“Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern and wished for the day.”

Acts 27:29

Theirs go down, but ours go up—and theirs is based on wishful thinking, while ours is based on Hopeful anticipation.


Every boat or ship has at least one.  The bigger the ship, the more anchors it has.  In the case of Paul’s ship, which carried 276 passengers and had originated in Alexandria in Africa (vv.6, 37), there were four anchors.  Normally, there’ll be two anchors at the stern and two at the bow; but, evidently the crew moved the front two to the back and launched all four of them into the deep in hopes of not being driven aground.

Needless to say, their efforts and “wishing for the day” didn’t work.

The Euroclydon wind continued driving them forward toward the coral reefs that surrounded the small island of Malta, which lay south of Sicily and Italy in the Mediterranean Sea (Acts 27:27-39; 28:1).  Despite their best efforts to lighten the load and slow their forward progress, they still ran aground, causing the ship to break in half (vv.40-41).  But, just as Paul had told them that none of them would perish (vv.22-25), so none of them did (v.44).

We know the four anchors they cast out from the stern were likely heavy, metal ones common for that day.  They knew the likelihood of their keeping them from running aground was minimal because of the Euroclydon winds (v.14); but, still they “wished for the day”—which meant they were shooting prayers toward Heaven one after another in hopes that some one of their mythological gods might hear and answer them.

As someone once said, “There are no atheists in a foxhole.”

So true, so true.

Much better if they’d had the same “peace that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) that Paul did.  It takes great conviction and courage to stand in the midst of salty-tongued sailors in a storm and say “Be of good cheer!  Fear not!  We’re going to be okay—because the God I believe in told me so!!”

Paul could do that (and so can we) if we, too, have four “Anchors in the storm.”  We know we have an “Anchor of the Soul (Jesus), Who is sure and steadfast” (Heb. 6:19).  But, we also need four Anchors that will hold us “steady as she goes” when the winds are howling and the waves are threatening to swamp our boat.

What are these four Anchors:

First, “Who God is and what He has promised” (Heb. 11:6).  Second, Who Jesus is and what He has done (His Life, Death, Resurrection and Promised Return).  Third, Whose we are and Who we are in Christ (“more than conquerors through Him Who loved us”—Rom. 8:37).  And, fourth, where we’re going and what awaits us (Rev. 21:4; I Thess. 4:13-18; I Cor. 15:51-58).  The key to all of this is what Paul said:  “I believe God that it will be even as it was told unto me”. . . “God said it and that settles it!”  Hallelujah!!!

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated October 14, 2009

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