Not Always The Way We Think….But Take Courage

14th July

and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in His goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as He said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.”

Acts 27:24-26

After many years in prison, and after long and tiresome court cases, Paul’s request, as a Roman citizen, to stand trail before Caesar in Rome, was finally heard. However, yet again, Paul’s journey was not without drama. As they made their way from Caesarea to Rome, a great wind arose, and threatened to capsize and even destroy the ship they were on. Yet Paul knew that his journey would not end by dying in a shipwreck. He had been beaten, imprisoned and persecuted, and each time, God had rescued him from death. Re-assured by an angel of God during the night, Paul was once again encouraged, that although a storm was crashing in around him, he would survive and not die. Paul was full of faith in God’s promises. ‘For I believe God. It will be just as He said!’

Sometimes, even though God speaks to us and shows us clearly of the path we are to take, when hurdles arise, we can easily become discouraged and feel like giving up. But just as Paul took courage in God’s promises, so should we. Things might not always go the way we planned or the way we think they should. In fact sometimes, they might look like they are going in the opposite direction to what God had revealed to us, but if our trust and hope is firmly in God, then we have no reason to fear or doubt. We can be full of courage and confidence, knowing that God is with us every step of the way. We can join Paul and say, ‘For I believe God. It will be just as He said!’

Paul’s Commission

13th July

..I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in Me.”

Acts 26:17b-18

Paul’s commission, as given by Jesus Himself, was to reach out to not only the Jews, but to all Gentiles too. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was never meant to be an exclusive club but inclusive of all people, all nations and all languages. Paul’s mission was to show people to the truth, that salvation is found in Jesus alone. His commission was to open the eyes of the spiritually blind, leading them from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of light. To lead them to true repentance so they may have a place among God’s people.

2000 years on, and our message is the same. We, who have been saved and are in the light, are commissioned to also share this same Good News. Amazingly, still after all these years, the power of the Gospel, has not weakened but is still saving lives across the world. Through faith in Jesus, we can have a new life. A life of hope, peace and joy, no matter what we face.

One day, when Jesus returns, the kingdom of darkness will be destroyed forever. But until that day comes, let us, with full faith and trust in Jesus’ power, lead as many people into the Kingdom of light as we can. Only Jesus has the power to save, and it is in Him alone, that salvation is found. Yet if we don’t tell them, how will they know!