Saturday, July 8, 2017

JULY 8 "CAUGHT IN A STORM...."

The perplexity of God and His will.  Was it God that gave Paul the premonition that the voyage would not be a good one if they left port?  Or was it God that caused the storm to drive Paul to be a witness on that island?  Or is God making the most of the situation (Paul is shipwrecked unto an island, let's use this). Who knows?  We do know that it must have been very hard for Paul to keep a good attitude on that ship, after warning them not to attempt to make the voyage, they disregard him (I don't blame them, what experience does he have with sailing?) and now he has to suffer and is in danger of losing his life because of their bad decision. But Paul, rather than go to the lower deck, get an attitude, sulk and wait for death, rally's himself, he rises up to the occasion and lives out his faith for them all to see. What an example Paul is for all of us, if only we could follow his good example in in our daily lives. He had every reason to have an attitude, but he gets a hold of God, he gets wisdom from God to save the crew, the crew is saved because of him, including those who made the bad decision to set sale. It seems we go so far in our faith, but at a certain point, we stop and often, retreat because of bad results and responses. Paul had no point where his faith stopped. Paul's faith overcame all obstacles and set backs. He's not there struggling in his mind (why did God give me the premonition this boat was going to crash, if not to stop the voyage, what's the sense in that?) Paul just keeps pressing forward, believing God for divine intervention; keeping his heart and attitude right in a horrible situation. They were days at sea, with no sign of even stars, for days. This story is nothing short of the novel/movie "Perfect Storm". Unfortunately, in the Perfect Storm, they all perish, in this situation, with Paul on board, they all survive. I believe God is often stretching the limits of our faith and these are probably the times you are most irritable. We don't want to be stretched, we don't want to be challenged. Many would say, "I'd much rather stay the way I am then have to go through what Paul went through". Unfortunately (or fortunately, depends how you look at it) God more often, than not, does not leave that decision to us. You are the Christian you are today because God has stretched you into that Christian or you are the Christian you are today because you would not allow God to stretch you. Which are you? Which do you want to be? Make your life one that would be one worth reading about for encouragement! Caught in a storm for no reason? Get a grip and make the most of it!