I believe God
I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me. (Acts 27:25)
What superb confidence and implicit trust Paul had in the middle of such a storm. I do not like travelling by sea, no matter how impressive the ship or boat may be. I get seasick just reading this passage.
Their circumstances sound horrendous. I am not a Greek scholar however I take it that these 276 poor souls were in some sort of sail boat, caught in the middle of hurricane force winds. Tossed about in every direction, fearing the worst and with no hope of safety in sight.
God however had His servant on board. He was on a mission for the King. Nothing, not even hurricane force winds could prevent Paul's mission from being accomplished. Once God has spoken, that is it. It takes faith to lay hold of this fact and God exhorts each one of His children to live by faith.
Since as far back as I can remember, as a Christian, I have prayed a prayer uttered by Robert Murray McCheyne, ‘Lord make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be.’ It seems to me that the Lord has answered that prayer by placing trial and difficulty in my path on a regular basis.
Over twenty years on and still I am praying that prayer. Am I any holier? No, I am worse than I ever was! A sinner of the highest order. I am more aware however of my ever present need of a Saviour, and His name is Jesus.
You know, I used to worry about my salvation when I would hear of other Christians who never experienced any real difficulties. It seemed as though their paths were paved with gold. Life was plane sailing for them. They were always rejoicing, full of praise and little wonder. Life for them was great. They did not have any problems.
Was I doing something wrong? Perhaps it was because I was a greater sinner than they were?
Should we as Christians expect a straight run in to glory? Now that we are children of the Most High God, surely we should be wrapped on spiritual cotton wool and kept from hardships and trials! I read these two short paragraphs last week:-
‘It is when we are in the way of duty that we find giants. It was when Israel was going forward that the giants appeared. When they turned back into the wilderness they found none.’
‘There is a prevalent idea that the power of God in a human life should lift us above all trials and conflicts. The fact is, the power of God always brings a conflict and a struggle. One would have thought that on his great missionary journey to Rome, Paul would have been carried by some mighty providence above the power of storms and tempests and enemies. But, on the contrary, it was one long, hard fight with persecuting Jews, with wild tempests, with venomous vipers and all the powers of earth and hell, and at last he was saved, as it seems, by the narrowest margin, and had to swim ashore at Malta on a piece of wreckage and barely escape a watery grave.’
Perhaps storms are already brewing in your life and you are beginning to question whether you are a Christian or not. There is a helplessness and desperation as you cry to God for help.
It is all too easy for us to look at our circumstances and see little or no hope of betterment. Very often things seem to get worse the more urgent we become in prayer. Does God ask some great thing of us? Does He ask us to swim the Atlantic in order that our prayers may be answered?
Does He keep us waiting because He is not sympathetic to our cry? What is He waiting for? Why is He not answering our prayers? Why does everything seem to be against us, and against the answer that we am seeking from Him? Does the Lord not care about us?
Why Lord why?
Could it possibly be that we are praying for a way out of this trial and storm, rather than for help and blessing from God to see us safely through it?
'The storm is changed into a calm at His command and will, so that the waves which raged before now quiet are and still.' Are we seeking great favour from our God? Then my friend it is time for us to show our colours and put our trust in Him.
Has He given you a promise that you are waiting patiently to see fulfilled? Place your hand in His and let Him bring it to pass. He will do so His way and in His time! The outcome will be better than you could possibly have imagined or believed had it been told you before hand.
All too often we let our circumstances dictate our faith and the way we live each day. We murmur against God and get angry with Him as we see others prospering and we are left stranded.
We stubbornly fight on, gritting our teeth, determined to get the result that we are looking for. This only takes the life out of us and weakens our faith even further. A good nights sleep is a cure for many a woe.
God has power over the Universe. He has set the bounds of all things and nothing is outwith His control or power. All things are possible to those who believe. The reason God does not want us to do anything to help bring about the answer to our prayers is simple.
The work has already been done!
The price paid for our salvation and inheritance was bought with the precious blood of the Lamb of God on Calvary's Hill. Think of what it cost God to adopt us.
If we can grasp the incredible and undeserving love that God has for us, can we not also grasp that He intends nothing but the best for His family in this world. As parents we know what is best for our children. Our children however, may think differently about what they see as best for them!!!
Remember this is not our home, Heaven is. We are just passers-by so to speak. Here for a short time only, before being called to be with Himself forevermore. It is time now for us to rest from our labours and to put all our trust in your Father's Word.
He has spoken to us and He expects His child to listen, heed and obey.
The more we trust Him, the more glory we give Him. The more we rest in His Word the more we will find that He will do for us. The more we abide in Christ the greater the blessings that flow. Surely it is not to much to ask. Having witnessed all that has been done for us at Calvary, and in each day of your lives till now, it is little enough to honour that same God by trusting our life to Him.
Paul trusted. He took God at His Word and he preached God’s message to others in the storm. God, as always fulfilled His Word in their lives. He will also fulfil whatever He has promised you and I. Be confident in Him and be thankful to be in the midst of the storm with Jesus than to be left alone on the shore.
It will not be long before we each come to the place where two seas meet. Christ awaits you there in Immanuel's Land. Let us honour Him on this side of Eternity.
Take God at His word now and you will not regret it for one second as He will never let you down nor let one of His promises fail. I pray that this Word may be applied with power to your soul today, and may you have the same confidence that Paul had when he uttered these words, 'I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me.'