Ever felt unable to move forward? You are not alone! Everyone gets stuck sometimes. Even the most committed followers of Jesus will experience times of frustration when it seems like there is no progress taking place.
The apostle Paul was a missions activist, a true pioneer who carried the message of Jesus to the far corners of Asia Minor. He broke new ground as he planted communities of believers in cities and nations. After all, God had called him to this work and he pursued it with passion and determination.
A time came, however, when everything came to a standstill.
In Acts chapter 21 Paul returned to Jerusalem after his third mission trip and a riot took place when he was recognized in the temple. Rescued from the mob by Roman soldiers and then held for investigation, these events stretched into a 2-year imprisonment that left Paul confined to a cell. During this time he survived an assassination plot, false accusations and the deprivations of prison. He also testified before Jewish leaders and Roman governors but there was no resolution; he was stuck with no apparent way out.
So Paul played his last card when he appeared before King Agrippa. His Roman citizenship had saved him from beatings and angry mobs and now he used his right as a citizen to appeal for his case to be presented before Caesar, the ruler of the mighty Roman Empire. The appeal was accepted and he was soon placed on a ship bound for Rome. The fateful journey occupies an entire chapter in Acts (Chpt. 27). Not only is it an amazing tale of surviving a storm, but also there are lessons for us to use as we journey towards our destination and the fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives.
The nine points below help us know what to do in a storm.
- You don’t always get the upgrade (1-3)
- Slow, difficult times will come (4-8)
- The prophetic word is not always followed (9-12)
- Get over the idea that you are in control (13-17)
- Don’t throw away precious cargo (18-19)
- In the storm, don’t give up hope (20-21)
- Destinies are re-written in storms (22-25)
- God re-routes us through prayer (26-38)
- You can survive the crash (39-44)
There is much more to learn from Paul’s dangerous journey. In spite of perils he did reach Rome and within 300 years the Roman Empire was largely filled with followers of Jesus. Also, Paul wrote the majority of his 13 New Testament books during his 4 years of imprisonment. So what looked like a series of setbacks actually became springboards to advance the spread of the Gospel!
You may feel like you are going backwards but before an arrow can be launched, it needs to be drawn back. Look to God’s promises over your life. Your current circumstances will change but God’s purpose remains!