Acts 27 … Consider His Call to Courage

Originally posted: 2/07/2020

“Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told,” (27:25).

They had a mission. Deliver the prisoner safely to Rome. But before very long, they found themselves helplessly engulfed in a vicious storm.

This was not the journey they were expecting. Experienced sailors, yet incapable of navigating through these frightfully unmanageable conditions. And into the midst of the ferociously violent winds, comes a word of hope and freedom from an unlikely messenger, a prisoner held captive, yet free in what he knew and believed.

Paul knew the voyage would not be easy.
Paul began to admonish them, 10 and said to them, “Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives,” (27:9-10).

Paul also knew to Whom he belonged and served.
“For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, (27:23).

Therefore, Paul knew the end result.
“saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you,’” (27:24).

And with all he knew, Paul delivers His Call to Courage.
When they had gone a long time without food, then Paul stood up in their midst and said, “Men, you ought to have followed my advice and not to have set sail from Crete and incurred this damage and loss. 22 Yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship,” (27:21-22).

Consider His Call to Courage

 “Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told,” (27:25).

Upon reading Paul’s admonition to keep up their courage, we perhaps land on an understanding of this word from our own language:

Courage: “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”

And so, we might imagine courage as this ability to face the storms fearlessly and boldly, with undaunted bravery.

But as we dig into the original language, we will come away with a slightly different perspective.

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: 2114 εὐθυμέω euthuméō; contracted euthumṓ, fut. euthumḗsō, from eúthumos (2115), of a good mind, attitude. To be of good cheer, of a cheerful mind.

From Louw Nida Greek Lexicon: 25.146 εὐψυχέω; εὐθυμέω: to be or to become encouraged and hence cheerful—‘to be encouraged, to take courage, to become encouraged. In some languages the equivalent of ‘to become encouraged’ is ‘to have one’s heart return’…”

When Paul voiced His Call to Courage, it was an appeal to their hearts, their attitudes, an appeal to turn back to a hopeful outlook about the voyage ahead, despite the conditions.

His Call to Courage exhorts hearts to return to good cheer, even when…

…even when the winds are contrary.
From there we put out to sea and sailed under the shelter of Cyprus because the winds were contrary, (27:4).

…even when the voyage is slow and difficult, long and dangerous.
When we had sailed slowly for a good many days, and with difficulty had arrived off Cnidus, since the wind did not permit us to go farther, we sailed under the shelter of Crete, off Salmone; and with difficulty sailing past it we came to a place called Fair Havens… (27:7-9).

…even when there is opposition to the truth.
But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was being said by Paul, (27:11).

…even when the storms are violent.
But before very long there rushed down from the land a violent wind, called Euraquilo; (27:14.

…even when hope seems to be swallowed up in darkness.
Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned, (27:20).

…even when there is fear of a looming “But,” “Nevertheless,” or “However.”
But we must run aground on a certain island,” (27:26).
Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island,” (27:26 NIV).
However, we must run aground on a certain island,” (27:26 HCSB).

How do we respond to His Call to Courage?

His Call to Courage is a Call to believe Him when the winds of life are contrary; when the going is slow and we’re not permitted to go farther; when the voyage becomes dangerous; when the majority rule moves in the wrong direction; when the winds become violent and we are just driven along; when we can scarcely get our vessel under control and we are violently tossed; when we see no light for many days and no small storm assails us; and when finally there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, a possible haven from the storm, there comes a “But,” a “Nevertheless,” a “However.”

His Call to Courage is His Call to our hearts; His Call to return to Hope, to Him, and to be encouraged by believing the truth of His Word.

His Call to Courage is not a call to bravery in and of ourselves. It is His Call to grow in faith, that we would daily dwell in His strength and presence.

“…Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength,” (Nehemiah 8:10)

You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever, (Psalm 16:11).

His Call to Courage is His Call to know what He has promised.

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,’” (Matthew 4:4).

“and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” (John 8:32).

His Call to Courage is His Call to believe what He has promised.

and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform, (Romans 4:21).

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful, (Hebrews 10:23).

His Call to Courage is His Call to believe what He has promised… even when… even when faced with a looming but, nevertheless, or however.

But: “on the contrary.”
He Calls us to believe when all feels contrary to what He has promised.

Nevertheless: “in spite of.”
He Calls us to believe He is faithful in spite of the circumstances.

However: “in whatever manner.”
He Calls us to believe His outcome, in whatever manner He determines.

His Call to Courage is His Call to a courageous life governed by His love.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 8:38-39).

  • Let us answer His Call to Courage to know and believe that we are no longer enslaved to fear.
    • For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15).
  • Let us answer His Call to Courage to know and believe we have been given a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.
    • For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind, (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).
  • Let us answer His Call to Courage to know and believe His perfect love casts out fear.
    • There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love, (1 John 4:18).
  • Let us answer His Call to Courage to know and believe, that we would return our hearts to good cheer and daily exult in Him, our strength and shield.
    • The Lord is my strength and my shield;
      My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
      Therefore my heart exults,
      And with my song I shall thank Him,
      (Psalm 28:7).

Oh, let us answer His Call to Courage, that we would know and believe every promise in His Word will turn out exactly as we have been told.

“Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told,” (27:25).

Let’s Grow Together!

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