‘Shipwreck’ faith can face impossible situations

Judy Brandon: Religion columnist

Some days ago I read about Clelia II, a cruise ship that endured great damage when it was battered by bad weather in the Antarctic’s Drake Passage. With 160 passengers aboard, an engine was lost, and windows broken from 50 foot waves. Yet all aboard were saved.

Not so the conditions centuries ago when the apostle Paul boarded a ship to Rome to stand trial. Paul was traveling as a prisoner and as the journey progressed, the ship ran into terrible weather. Paul had warned them earlier that they were in for problems but they did not listen to him. After all, he was just a prisoner.

The Bible account notes the wind became more ferocious and the pilot could not control the ship. All passengers aboard were being tossed violently by the waves in the storm. To lighten the load of the ship, they began to throw cargo overboard.

Without food and water and in the middle of a blinding wind and rain storm, the men had lost all hope of being saved. Then Paul stood up and addressed the situation:

“And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: For there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, ‘Fear not, Paul; the must be brought before Caesar: And, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.’ Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.” (Acts 27: 22-25)

Paul had what some might call shipwreck kind of faith. Paul stood up in the middle of what seemed to be an impossible situation and he endured because he trusted the sovereignty of God.

Other examples of shipwreck kind of faith in people’s lives are noted in the Bible.

Old Abraham followed God when God told him to sacrifice his son Isaac and Abraham obeyed up until the end when God intervened.

With no ship building experience, Noah by the direction of God started building the massive vessel in the middle of the desert to ready for the coming rains and his family was saved.

Faithful Joseph praised God even when he was a prisoner in Egypt and God delivered him and raised him to national importance.

Apprehensive Moses walked up to the mighty Pharaoh and delivered the message to let the children of Israel go free and finally they were freed.

Childless Hannah prayed for a child for years and then God answered her prayer with a son.

Suffering Job refused to curse God when the calamities were brought upon him and he was triumphant.

Brave Daniel stood among hungry captive lions and God closed the mouths of the lions and his life was saved.

Trusting God, Elijah defied all the pagan priests and prayed to God and the already wet alter was consumed with fire from heaven, showing the greatness of God.

Patient Joseph heard from the angel that his fianc