I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.
Acts 27:21-44 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
When they had gone a long time without food, then Paul stood up in their midst and said, “Men, you ought to have followed my advice and not to have set sail from Crete and incurred this damage and loss. 22 Yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ 25 Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. 26 But we must run aground on a certain island.”
27 But when the fourteenth night came, as we were being driven about in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors began to surmise that they were approaching some land. 28 They took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and a little farther on they took another sounding and found it to be fifteen fathoms. 29 Fearing that we might run aground somewhere on the rocks, they cast four anchors from the stern and wished for daybreak. 30 But as the sailors were trying to escape from the ship and had let down the ship’s boat into the sea, on the pretense of intending to lay out anchors from the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, “Unless these men remain in the ship, you yourselves cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it fall away.
33 Until the day was about to dawn, Paul was encouraging them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have been constantly watching and going without eating, having taken nothing. 34 Therefore I encourage you to take some food, for this is for your preservation, for not a hair from the head of any of you will perish.” 35 Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it and began to eat. 36 All of them were encouraged and they themselves also took food. 37 All of us in the ship were two hundred and seventy-six persons. 38 When they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship by throwing out the wheat into the sea.
39 When day came, they could not recognize the land; but they did observe a bay with a beach, and they resolved to drive the ship onto it if they could. 40 And casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea while at the same time they were loosening the ropes of the rudders; and hoisting the foresail to the wind, they were heading for the beach. 41 But striking a reef where two seas met, they ran the vessel aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern began to be broken up by the force of the waves. 42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, so that none of them would swim away and escape; 43 but the centurion, wanting to bring Paul safely through, kept them from their intention, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, 44 and the rest should follow, some on planks, and others on various things from the ship. And so it happened that they all were brought safely to land.
Jesus taught us to pray: Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. As I have said before, we are not only to be those who pray the prayer of Jesus, we are to be those who would be the answer to that prayer for others. In today’s text it says: I urge you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on a certain island.” Although the circumstances seemed grim, Paul saw a vision and heard a word and a promise from heaven. He believed and walked in and proclaimed the power and the promises of God, not only for himself but also for those who were with him. The angel of God said: you must stand before Caesar. To stand before Caesar and testify of Christ, was part of Paul’s destiny and calling. We too need to remember the things that God has spoken about us and for us; the promises and plans He has concerning our destiny. Like Paul we need to be confident that what God has said He will do. In Numbers 23:19 God says: God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? We need to focus on what God has said, believing what He has promised, even though the circumstances may not allow us to see it. Hebrews 11:1 says: Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Our faith must be in the God of heaven and also in the unseen things of heaven. There is evidence there for us. All that God has promised is already is already provided, finished; complete in the heavenly realm. Paul saw, heard and believed. Hebrews 4:16 says: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Because of the cross, we can go into the heavenly realm and we can approach the throne of God; where we will see and hear the plans of God for us and for others. Like Paul, we can then confidently declare what we have heard and we can bring the realities of God’s promises from heaven to earth.
The text says: The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, so that none of them would swim away and escape; but the centurion, wanting to bring Paul safely through, kept them from their intention, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest should follow, some on planks, and others on various things from the ship. And so it happened that they all were brought safely to land. The soldiers plan was not God’s plan. Paul’s destiny was that he would stand before Caesar, the most powerful ruler in all the world, that he might testify of Christ; that he would proclaim the name of the King of Kings to the ruler of the world. Paul’s life and his calling was more than just his destiny. The journey, every place he went, every day of his life, Paul walked in his calling to be a witness for Christ. He truly walked by faith not by sight. He believed the things he saw and heard from heaven and he brought those realities to those on earth who were with him. It is vital that we too know God’s plan for our lives. We need to know what He has promised to us and for us. James 1:5-6 says: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. If we are unsure of God’s plan and the destiny He has for us, we should ask. We should ask though believing that He will answer and reveal it to us. But like Paul, we need to walk with God, in His will, day by day living in our calling. The revelation of God’s will for our lives is an ongoing thing. We must live each and every day going boldly to the throne of grace, where we will find the help we need for the day. Then we, like Paul, can bring the promises of the realities of heaven to earth for those who are with us. We can be those who not only pray the prayer of Jesus, but who also are the answer to that prayer.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. May this be true in and through my life as I journey toward my destiny in You through the grace of the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.