Read: Acts 27:1-20
Think: Paul, a prisoner who has been placed in the custody of a Roman officer, boards a ship for Rome along with Luke and their companions. We often mistakenly think that those who are living “in the center” of God’s will experience only ease and peace, certainly not imminent danger! But Paul’s life reveals something completely different. After numerous imprisonments, beatings, misunderstandings between fellow believers, and dozens of speeches delivered to religious or political authorities to defend his faith in Jesus Christ, Paul experienced even more difficulty on his journey to Rome. The first century church understood trials not as unusual, but as an integral part of the Christian life. In James 1:2-4, James writes to believers saying, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
Act: One of the most prominent themes throughout the book of Acts—and especially from Paul’s life—is that the Christian life does not entitle a believer to peace and ease. What believers can expect is that the Holy Spirit will sustain us during our inevitable trials. We have read, over and over in the book of Acts, how the Holy Spirit was given to Christ’s followers as their source of strength to hold on and wait for God no matter how dire a situation appeared. God wants us to be assured that His Holy Spirit will give every believer the indomitable courage he or she needs to wait for Him to show up in amazing—even impossible—ways. Let Paul’s life—and God’s Word—inspire you to trust God today, especially if you are experiencing trials and testing.
Pray: Dear Lord, whom do I have, but You, to answer my prayers, direct my steps, and give me confidence and courage to face my trials. Let my hope be always in You—not in people or possessions. I trust You today to help me through the trials I am facing. And dear Lord, grant me an extra amount of courage so that I can encourage others as they face trouble. Hear my prayer today, dear Lord. Amen.
Be full of faith today!