by Claude Houde
You may be in a storm right now but on the other side of that tumultuous sea is a bank of God’s blessing and a deeper miracle. We see the secret of this in the book of Acts when we look at the life of the apostle Paul.
Paul had done no wrong — King Agrippa said, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains” (Acts 26:31) — yet, he was taken prisoner. “They delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius” (27:1) and in spite of Paul’s advice to delay their departure, they sailed toward Rome where Paul was to go on trial before Caesar. Along the way, they encountered numerous storms that caused them much hardship. During this time, Paul stood up in their midst and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship” (27:21-22). An angel had appeared to Paul and assured him that they would all be safe.
Even though they crashed on the island of Malta, demolishing their ship, not one life was lost, just as Paul had declared. It was cold and rainy, and they were in chains in a strange culture with a strange language. But they were met with unusual kindness and were made to feel welcome (see Acts 28:1-2).
A shipwreck is never a pleasant experience, but God used this event to demonstrate his goodness and bring the good news of Jesus to this island. “In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously” (28:7). The father of this local dignitary was ill and God used Paul to bring healing to him (28:8). This demonstration of God’s love and power opened up the avenue for a revival on the island.
All the pain and pressures Paul endured on his trip were preparing him for Malta and the miracles that occurred there. He was shipwrecked under God’s sovereignty! But on the other side of that shipwreck was the miraculous.
Surrender your Malta to Jesus today — God has a purpose for you there! As you hold on to his promises, he will use you, prepare you, mold you, and change you for his glory.
by Claude Houde