Acts 27:21-44 Something I've noticed in reading through the Bible every year are the things angels say when they visit us on earth. Over and over again they greet those on earth with the words, "Fear not." We remember the words of the heavenly hosts as they announced the birth of Jesus: "Fear not; for behold, unto you is born in the city of David a Savior?.?.?.?" The words of Gabriel to Joseph and Mary were "Fear not." In today's reading in Acts we see the angel appearing to Paul as he is being transported to prison on a boat that was encountering heavy seas. The angel said, "Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar; and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee" (v. 24, KJV).
Paul was able to pass this message on to those aboard the ship. There were 276 souls on board the ship. Paul advised that they not abandon ship, but instead remain on board and lighten the ship by throwing as much as they could overboard so the ship would be more manageable. First he exhorted them to eat as much as possible since they had been fasting for fourteen days and needed sustenance to give them strength for the journey ahead. Several times in this passage Paul tells them to "be of good cheer." Do those words sound familiar to you? Jesus told us all to "be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world." He also said many times while He walked on earth, "Fear not."
Have there been times in the past when you wanted to abandon the ship of life? Trials and testings came upon you in rapid succession and you felt you would drown in a sea of troubles. Then you cried out to the Lord and He heard you. His message to you at that time was the same message of the angels: "Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy. Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world." He also said, "I will never leave you or forsake you. I will be with you always even until the ends of the earth."
In this world we will have times of tribulation, but it gives me great comfort to know I am not alone. Jesus is with me always, and as long as I do not allow my heart to be troubled by troubles, I will get through whatever trials may face me. Not only is Jesus holding my hand through every trouble, but I also believe I have two angels who never leave my side. Why do I believe this? There were two angels present at the grave of Jesus. They also said, "Fear not." I believe our Lord, who is the captain of the hosts of heaven, has assigned at least two angels to every believer, and these angels will not only be with us through our life on earth, but they will also accompany us as we travel to heaven after our death.
Today take great comfort in the knowledge that no matter what you are going through you are not alone. Present with you through the angry sea of trials is the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) and at least two angels who are watching over you. The message God and His angels have for you today is, "Fear not; be of good cheer because Jesus has overcome the world."
READ: 1 Chronicles 9:1-10:14; Acts 27:21-44; Psalm 8:1-9; Proverbs 18:23-24