There is a saying that no one likes: “I told you so.” In this passage Paul seems to say just that stating, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss.” However, I do not think Paul is indulging in a self-glorying moment of proving himself right.
It is true that his earlier warning was rejected, and as a consequence, the men ended up in the midst of a storm in which “neither sun nor stars appeared for many days.” Ancient navigators had no compass but guided the ship by the sun and stars. Not being able to see stars or sun for many days left them adrift in a stormy, turbulent sea with no sense of direction. They lost hope. Paul, however, had a different compass – a guidance system of absolute reliability even in the midst of the storm; therefore, he is able to bring a message of hope from God.
Paul reminds the men of his earlier warning, and in doing so, he reinforces the idea that despite the dire circumstances, they can rely on the truth of the news he now brings. That very night, the God he serves sends a heavenly messenger and saves Paul and everyone on board the ship.
Paul had the assurance that he was safe but was not satisfied in his safety alone. He provides a message of encouragement and hope to those who were without hope stating, “So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.” He pointed them to the one system of guidance they could absolutely rely on even in the midst of life’s storms.