*This devotion was taken from the devotions Pastor Frankie wrote on Jesus' life and mailed to the children of EVNaz. These devotional books can be found at www.evnaz.org/kidsmatterministries.
Read Acts 27:13-26.
Paul was being held prisoner because he was telling people about Jesus. It was decided that Paul would take a journey on a ship, from Caesarea to Rome where he was to be put on trial. Paul was to take the trip on a big ship, along with other prisoners and the sailors. After they had gone a short distance, the weather did not seem good for travelling and Paul advised the ship’s crew to spend the winter in a town called Crete. They did not listen to Paul, but sailed on.
A storm the strength of a hurricane came along. The wind was so powerful that the sailors passed ropes around the ship to keep it from breaking apart. The raging water and winds continued for so long that many men on the ship gave up hope of ever being rescued or surviving. Despite the fact that the storm kept up, Paul told the people on the ship to keep up their courage and have faith that God would rescue them. Paul said this because an angel had visited Paul during the night and told him that he would stand trial in Rome. On the fourteenth night of the storm, (two weeks after it began!), the sailors finally sensed the ship was approaching land. They had come upon an island. Although the ship was wrecked, all the people remained safe. God had rescued them, just as the angel had foretold.
The word courage is part of the word “encourage.” The word courage is also part of the word “discourage.” We can encourage others by telling them that God cares for us. We can get discouraged ourselves when we stop trusting God and think about how frightening the situation we are in seems. We can discourage others by talking about the things they fear or teasing them, instead of encouraging them to trust God and reminding them of His love for us. The Bible tells us that we can be confident that God cares for us.
Psalm 121:1-8 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Dear God, when I am afraid, please help me to put my trust in You, instead of myself. In Jesus name, Amen.
1. Have you ever been out in a boat when there was a storm?
2. Can you imagine what it would be like? How would you describe it?
3. What might you be thinking?
4. Can you think of something that is as scary as a storm?
5. In the story, how bad was the storm?
6. How did God encourage Paul?
7. What did Paul tell the others on the ship to encourage them?
8. How can we discourage others when they are frightened?
9. What can we do or say to help others keep up their courage?
10. Your parents keep you safe, but who else watches over you?