“Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.”
Acts 27:25 NKJV
Have you ever been in situations where you are carried along by circumstances totally beyond your control? Where, in a nation doublespeak prevails and where truths are distorted? Where integrity is dispensable? Where the survival of some leaders takes priority over national wellbeing? In the midst of all this are citizens, caught in adverse winds, carried along by circumstances outside their control.
In Acts 27, we can draw four principles for turbulent times. Paul was on his voyage to Rome as a prisoner. He had warned the ship’s crew not to sail because of adverse winds, but they wouldn’t listen (Acts 27:11). Before long, a vicious storm engulfed the ship. Paul could have despaired he was out of God’s will now, his destiny dictated by other men. But he never lost sight of the fact that despite adverse circumstances, despite failed leadership, despite storms, God was still in control. So too, for us.
Secondly, he blessed the situation because he was part of it. He said: “there shall be no loss of life among you” for “God has granted (me) all those that sail with (me)” (Acts 27:22,24). In other words, the people on the ship remained safe because of Paul’s presence. God’s favour on Paul meant God’s favour on the ship. Similarly, a nation is safe because of the Church, especially the Church that intercedes!
Thirdly, at the crisis point in the storm just before shipwreck, Paul’s prophetic act of eating food brought hope and strength to the exhausted and despairing crew (Acts 27:35). We invest in this nation and stay strong.
Finally, it was at the narrowest point of the crisis that all looked to Paul. It was his call that saved the men (Acts 27:31). Crisis in our land is opportunity for the Church to lead, pray and heal this land.
(An excerpt from Ps Philip’s upcoming book, “Slingshots”)
您试过深陷于无法掌控的困境吗？当一个国家时常出现模棱两可的言论，亦或是真相被扭曲? 当诚信变得可有可无? 一些领袖的生存利益凌驾于人民的福利? 首当其冲的便是人民，他们被卷入了无法控制的是非困境之中。
在使徒行传第27章里记载了在困境中我们得以倚靠的4个原则。保罗启航前往罗马时，他还是一名囚犯。他屡次警告船员，不宜逆风航行, 但他们都不听信保罗（使徒行传 27:11）。果然不久以后，狂风巨浪淹没了船只。尽管保罗有充足的理由因他人掌控了他的命运而乖离了神的旨意感到无力与灰心丧志。可是，即使情况不利、领导无能、雷雨交加，保罗并没有因此而放弃仰望上帝，因一切都在上帝的掌控中。于我们而言，也是一样的。
第二，困境也因着保罗身在其中而蒙受祝福。他说：“你们的性命一个也不失丧，惟独失丧这船“ 因着 “神已赐给(我)和与(我)同行的人民” （使徒行传 27:22, 24）。换句话来说，同船人因着保罗的存在而受到庇护。上帝给保罗的恩典就是对这艘船的恩典。同样的，这一个国家也会因着教会的存在得到安宁，尤其是因着为国家代祷的教会！
第三，在沉船发生前的风暴危机时刻，保罗吃饼的一个预言行为，他擘开饼干吃，为心灰意冷的行船员带来了力量和希望（使徒行传 27:35）。我们要为这国家付出并且要坚强。最后，在希望最渺茫的时刻，大家都看见了保罗的信心。是保罗的呼召拯救了船上的人 (使徒行传 27:31）。我国的危机将成为教会带领、群体祷告及让神医治这地的转机。
Philip Lyn 医生牧师