God has not promised His children smooth sailing! But, He has prepared for us a safe landing. In the current national crisis we face due to the Wuhan virus global pandemic, we can be sure there will be some tough times ahead. But Jesus told the disciples, and He tells us, to "keep your hope to the end and you will experience life and deliverance" (Matthew 24:13, TPT).
We know that this 'storm' will pass. Every storm eventually ends. The miracle is not that we will go back to a new normal after the pandemic ends, but that it can end for you today
. Do not fear the storm you are going through; God is using it to bring Him glory and publish your reputation! He's got you, and He's got this situation.
“As much time had been lost and as the voyage was now dangerous, because the Day of Atonement was already over, Paul advised them, saying, 'Men, I perceive that this voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also of our lives.' But the centurion was persuaded more by the captain and the owner of the ship than by what Paul said. Since the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority decided to sail on from there, if somehow we might reach Phoenix, a harbor in Crete, facing southwest and northwest, and winter there.
"When a south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained the necessary conditions, they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. But soon afterward a tempestuous wind swept through, called the Euroclydon. When the ship was overpowered and could not head into the wind, we let her drift. Drifting under the lee of an island called Cauda, we could scarcely secure the rowboat. When they had hoisted it aboard, they used ropes to undergird the ship. And fearing that they might run aground on the sand of Syrtis, they let down the mast, and so were driven. We were violently tossed by the storm. The next day they threw cargo overboard. On the third day we threw the tackle of the ship overboard with our own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was upon us, all hope that we should be saved was lost.
"After they had long abstained from food, Paul stood in their midst and said, 'Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete, incurring this injury and loss. But now I advise you to take courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, "Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar. And, look! God has given you all those who sail with you." Therefore, men, take courage, for I believe God that it will be exactly as it was told to me. Nevertheless, we must be shipwrecked on a certain island.'
"When the fourteenth night came, while we were drifting in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors supposed that they were approaching land. They took soundings and found the water to be one hundred and twenty feet deep. When they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be ninety feet deep. Fearing that we might run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. When the sailors strove to abandon ship and lowered the rowboat into the sea, under the pretext of lowering anchors out of the bow, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, 'Unless these sailors remain in the ship, you cannot be saved.' Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the rowboat and let her fall off.
"As day was about to dawn, Paul asked them all to eat, saying, 'Today is the fourteenth day that you have waited and continued without food, having eaten nothing. So I urge you to eat. This is for your preservation, for not a hair shall fall from your head.' When he had said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all. And when he had broken it he began to eat. Then they were all encouraged, and they also ate food themselves. In all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship. When they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw the wheat into the sea.
"When it was day, they did not recognize the land. But they noticed a bay with a shore, into which they were determined to run the ship if possible. Casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea while loosening the ropes that secured the rudders. Then they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore. But striking a sandbar where two seas met, they ran the ship aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, but the stern was broken up by the violent surf.
"The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, prevented them from their intent and ordered those who could swim to abandon ship first and get to land, and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And in this way they all escaped safely to land" (MEV).
When Paul boarded a ship headed for Rome (as a prisoner), the ship's crew faced a critical decision: spend the winter in a port city in Crete - a choice that would have brought great economic cost - or continue the voyage, at risk of potentially deadly winter weather.
Paul warned against the latter option, but the captain, after taking a vote of the crew, chose to proceed. Almost immediately the ship encountered a storm that threatened the crew's safety and their lives.
By the time that voyage ended (in a shipwreck near the island of Malta), Paul was recognized as the unquestioned leader of the ship.
Every storm God brings you through brings glory to Him and publishes your reputation. Whatever you are going through can either kill you or make you a legend.
There are four chains that can hold you in your present if you let them:
Fear. Fear paralyzes you but faith has movement!
Your past can be an anchor. You'll never embrace the future while holding on to the past!
Soul ties. Negative people in your life will try to persuade you to do less than you and God, together, are capable of. Offense loves company!
Traditions. If a religious tradition in your past goes against God's Word it will anchor you and prevent you from achieving what God intends for you.
Your past has been destroyed by the impact of your storm. Let it break you free from everything that has been holding you back!
Thank You for keeping me in this midst of the storms of my life, and during this storm our nation is facing! The uncertainty we are facing is a challenge for me and those I love. But I know that You will keep us in the midst of this storm, both to glorify Yourself and to publish my testimony!
Heavenly Father, I believe my season is about to change! And I do not fear it, because You are with me. I will not allow fear or the memories of my past or bad relationships or bad tradition to stop me from being who You want me to be and go where You want me to go! I am Yours, Lord. Everything I am and everything I am not, I offer to You now. Make me completely Yours in the days and weeks ahead, so those who do not know You will come to experience Your love and power.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ – Jehovah Joshua Messiah – I pray. Amen!