Day 7

My Unrelenting Storm

Yesterday’s 40 Days of Fasting and Prayer Devotion focused on being stuck in the “swamp of despondency”.

So, you finally come out of the swamp to get hit with a windstorm of opposition! Life and troubles begin battering you like a Cat 5 hurricane. Continual fighting and arguing at home. A job that fills most working hours with pushback and discontent. Just as you were getting out of COVID debt, a major financial obligation buffets your forward financial progress. Will this storm ever stop? What is God’s purpose in letting me go through this?

The Apostle Paul is a prisoner being transported to Rome. Paul has warned the Roman centurion in charge of the prisoners that they should not try to sail to Rome because of a possible storm. The ship’s captain says they should sail. What does a Jewish preacher know about winds and oceans? They sail. The storm strikes. For two weeks the ship struggles against the hurricane-force winds.

Dr. Luke records the events and the emotions. “Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned.”  Acts 27:20 (NASB)
All hope of OUR being saved was gradually abandoned. You can hear it in Luke’s words but even more, you can feel his emotion of abandonment. It is as if he is penning a ship’s log that may be discovered and read by future sailors. Gradually abandoned could be interpreted, we prayed, and we prayed, and we prayed, and nothing changed. The storm raged on! All hope is gone. We will die! But even if Luke did not see God’s purpose in the storm, God’s purpose was still right on track.

Paul stands before the ship’s captain, the ship’s crew, and the centurion guarding Paul. He says, “For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, 24saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’” Acts 27:23-24 (NASB)

After two weeks of fighting the storm, the angel tells Paul he will make it to Rome for God’s purpose is, “you must stand before Caesar…” The storm will not conquer you Paul because God’s purpose is greater than any storm! Because of you, Paul, all will be rescued!

Our patience in a storm is directly connected to God’s purpose for the storm. When we surrender to accomplishing God’s purpose our lives will be filled with peaceful patience! Our storm may be the fear of COVID-19, loss of income, separation from family, confined at home, deteriorating health, marriage conflicts, addictions, etc. We all have a storm that challenges our hope. God’s purpose for you is greater than any storm that rages against you.

May our prayer be, “God, I do not understand the storm but in all things, I want my life to be lived according to your purpose. May others find Jesus because of me!”  
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