27:25 — “Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.”
When times get hard, those who do not have a relationship with God can take courage from those who do—if believers maintain and display their trust in the Lord. Paul’s faith encouraged many unbelievers.
27:25. He then comforts them on the basis of God’s encouragement to him (see 2 Cor 1:3–11). “Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.” Every message from God merits absolute belief. He cannot lie.
27:25 Paul’s admonition of v. 22, “to keep up your courage,” a PRESENT INFINITIVE, is repeated, “keep up your courage,” which is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE.
“for I believe God” Paul’s encounter with the living Christ enabled him to trust God’s word (“it will turn out exactly as I have been told” PERFECT PASSIVE INDICATIVE). Faith is the hand that receives the gifts of God—not only salvation, but providence.
Robert B. Girdlestone, Synonyms of the Old Testament has a great statement and quote from Romaine, Life of Faith.
“We now approach the N.T. with a clear distinction between faith on the one hand, and trust and hope on the other. Faith is the taking God at His word, while trust and patience and also hope are the proper fruits of faith, manifesting in various forms the confidence which the believer feels. A message comes to me from the Author of my existence; it may be a threat, a promise, or a command. If I take is as ‘yea and amen,’ that is Faith; and the act which results is an act of amunah or faithfulness God. Faith, according to Scripture, seems to imply a word, message, or revelation. So the learned Romaine says in his Life of Faith:—‘Faith signifies the believing the truth of the Word of God; it relates to some word spoken or to some promise made by Him, and it expresses the belief which a person who hears it has of its being true; he assents to it, relies upon it, and acts accordingly: this is faith.’ Its fruit will vary according to the nature of the message received, and according to the circumstances of the receiver. It led Noah to build an ark, Abraham to offer up his son, Moses to refuse to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, the Israelites to march round the walls of Jericho. I believe God that it shall be even as it has been told me—this is a picture of the process which the Bible calls faith” (pp. 104–105).
25. “Therefore, men, be courageous, for I believe in God that it will happen exactly as I have been told. 26. But we must run aground on some island.”
For the second time (see v. 22) Paul urges his listeners to be courageous. He links courage to faith when he declares that he believes in God. Implicitly Paul invites the men to follow his example and trust God, who controls not only the weather but also everything else. He affirms that he fully trusts God to save both himself and everyone else aboard, but that the ship itself will be lost. Here is a man who demonstrates his unshakable faith in his God. Paul’s faith was anchored in God. Priscilla J. Owens communicates this thought in these words:
Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.
Paul reveals that the ship will run aground on some island. This cannot be a guess on his part. It is revelation given to him by the angel of God, so that no one can say later that the landing at Malta was by chance. As God’s representative, Paul vouches that the prediction he has received will come true.
25–26. So Paul could encourage his hearers to take heart and in effect to share his faith that what God promised to him would come to pass. Paul’s prophecy went beyond a general hope of safety to a particular statement that they would all be cast ashore on an island; if there was to be a loss of the ship (verse 22), then some such turn of events would be needed to save the people on board.
This speech of Paul again stands under critical suspicion. Yet it fits in with Paul’s own experience of visions from God (2 Cor. 12:1, 9); it is entirely natural that Paul should have shared his assurance with his fellow travellers, and the story is based on eyewitness testimony; we need not doubt that Paul said something like this. Haenchen (p. 709) is sceptical that Paul could deliver a set speech in storm conditions on board ship, but his conception of Paul behaving like a public orator is inappropriate to the circumstances.
25. For I believe God. Paul telleth them again whence he had such boldness, that he affirmeth that though they be amidst infinite gulfs of the sea, yet shall they all come safe to the haven, namely, because God had promised it should be so; in which words the nature of faith is expressed, when there is a mutual relation made between it and the Word of God, that it may strengthen men’s minds against the assaults of temptations. And he doth not only exhort the mariners, by his own example, to believe, but doth, as it were, take upon him the office of a promiser, that he may win credit to the oracle. That which followeth immediately touching the isle is a latter sign, whereby it may more plainly appear after the end of the matter, that this their sailing was not uncertain, otherwise it had been to no end for the mariners to know how they should escape. Therefore, we see how God doth give that safety which he promised, a mark that it may not seem to come by chance. Notwithstanding, we must note, that God kept them still in some doubt, partly that he may exercise the faith of his servant, partly that they may all know that Paul learned that of the Holy Ghost, which he could not as yet comprehend by man’s reason. Notwithstanding, Luke teacheth in the text itself, that he was not believed for all this. For, seeing the mariners thought that there began some country2 to appear unto them, it did not agree with the promise made touching their arriving in an isle. Therefore, we see how that they were scarce enforced, even by experience, to think that he spake the truth.
25–26 Having received this communication from heaven, Paul was completely persuaded (such was his faith in God) that things would turn out exactly as he had been told. The ship would go down, but the people on board would be saved: they would be cast up or washed ashore on some island or other. The island, in the event, proved to be Malta. Since there was no chance of a landfall on Sicily (in view of the direction of the drift), Malta was the next best hope. But Paul could scarcely have known this: his reference to “some island” was an expression of faith. If they missed Malta, there would have been nothing for it but to hold on for 200 miles until they struck the Tunisian coast, and no one could have expected the ship to survive that long.
 Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ac 27:25). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.