From the very beginning, nothing in Paul’s ministry life has come easily.
Since Paul is our leading example of what it means to be IN ministry service to the Lord Jesus Christ, perhaps we can take this to mean we should expect nothing to come easily in our ministry lives either.
Even from the moment of his calling, Paul was to hear from Ananias of, “the things he would suffer.” (Acts 9:16) Of course Jesus also instructed him to inform Paul his suffering would be, “for My name’s sake.” (For the name of Jesus.)
Jesus suffered greatly. Paul suffered greatly. Should we expect less? Should we expect the world to treat us better than it treated Christ Himself?
(It is also important to note, as with Jesus, Paul’s suffering was without guilt, and for no reason other than the fact the world hates Jesus.)
Here in Acts 27, Paul has finally begun his voyage to Rome, under the protection of a Roman guard. He has been held for over two years without charge being leveled against him. He was initially arrested for his own protection – under the assumption the Jews desired to kill him because he must have done something wrong. Even though it has been determined by the Roman court Paul had done nothing to violate Roman Law, he was held to appease the Jews. Having had enough of these vile threatenings and proceedings, Paul appealed to Caesar – which was his right as a Roman citizen.
This voyage to Rome would fulfill Jesus’ words to Paul that he would indeed go to Rome, which had been his heart’s desire, despite the predicament he found himself in as the result of the Jews hatred of himself.
And so, a voyage that began easily enough, with a conciliatory Roman guard in accompaniment for protection, rapidly degraded into a life-threatening journey through a storm of epic proportion during the midst of which, “all hope of being saved was finally lost.” Luke, who is along for the voyage reports of this hurricane-like storm in a manner which strikes fear into every heart.
Who would enter the ministry service in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ knowing such things may be the result? Who – without great faith IN the Lord Jesus Christ – that is?