Pastor Hill: I believe God

I believe God (Acts 27:20-25): Acts 27:25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

Paul received a special promise from God during a difficult time and he openly avowed his faith and trust in the God who gave the promise. May we have the courage and faith to do the same as we sail in troubled waters?

Speaking the Truth in Love by Pastor Tommy Hill

Speaking the Truth in Love
by Pastor Tommy Hill

We must believe the promise: To believe in God’s promises is a challenge we face like all Christians around the world. Our belief is based upon our faith not upon sight. We learn to believe as we have placed our trust in Christ and grown in our Christian faith. Our belief cannot be based upon the world’s view of God or how we should practice our faith; it must be based upon the word of God. In the beginning of this story in Acts 27, we see that the Centurion believed the owner and master of the ship rather than to trust in Paul’s advice that it was not a good time to set sail. He was influenced by many sources; he never considered Paul’s source was the God of creation. Sometimes we allow the world to influence us to the point that we alter or change what we know to be true and we, “set sail” in troubled waters. These decisions often come down to who or what we believe in.

When sin entered the world, Satan was able to convince Eve to alter the words of Genesis 2:17, “thou shalt surely die,” to, “thou shalt not surely die.” He was able to get Eve to alter just one short statement from God so she could do what she wanted. This is what happens when we fail to believe what God has said. Heaven or hell swings in the balance of believing in God.

Paul stood on the deck of the ship and told the men there would be no loss of life, but of the ship only. Not the most desired message they wanted to hear. There was a nearing abandon ship order coming, and they were in the midst of a great storm. Paul confirmed to them that God had promised he would appear before Caesar and that all in the ship would be safe if they stayed in the ship. Remember, these men were not believers in Paul’s God but they must have been able to see Paul’s confidence in the God he served and believed. If we are to make it through the storms that come into our lives, we must believe God’s promises even when the waves are high, the sun is not shining, and we are fearful of losing our lives. God’s plans are never thwarted because of or through natural disasters.

This storm is a picture to us of man living in the world without God, without Christ, without hope, at the mercy of forces that he cannot control and that he dimly comprehends, wholly in the dark regarding his true position in life, with a shipwreck looming. Without God and His promises, we are nothing more than foundering vessels in a stormy sea. Let us believe God’s promises.

Paul is a picture to us of the value that God places upon those who have trusted in Him. God will complete His plan in our lives and that plan will often provide for the safety and security for those who are traveling in the ship with us. Paul said, “God has given you the same promise as He has given to me.” The ship may be destroyed but God has an island for us, “I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”

We must declare the promise: Paul didn’t keep the promise from God to himself. He declared what God had spoken to all in the ship. Everyone learned of Paul’s God and his complete trust in Him. Often we find that when we are going through difficult circumstances in life that our friends and loved ones will tell us, “don’t worry, everything’s going to be okay,” while they are on the outside looking in. It is difficult, at times, to receive and believe the words that are offered. In this story, we see that Paul is in the storm with them and he is fully trusting in God to bring them through the storm. Storms can be devastating and hard, our faith can get soaked in the salt water but remember our God can calm the troubled seas with just His spoken word. We must believe the promise and then faithfully declare the promise that it will be as God has said. Paul accepted God’s promise and acted accordingly. He managed matters as a man would who was sure of the outcome of the storm. He treated God as He should be treated, with complete trust and confidence and he told everyone so before the promise was fulfilled.

God’s truth must be told, God’s promises must be believed, and God’s promises need to be declared while the sea is calm. Let’s not wait until the storm hits and the waves flow over our ship, let’s believe God now. As we believe His word, His faith grows in our hearts, we become seasoned sailors in the Christian journey, and we are able to weather the storms through a solid faith and trust in the God whose promises we believe.

Pastor Tommy Hill is the pastor of First Free Will Baptist Church in Hamlet. He is a Richmond County native. He can be reached at firstfwbchurchhamlet@gmail.com. His column will appear each Friday in The Pee Dee Post.

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Opinion, Religion

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