When St. Paul was being taken prisoner to Rome, he was caught in a violent storm which was so bad that Luke recorded ‘We finally gave up all hope of being saved’ (Acts 27, v. 20b)
Then one bleak morning Paul came out and said, “Take heart! Not one of you will lose your life; only the ship will be lost. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship came to me and said ‘Do not be afraid, Paul! You must stand before the Emperor. And God in his goodness to you has spared the lives of all those who are sailing with you’ So take heart, men! For I trust in God that it will be just as I was told” (vv. 22-25)
Paul was trusting in ‘the God to whom I belong and whom I worship’ All of us can take heart – all of us will be safe.
But we too have to have the courage of our convictions.
A family was on holiday in a remote cottage. There was no electricity and no running water. The only gas was from a camping stove.
At bedtime, the young daughter was extremely brave about going upstairs with her mother by the light of a candle.
But a puff of wind blew the candle out, leaving them in total darkness. The little girl was afraid.
“I’ll go back downstairs to get the matches” said her Mum, “but don’t be afraid, Jesus is here with you” “But Mum” replied the daughter, “Can’t you stay here and we’ll send Jesus for the matches?”
It doesn’t quite work like that!
We are called to live by faith and not by fear. Living by faith means that, while we may not know the details of life, we can be sure of the outcome.