I love survivor stories that include some miraculous encounter with God or an angel who assures a praying and penitent person that they will be saved. The apostle Paul was one of those people more than once. Time and time again he was rescued from dangers. One time he summarized his adventurous life as a survivor this way in a letter to the Corinthian church: “I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent adrift at sea. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” What are you facing today, big or small that you feel a need to survive? There are real dangers in our world and God is willing to intervene for His glory. One whole chapter in the history book of the church (the book of Acts) captures a rescue from shipwreck. Read it and remember, God has appointed angels as ministering spirits for you too.
When many had lost their appetites, Paul then stood among them and said, “Men, you should have followed my advice and not have set sail from Crete, and thereby spared yourselves this damage and loss. And yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong, whom I also serve, came to me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has graciously granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on a certain island.” Acts 27:21-26 NASB
How am I relying upon the power of God to rescue me from the dangers in the world? Am I even aware of His master plan and that He appoints angelic beings for my assistance? Am I too afraid to embark on the adventure ahead to even experience His saving power?
God, as this day begins- its probably true that I live too cautiously, too caring about other opinions than the immediate call to share Your love and the gospel with all in this world. I want to have such a rich and devoted prayer life that I could experience the surety of the apostle Paul to say ‘I must stand before Caesar’, and know what You are calling me to. Please help me complete the important tasks of this day. I thank you for last week which was so magnificent in so many ways for me, my lovely wife and family.