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Allowing God to guide instead of Circumstance

Updated: Feb 6



"When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So, they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. But the weather changed abruptly" (Acts 27:13-14, NLT).


The idea that circumstances will always line up favorable with God’s guidance is not

Scriptural. Sometimes, God leads through the wilderness and He’ll never lead you

anywhere that doesn’t require His provision and protection. Moreover, if you can get there

without God, He didn’t send you. Let us now look at how to get out of storms without

losing everything.


Make Preparation before you get into Distressed Circumstance!

The wise man built his house upon a rock because he believed in storms (Matt. 7:24; Luke

6:47-49). It’s impossible to go through life without them. Where did we ever get the idea

that we wouldn’t have problems? Paul warned the Christians at Philippi: For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Phil. 1:29).


Therefore, there is no accident in their suffering, nor is it a mark of divine punishment as

though God was angry with them. On the contrary, suffering is a sign of God’s favor; ‘seals

of adoption to the children of God,’ as Calvin says. Not only does suffering for Christ’s sake

fulfills the purpose of God for His people in the world, but it also comes as a gift of His

grace:


“It has been granted for Christ’s sake.”


‘Grace,’ is the Greek charis; applied objectively, “that which bestows or occasions pleasure, delight, or causes favorable regard (Luke 2:40; 2 Cor. 8:6),” [Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary]. This reminder is an encouragement and consolation to the afflicted people of God in all ages. To suffer on behalf of Christ, which can mean the same as “for the faith of the gospel” (v. 27), is actually a privilege given by God; and with the affliction of His followers Christ identified Himself, as Paul would vividly recall from his Damascus road encounter.


‘Faith,’ is God’s gift on the behalf of Christ. To suffer for the sake of Christ is a valuable gift

too. If we suffer reproach and loss for Christ, we are to reckon it a great gift, provided that

we always behave under our sufferings with genuine temperament of martyrs (v. 30).

Equally important, it is not simply the suffering, but the cause, and not only the cause, but

the spirit, which makes the martyr. This suffering for Christ sake is a type of warfare, not

welfare!


Preparation is not only necessary, but one ought to ‘Stay Calm’


Panic kills more pilots than bad weather, because it clouds their ability to think clearly. In

the storm Jesus said to His disciples, “Take courage: it is I, do not be afraid” (Mark 6:50).

Beloved, get your eyes on Jesus and keep them there, otherwise your fear will hurt you

more than your circumstances. Paul knew that God’s plan will always prevail so he

announced, in Acts 27:25, “Keep up your courage, men, for I believed God, that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.”


We should display cheerfulness even if our ship seems like it is sinking; our confidence

must be placed in God. David once said when he was in trouble, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:26).

Others have experienced the failing of both flesh and heart and we must expect the same.


The body will fail because of sickness, age, and death. Let it deteriorate, (become worse)

because of old age, there is no remedy for that; but our concern should be about the soul, to be strengthened in the inner man. Reexamine Paul’s prayer for the Church in his Epistle to the Colossians. Colossae was an important city of Phrygia in Asia Minor, (Col. 1:9-11).


Never Abandon Your Purpose


The ship’s crew was overwhelmed by their circumstance, so they threw their cargo

“overboard with their own hands” - the purpose for their journey (vv. 18-19). If they had

listened to Paul in the first place, they would not have found themselves in this difficult

position. The Scripture recounts “the majority reached a decision to put out to sea” (v. 12).

There is a very important lesson here for all to grasp and that is to never let go your

purpose for which God has call you, for it will sustain you through the hard times.

Later Paul would write, “We know that all things work together for good… to them who are

called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).


The word here rendered ‘purpose’ means properly a proposition, or a laying down anything in view of others, and is thus applied to the bread that was laid on the table of showbread (Matt. 12:4; Mark 2:26; Luke 6:4). Hence, it means when applied to the mind, a plan or purpose of mind. It implies that God had a plan, purpose, or intention in regard to all who became Christians. They are not saved by chance or randomly. God does not convert men without design and His designs are not new, but are eternal. What He does, He has always meant to do. What is right for Him to do, was always His intention to do. What God always meant to do is His purpose or plan. That He has such a purpose in regard to the salvation of His people is often affirmed in Scripture (Rom. 9:11; Eph. 1:11; 3:11; 2 Tim. 1:9; Jer. 51:29).


The Saints are people of privilege. All the providences of God are theirs – merciful

providences, afflicting providences. They are all for good, perhaps for temporal good and

at least, for spiritual and eternal good. Either directly or indirectly, the providence has a

tendency to the spiritual good of those that love God. “They work together” – as several ingredients in a medicine concur to answer the intention of the doctor on the prescription, God Himself works all things together for good. All this we know and understand for a certainty, from the Word of God, from our own experience, and from the experience of all the other saints who love God.


Therefore, be strong because the circumstance doesn’t control your destiny, God does. He’s still in charge. Stand up and announce, “In all these things we are more than conquerors.”


REFLECTION:


We abide faithful in the new covenant of our God; and He is faithful who has promised to

support and make us more than conquerors; to give us a complete triumph over sin, and

death, and hell, not leaving one enemy unsubdued.

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