwell on God’s promise so that everyone would calm down.
In times of crisis, let’s encourage one another. We should not be the one causing fear and stress to others.
He remembered the promise of God.
Paul knew God’s promise would come to pass. The events around him may be far from what God told him, but he remained positive. God’s promise will come to pass.
We should remain calm. I know it’s scary, but we should not focus on the noise and just focus on Jesus.
He was confident.
He knew that God is faithful. He had courage despite the difficult situation because he held on the promise of God.
Look back at the times when you think was the worst for you. You were terrified and hopeless back then, but you’re still here. God is faithful.
He looked for a solution.
Paul knew that God would save them, but he didn’t wait for an angel to come. He told them that they would have to look for land.
We can’t do much, but we can still help.
Following government and health authorities is excellent help already.
If you keep healthy, you have done your part.
After 14 days of drifting at sea, things weren’t getting better. Chaos arose within the people in the ship.
The sailors attempted to escape because they feared that the ship would crash into rocks.
Paul had to command the centurions to stop the sailors from escaping.
New International Version
33 Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything.
34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.”
35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board.
38 When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.
That morning, they saw land. They wanted to set the ship on the beach but they got stuck on turf in the water.
The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners, but the centurion stopped them because he wanted to spare Paul’s life. So everyone swam to the beach and were safe.
Let’s break down Paul’s actions from these verses:
He stayed calm even when things get worse.
They were drifting at sea for two weeks, and their situation hasn’t changed.
Paul didn’t lose hope. He remained calm and continued to encourage the people around him.
This could happen to us. Usually, things get worse before it gets better. It doesn’t mean that God is not faithful.
He took care of his body so he could help others.
Paul broke bread and ate. Others ate because they saw Paul eat.
We have to make sure that we are stable so we could help others. We can’t help if we’re the ones who need aid.
Paul was right to trust God.
Everyone in the ship survived, just like what Paul said.
It’s never wrong to trust in God. God will never fail you.
Let’s sum it up!
Bad things happen, and it could take away our joy and peace.
We should stop worrying and start praying. Hear God’s great plan for us and trust Him.
While we wait for God’s plan to pass, be responsible and keep doing what is right.
In the end, we will see God’s glory.
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