20 August 2019 – Acts 27:21-26 (NIV)

20 August 2019 – Acts 27:21-26 (NIV)

Scripture

21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”

Reflection

How do we keep courage and a light heart in times of duress?  I think about the words of James in chapter 1 “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know it is the testing of your faith that develops perseverance.”  Perseverance then develops Character which develops Hope! (Romans 5)  By this point in Paul’s journey, he’s already seen a lot and so what was a shipwreck going to do to his spirits?  Apparently, he’d persevered through enough that hope was already a big part of his character.  I’m finding with each year that being a Christian is not easy.  It’s hard a lot of the times.  Some of the things we have to persevere can be unfair, unjust even.  But l want to encourage you that God is developing your character to be one of hope.  And this hope is one that can change the world.  So what seems like small troubles, God can and is using to refine you into a person who can carry His hope to the ends of the earth.  A much greater purpose than our present sufferings could ever reveal.

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
  • What does this passage tell you about humanity?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
  • Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.

Prayer

Pray for the spiritually lost among the global community in Shanghai; pray that they will be drawn to God by the Holy Spirit.

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By |2019-08-14T11:49:28+08:00August 20th, 2019|Categories: Week 3|0 Comments

About the Author:

Josh Xiong - Worship Director
Joshua Xiong is the Worship Director at Shanghai Community Fellowship (SCF) and a graduate of Greenville University. He and his wife, Mai Kao, have three daughters and live in Shanghai, China.