Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday -- Faith Over Circumstances

"So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith that it will happen just as He told me."  Acts 27:25

Paul made this statement while aboard a wooden ship in the midst of a raging storm.  He was a prisoner on this ship, bound for Rome, and had been battered by this storm for a number of days ... in fact, the Bible tells us that the sailors had seen neither the sun nor the stars for many days.  The crew had already jettisoned most of their cargo to lighten the ship, and they and their passengers had already gone a number of days without food.  It appeared that all hope of survival was lost.

But Paul knew that God had work for him to do in Rome, and he had no doubt that God was going to get him there.  By all outward appearances, his circumstances were hopeless.  Finally, after fourteen days in the raging storm, Paul encouraged the men on the ship to eat something and to prepare for a rough landing on the shore, assuring them that they would all survive.

The ship ran aground on a sand bar and was pounded to pieces by the surf, but Paul and the rest of the passengers and crew made it to shore, some of them clinging precariously to pieces of the ship.  God was faithful to His word.

Sometimes it's hard to keep up our courage when we're in the midst of a storm.  The tempest seems to go on and on and on ... the sky is black with roiling clouds, the power of the wind threatens to knock us off our feet, and the nauseating surf pushes us backwards, away from our port of safety.  We know in our minds that there are blue skies somewhere, but the dark clouds in our hearts just won't let the sun peek through.

So what do we do?  We keep on paddling with our life jackets on, calling out to God in the darkness, knowing that He loves us and that He is bigger than the storm.  There's no way to paddle around a storm ... we have to go through it to get to the other side.

Paul's statement in Acts 27:25 was not an example of mind over matter, but of faith over circumstances.  

Isn't it awesome to know that no matter what kind of storm we find ourselves in today, God is in it with us, and eventually we will see the sun and the stars again?  We just have to keep up our courage and cling tightly to Him.


Dorothy Johnson said...

Thank you for your faith-filled post. You are so right, some storms cannot be skirted, but God is faithful if we will be. My son is going through his own storm after losing everything in a house fire last Friday night, but we know what is important is that he is safe. The outpouring from friends and neighbors has been like the hand of God encouraging him daily.

Kelle said...

WOW! I really needed this today.. Thank You.

Jill Sullivan said...

Thank you, Kelle & Dorothy! Dorothy, I did not know about your son. So glad to know that his friends and neighbors have served as the hands and feet of God. What an encouragement that is!