Thursday, March 19, 2009

Safe And Sound

If you like adventure, I encourage you to read the 27th chapter of the book of Acts. The chapter begins with Paul and some other prisoners being shipped to Rome, Italy. There were a total of 276 people on the boat, which was scheduled to make several stops before reaching its final destination. The entire journey was plagued by difficulties, mainly due to typhoon-strength winds. The boat and its passengers also had to deal with two weeks of relentless storms, complete with not only strong winds, but also blinding rain. The crew and its passengers were in serious peril. God sent Paul an angel assuring him that not a single person on-board would perish, although they would become shipwrecked. Sure enough, on the 14th night of the storm, the ship broke apart and all 276 either swam or clung to pieces of the boat and washed ashore on the island of Malta. Just as the angel of God had promised, not a single soul was lost. While onshore, Paul was bitten by a deadly, poisonous snake. The people were amazed to see that he simply shook off the snake and was completely unharmed.

God is amazing! He had a plan for Paul. Paul was to preach in Rome. He survived weeks at sea, relentless storms, being shipwrecked, and even being bitten by a deadly snake. But through each adversity, Paul never once complained to God. He never once considered giving up. He had such a tremendous amount of faith in God, that nothing was going to derail him from fulfilling God's will. As a matter of fact, during all the trials, Paul spent his time helping and encouraging the others. Paul used obstacles as opportunities to serve others and share his faith. We all know, Paul did make it to Rome and did exactly what God had planned for him to do. What lessons can we draw from Paul's experience? First of all, I'm pretty sure Paul had more faith in God than you and I combined. But that did not exempt Paul from trials and tribulations, so we should expect that we too will have to go through some "storms" and difficult circumstances. Instead of complaining about it, we should use those tough circumstances to share our faith, too. The most important lesson we can draw on is the reliability of God. He brought Paul safely through those storms, and He will bring us through those storms as well. God has a plan for each one of us. It may be tough getting there, but we need to rest assured that as long as we keep faith in Christ, He will get us there, safe and sound.

Psalm 37:24 says, "Though he fall, he will not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand."

Father, as I continue toward my destination, I know I can not avoid trials and storms. I put my trust in You and acknowledge that You will get me through my personal Storm safe and sound. While I am facing obstacles, please help me to use those as opportunities to share my faith in You with others. In Jesus name, Amen.

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