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Shipwrecked

  • RHM Devotional: Shipwrecked from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Today I want to talk about the ability of God to be in control, even when your life seems out of control. Most of us have been through times when we were powerless to change our circumstances. Some of you may be going through such a moment even now. Looking back, I can tell you of many times when I thought that I must have missed God, only to find out that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Paul had this to say: 

    We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 WEB

     What a statement, from someone who went through so much: that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called. Paul lived many examples of this playing out in his life, but today I want to examine one in detail.

    In Acts chapter 23, Paul had completed his third mission trip and traveled to Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. While in the temple there, some angry Jews tried to beat him to death, but the Roman soldiers broke up the mob and arrested Paul.

    Jesus Himself appeared to Paul in the prison by night and told him that just as he testified about Him in Jerusalem, that he would also testify in Rome. Various trials happened to Paul, and he was taken to Caesarea for two years. He was held, even though there were no clear charges against him. Because he was a Roman citizen, Paul appealed to Caesar, and he was to be transported by ship to Rome to stand trial there.

    It was in the fall of the year, and sea cyclones, the hurricane-like storms similar to nor’easters, increased in the area until the end of winter. Ships did not sail the Mediterranean sea in the winter time, but found a suitable harbor and waited for the storm season to pass. When they arrived in Fair Haven, Paul wanted them to winter there, but it was a small town and the sailors did not want to spend months there. They all decided to go to Phoenix, a larger harbor town about forty miles away.

    It seemed simple enough and when a favorable wind started to blow, they set sail for Phoenix. They should have reached the harbor in a few hours, but soon after leaving Fair Haven, the ship was caught in a terrible storm and blown far out into the sea, away from any land. The sailors could not see the sun by day, nor the stars at night, so they had no idea where they were, but they were moving.

    For two weeks the ship was driven in front of the storm, completely out of the sailors’ control. There was nothing that any of them could do, but pray. They didn’t even eat food during that time, possibly because of seasickness. They may also been unable to cook because of the tossing, turning, rocking ship, that was being beaten by the waves.

    Eventually they gave up all hope of being saved, but Paul stood up and told them that not a hair on their head would perish. They would all make it for an angel of the “God whose I am” told him. When everyone else was falling apart, Paul was at peace. Jesus had promised him that he would testify in Rome, and he trusted that it would come to pass.

    They were blown by that wind for over 475 miles, way, way farther than the forty mile trip they started.

    Eventually they shipwrecked on the Isle of Malta and swam to shore at a place now called Saint Paul’s Bay. Just as Paul told them, they all survived. Not a soul was lost.

    The Isle of Malta has never been the same since Paul swam ashore that morning. He spent about three months there teaching the gospel and healing the sick nearly 2000 years ago and because of it, there are now more than 360 churches there, many of them dedicated to the Apostle Paul. Malta is still considered to be the most religious country in Europe and there is a monument of the Apostle Paul there.

    Instead of them spending the winter in Phoenix, God wanted Paul to bring the gospel to Malta. Though the storm’s wind drove them across the sea and they were helpless to steer the ship, God controlled the direction of the wind that was moving the ship. They set out on a forty-mile journey, and it became a 500 mile trek, but God was in total control. Paul simply took a side trip and brought Christianity to a remote island while on his way to Rome.

    There is never a time to give up hope in God. The path that we take may be dark, and we may feel lost, beaten, and tossed about. We may not understand what we are going through, or why it is taking so, very, long. We all go through dry seasons, but seasons change, and if you hang on, yours will. You will survive the shipwreck.

    The things that we go through will work out for good. Though things seem beyond our control, the “God whose we are” is still in control.

    You can pray this with me if you like:

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please strengthen me, guide me and help me make the right decisions. Give me a clear vision and help me focus on the right things. Though I don’t understand, I trust You to put me where I need to be, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

    Note: For those following our online Bible Study, the latest installment, cover Acts Chapter 27, is now available! Thank you for being part of this study, and we look forward to your feedback!


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15 comments
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Thank you for this message, my testimony is that it is so true, God has a plan and if we truly trust him, ALL will work out for the greater good!  I know because I am living proof!  In Jesus precious name I say Amen, and Thank you God for NEVER allowing me to give up!

Mar 10
  • 1
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen!

Mar 11
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen

Mar 11
  • 1
Penelope Rhome
Penelope Rhome

amen god is in control hallelujah

Mar 11
  • 1
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

Beautiful. So encouraging. How I feel. Thank you for hope dear God. Amen. 

Mar 11
  • 1
Jim Jarrell
Jim Jarrell

Amen!

Mar 11
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Amen!

Mar 11
  • 1
Kathie Byram Lopez
Kathie Byram Lopez

Amen

Mar 11
  • 1
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Heavenly Father, please strengthen me, guide me and help me make the right decisions. Give me a clear vision and help me focus on the right things. Though I don’t understand, I trust You to put me where I need to be, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Mar 11
  • 1
Linda Clark
Linda Clark

Amen 

Mar 11
  • 1
Rick Doran
Rick Doran

Amen!!!

Mar 11
  • 1
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Heavenly Father ,sometimes I feel like I'm not going anywhere but I know I'm protected by You. Give me the vision to do the things You want me to do, strengthen and guide me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Thank you Pastor for this great message, God bless you. 

Mar 11
  • 1
Gail Sellu
Gail Sellu

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please strengthen me, guide me and help me make the right decisions. Give me a clear vision and help me focus on the right things. Though I don’t understand, I trust You to put me where I need to be, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen. Thank you Father.

Mar 11
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardleedited: Mar 11

Amen and Amen! So much going on with my immediate family, close relatives, people that I'm taking care of, major health issues, financial struggles and much more, and I'm overcome feeling shipwrecked and yet i have a peace within me that i know comes from the Lord Himself! He holds me, my future and everything and everyone around me in His hands! I put my sole trust in Him and trust His promises! 

Thank you Pastor Dion for this and all the timely messages, may the Lord most high bless you and Sylvia and meet all of your needs, in Jesus name, Amen!

Mar 11
  • 1
Susan Petho
Susan Petho

Amen!

Mar 11