God Will Make It Happen
GOD WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN
In Acts chapter 27, Paul is in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, where a violent storm has been churning the ocean into a raging deathtrap of wind and waves. He is traveling toward his destiny which is a God-ordained appearance before Ceasar. According to God's promise, He is told that God would use his influence in Rome to further the spread of the gospel message. But now it appears that his promise and his destiny will not be realized because of this terrible storm that now threatens the life of the Apostle and 276 other persons on the besieged ship. A mistake has been made, a bad decision to set sail at an ill-advised time has brought on a set of circumstances that are out of control. But mistakes and miracles often are linked together in our lives to usher us into a greater dimension of fruitfulness and maturity in our relationship with God. In fact, sometimes the two are the same thing!
I. THE STORM HAD TO HAPPEN
13. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.
14. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.
When you won't listen to godly counsel, a storm is bound to happen. Paul had warned them of disaster if they continued on the journey. In other words, "If you keep traveling on this road that you are on. You are headed for destruction." To ignore the warning of a man of God, and press forward in your own way, thumbing your nose at God's Word is to set your course on a path that will take you to a miserable place of hurt and loss. And when that day comes, the storm will rip away everything that is held dear: home, family, friends, ....and leave sorrow and pain, hopelessness, and loss. Sooner or later, when it seems that the winds are blowing softly, suddenly, a bad decision to sail on anyway will turn into a time of fear and trembling. In spite of God's warning, a decision to have it your own way and press on with your own purpose for wealth and personal gain will become the catalyst for disaster.
II. THE VIOLENCE OF THE STORM
20. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.
That's called despair. No hope! They had accepted defeat, and had no strength or faith to believe that things could be different for them. But that is when things began to change, for on that ship there was a man of destiny, on whose life lay the responsibility to carry this life-changing gospel to the Gentiles. The men on board the ship were blessed to have the Apostle on that ship. The owners were blessed to have a Pentecostal Preacher on board that ship. Tell your neighbor, "You're gonna be glad you sat by me today, cause I've been going through a storm for a long, long time, and I feel like today is going to be the day that the Sun will shine, and the storm clouds will break up, and this long night is gonna be over!"
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 Ceasar; and God has graciously given you the lives all those who sail with you."
25. So keep up your courage men, for I have faith in God that it will happen as He told me.
26. Nevertheless we must run aground on some island.
The things that don't really matter are not gonna make it through the storm, but you will! All of your strategies for survival will be lost. All of the plans you have made to get through the mess will be shattered upon the rocks of the island, but you will make it. All the cargo and things that accompany you on the ship will perish, but you will be saved.
Could I tell you that the things that you trust and have confidence in, and rely upon, in the final analysis will pass away but he that does the will of the Father, the one who walks in the path of obedience, the one who pursues his given destiny shall never lose the battle for His soul. Things perish, but the soul will persevere!
The Bible says, "Don't fear the world and its inhabitants who can only destroy the body, but fear God who can destroy both soul and body." The song says, "And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace." Oh yes, life storms can "chill the body, but not the soul!"
The journey to heaven is regularly visited with dire circumstances, even for Paul. He was a brilliant strategist and a genius at assessing a situation. But he, like all of us get tangled in that process of asking "WHY". And I hear in this passage a telltale sign that Paul is dissecting the event, and comes to the conclusion that we're in this mess because you wouldn't listen to me! Here's how we got to this place. Trusting people after so many years of dealing with the human condition and all its depravity can leave you with a dismal outlook if those folks are the only source of motivation. Listen, people will fail you, disappoint you, betray you, and say all manner of evil against you, strew malicious untruths about you to destroy your character. It's all quite a hopeless matter unless you have your faith in God. Our sermon title is not "I will make it happen, or people will make it happen, but GOD WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN! But please hear these words, "But now". What Paul was saying is that if we stay in this reason process, we're going to drown in the chaos. I think every one of the 276 people on board knew the reason why they were in the horrible circumstances that threatened their lives. The more energy we spend telling our story of what someone did to me, trying to assess blame and expose the reason, the less energy we are going to have to work out a solution.
I've spent so much time over the years trying to answer the why question for people who have gone through a difficulty. Some reason why your child died or your husband cheated, or why your kids are hooked on drugs. I've told them about the sin Curse, and I've quoted Romans 8:28, trying to help them understand some theological reason for why things are as they are. But I've come to the conclusion that there is no answering the why question; what people really need to understand is that no matter what the situation, God is not going to leave them to be destroyed, but if they will take courage and have faith in God, He will make miraculous things happen. Through faith in God, I've seen marriages healed; I've seen wayward children reconciled, l've seen a hopeless situation turn into a miracle of God's love and grace. Stop trusting in people, TRUST GOD.
I know he's not faithful, but God is. I know she has lied and schemed, but God hasn't. He has not lost any of His power to redeem and heal! "Faithful is he that calleth you, Who also will do it!"
III. THE DUMB DECISION
Have you ever had to go through a storm because of someone else's dumb decision? Sometimes it is not the devil that made me do it. I did it, but it was not so much the devil, as it was a bad decision. It didn't really have to happen, but since it did, let's allow God to work something miraculous to save us from the destruction that Satan intends. That's what Paul was saying.
But sometimes God will use other people's bad decisions to bring about my destiny. Why can it not be that God took something that was meant for evil to me, but God meant it for good. You see if we get stuck in the reason, we will never realize the revelation. Joseph told his brothers, "You made a bad decision, but God repurposed it to become attached to my destiny as a Savior for our people.
GOD SOMETIMES CREATES A SITUATION FOR REVELATION !!!
King Saul was rejected by God and David was anointed by Samuel to be the King. But Saul thought that he could solve his problem by eradicating David from the nation, so he made a bad decision to kill David. But some of the sweetest psalms that have encouraged believers down through the ages were written while David ran from the face of his enemy. Camping out in caves and hiding in forests because of a bad decision made by someone else.
In the eleventh chapter of the Book of John, we read the story of Lazarus of Bethany. He had died and his sisters had sent word to Jesus to come, for it was their belief that if Jesus would come He could heal him and all would be well. But Jesus did not come and Jesus eventually said, Lazarus is dead. v. 14 But I want you to see verse 15, in which Jesus said, "I'm glad he died, and I was not there." Why, because Jesus had a greater revelation that if any man though he were dead, yet shall he live again. Sometimes God creates a situation to give a startling revelation!
elieves in Him, Now we can work with revelation, we can't work with reason! You can't fight the devil with the reason, but you can fight with the revelation. If you keep searching for the reason, you'll miss the revelation.
Acts 27:26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island."
Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island."
It was a nameless island. Left that way because for some of you today that island is a lingering illness. For some of you that island is a miserable divorce, for others it may be the loss of a loved one; but whatever that island is, it is intended to separate you from things, and the only thing that survives is you with nothing but your soul.
Don't miss that 33rd verse "And while the day was coming on, Paul said let us take meat for strength." It has been a long night of despair and anguish, fear and suffering, but joy comes in the morning. There will come a time in your life when all the things cannot give you the peace your searching for. All the baggage of a lifetime is left floating on the sea of life, and you are washed up on the beach of reality, wondering how in the world did I get here. At that point, the only thing that matters is your soul, and standing somewhere in the shadows you'll find Jesus.