This series will focus on Acts 27. Please take time to read this chapter.
Have you ever found yourself in a storm—in some situation that you can only describe as a crisis? Maybe you are in a very difficult place even as you read this!
Robert Morgan shares the following story.
South African pastor Andrew Murray once faced a terrible crisis. Gathering himself into his study, he sat there a long time simply thinking and praying. With his mind focused on the Lord Jesus, he picked up his pen and wrote down his thoughts in his journal. And here’s what he wrote: First, He brought me here and it is by His will that I am in this [difficult] place; in that fact I will rest. Secondly, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child. Thirdly, He will make this trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. And lastly, in His good time He can bring me out again—how and when He knows. And then he added: I am here, by God’s appointment, in His keeping, under His training, and for His time.
When Roy Rogers and Dale Evans learned that their adopted son, Sandy, had died in Vietnam, Dale wrote that she survived only by drawing strength from Scripture, particularly from Job 13:15. In her journal she wrote, “Tragedy in a Christian’s life is a refiner. God has not promised an easy way, but peace at the center of the hard way. The clouds of sorrow have been heavy, but I have reached the point of no return in my Christian experience, and with Job I can cry, ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.’”
Let me ask you a question: Have you come to the place in your life where no matter what happens, you’re all in? In other words, have you come to the place where you completely trust Jesus with your life, and no matter what happens, there is no turning back, there is no second guessing, there is no wondering “what if?” You are simply all in. To be “all in” means that you trust God with all of your being and with everything that you have, and you accept your lot in life. And so, let me ask you, are you all in? In the book of Acts, we learn many things about Paul. And one of those things is this: Paul was all in. And it didn’t matter what kind of storm he had to endure. For him, there was no turning back.
In Acts 27, we are going to learn three truths about the storms of life. And here is the first truth: The storms will come! In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
If you are familiar with the preceding chapters of Acts, Paul, as a Roman citizen, had appealed to Caesar, and so, to Caesar he would go. In Acts 26:32, King Agrippa stated that Paul could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar. But understand that Paul was not interested in or concerned about being free. And Paul was not a prisoner because he was in chains. He was a prisoner because he was IN CHRIST and because he had surrendered his life to Him. He was the Lord’s prisoner. And the Lord had told him that he must testify in Rome (Acts 23:11). And so to Rome he was headed. But little did he realize that he was headed right into a storm. That is often the way it is when you walk with God. He brings you into the storms of life. However, if you are in Christ, then He is always with you, and there is a purpose for the storm. And the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.
Isaiah 43:2, 5 state, “When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze…Do not be afraid, [the Lord says] for I am with you.” Understand that because we live in a fallen world, which is dominated by pain and death, it’s not a question of if we will face trials, but when. We will pass through the rivers. We will walk through the fire. But here’s the question: Do you want to pass through the storms of life with God or without Him? Paul had already made his decision. He was all in and there was no turning back. He knew the Lord was with him and that gave him peace in the midst of the storm.
Well, in next week’s devotion, we are going to learn that God has a reason. God has a plan! And His plan is always the best plan! His way is always the best way! Stay tuned! Amen!