Acts 27:34-36 New International Version (NIV)
34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.
Paul was amidst a life or death situation because of some bad choices that the pilot and the boat owner made sailing out on what they thought was good weather. The boat that Paul was in was in danger of being destroyed because of a fierce storm. The crew was doing whatever they could to stay afloat and survive. It was a desperate situation, but Paul refused to let the circumstances waver his faith in God and His promises. He did not focus on blaming others for the situation he was in, rather He became a beacon of hope amidst the storm.
We will all go through emergencies or situations in which will test our faith, some of which are not our fault. But we have a choice in the situation, trust ourselves or trust in God. Sometimes God will put us in situations not for our good but for the good of others. Paul encouraged and uplifted those in the boat by holding strong to his faith in God. Although we do not know if any of those with Paul became a Christian, we do know that they believed in the God in which Paul believes. However, should our faith waver in those situations, we are also endangering those watching. It would be hard to say I have faith in God when I go through tough times but rely upon myself. There are three takeaways from this:
- I need to check the direction of my focus. What I focus on will determine my outcome. If I focus on my problems or circumstances, I have a greater degree of losing hope and losing my faith. If my focus is on God’s promises and His view, I will begin to see what God sees and finding potential in the problem.
- I need to pay attention to other needs. Paul looked to the physical needs of those on the ship (“…take some food.”) When I am addressing a problem, I may need to pay attention to physical needs that may take me from seeing God’s best, for example: Am I resting enough?
- People are watching. When people that know you are a Christian, they will really scrutinize me and my faith based on how I conduct my life. I need to guard my faith through actions which display my faith.
Jesus, I thank you for the hope we have in You and for the promises you have made that still hold true. I know I have gone through many trials and hard time but I ask Lord, that you help me to shine brightly to those around so that they come to know You because my actions and attitude are in line with my faith in you. Help me to keep focused on You. Help me to also remember to care for other needs people may have so that they can see You clearly and not focus on those immediate needs. I love you and thank you so much for your love and encouragement. I love you and ask this in your name, Jesus. Amen!