Paul faced many difficulties, one of which was a shipwreck while in transport to Rome for trial. The trip had been delayed due to weather and the crew was pressing to reach a port of safe harbor for the winter. The journey was unseasonably risky and Paul had received a message from God that the trip was headed for disaster. Despite his attempts to warn the pilot and crew, the majority felt they should set sail. The winds seemed favorable, so they launched. As Paul had warned, they were caught in a deadly storm. We often find ourselves in difficulty because we listen to the wrong people. Maybe we seek advisors that tell us what we want to hear or we just go along with the crowd—what’s popular. At other times, it seems the door just opens for us…an opportunity presents itself and it looks good, seems right, and we launch without seeking God’s guidance. Paul was a victim of the decisions being made for him; although, we sometimes become victims because of choices others make, most of the time we are the greatest cause of our own problems. Listening to God helps avoid many storms and lends guidance when we find ourselves caught in a storm.

Scriptures
John 16:33; 2 Cor 6:4, 4:17; Acts 27:10-13, 15, 18, 20, 25-26, 31-32, 34, 43-44; Ps 73:16-17; Rom 5:3-4; Pr 28:13

Verse
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Instead, in everything we do we show that we are God’s servants by patiently enduring troubles, hardships, and difficulties. (2 Cor 6:4)

Thought
When life’s storms come, and they will, you can stand strong through faith in Jesus Christ. Sometimes a shipwreck cannot be avoided. In those times when you are trying to navigate the rough waters the right response is to first, confess your part. Don’t blame others or make excuses. Admit it; own it. Next, confront the situation. Don’t run from what you must face. Take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. Navigate the best you can and face the storm. And, claim God’s promises. With over 7000 to choose from, you can hold fast to your faith. The shipwreck may happen, but you can and will survive by clinging to your faith, God’s promises, and maybe a plank from the ship!

Questions
In decision-making, do you seek God’s guidance first or follow your heart? If a door is open, does it mean you should walk through it? Why or why not? What is your first reaction when you realize you are headed into a storm? What storm in life have you navigated well? What storm in life have you navigated poorly? What made the difference in the outcome?

Response
Seek God in all your decision-making. Assess how you have responded in life’s storms. If you did well, consider what you did right. If you did not do well, consider what you did wrong.

Prayer
Most Holy Father, I acknowledge your wisdom over everything in my life. You know all that I am going through and all that will come my way. Be my guide, my strength, my hope and my Savior in and through all that lies ahead. I know that the reward is greater than the trouble. Thank you for your love and patience with me. In the Name of Jesus I pray, Amen.