Riding Out the Storm

Acts 27:20

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Acts 27:20

The Book of Acts tells the story of the Early Church and the missionary voyages of Paul the Apostle. In Acts 27, Paul writes about his experience sailing through a treacherous storm. Paul’s gripping narrative offers us insight into riding out the storms of life.

First, we must note the reason for these storms; we will all find ourselves in ferocious waters at some point, due to the nature of this sinful world.

Storms can be engineered by our own disobedience or foolishness. God could also send us into a storm for our own development. Or, like Paul in this passage, we could also be dragged into storms by other people.

When Paul was a prisoner on his way to Rome, he was transported into a storm by others. His circumstances were out of his own control.

Acts 27:9-11 says, “So Paul warned them, ‘Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.’ But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship.”

When we face difficulties due to other people’s mistakes, Acts 27:9-20 reveals five things not to do if we want to keep the ship afloat:

  1. Make decisions in haste (v. 9)
  2. Depend upon worldly wisdom rather than godly wisdom (v. 11)
  3. Take the easy way out (v. 12)
  4. Follow the crowd (v. 12)
  5. Depend upon circumstances (v. 13)

*If you want an in-depth study of these five things, we invite you to take our Email Challenge, "What Not to Do in a Storm."

Verses 14-20 illustrate what happens when an ungodly man gets himself into a storm. His direction dissolves, his effort increases, resources are wasted, and he begins to lose hope. As a result, he becomes very foolish; he’ll try to abandon ship and escape.

But the godly will react differently to the storms, as Paul says in Acts 27:22, “But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost...”

Paul’s faith in God was stronger than his fear of the storm; as a result, God’s promise to see Paul through to Rome was fulfilled.

Adrian Rogers says, “Every bad decision they made could not overrule the will of God. Where God does not rule, He overrules.”

Apply it to your life

Are you riding out a storm you weren’t expecting? Depend upon godly wisdom and resist the temptation to take the easy way out. Do not depend upon your circumstances. Put your whole faith in God to see you through.