Help in Distress
Storms and darkness, combined with imminent risk of shipwreck, had brought the crew of the vessel into a sorry predicament; only one man among them remained perfectly calm, and by his word the rest were reassured. Paul was the only man who had enough heart to say, "I urge you to take heart." There were veteran Roman soldiers on board, and brave sailors, but their poor Jewish prisoner had more spirit than all of them. He had a secret Friend who kept his courage up. The Lord Jesus sent a heavenly messenger to whisper words of comfort in Paul's ear, and as a result his face shone, and he spoke like a man at ease.
If we fear the Lord, we may look for His timely intervention when our case is at its worst. Angels are not kept from us by storms or hindered by darkness. Seraphs do not think it is beneath them to visit the poorest of the heavenly family. If angels' visits are few and far between at ordinary times, they will be frequent in our nights of tempest and storm. Friends may leave us when we are under pressure, but our awareness of the members of the angelic world will be far more apparent. Strengthened by loving words brought to us from the throne via Jacob's ladder, we will be able to do daring feats.
Dear reader, are you facing an hour of distress? Then ask for particular help. Jesus is the angel of the covenant, and if you earnestly seek His presence, it will not be denied. The encouragement which that presence brings will be remembered by those who, like Paul, have had the angel of God standing by them in a night of storm, when anchors slipped and shipwreck threatened.
O angel of my God, be near,
Amid the darkness hush my fear;
Loud roars the wild tempestuous sea,
Thy presence, Lord, shall comfort me.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Proverbs 28
verse 2 2 Thessalonians 2
ESV Daily Devotional New Testament
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.