“Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”
The discourse of this verse is about Paul be transferred to Rome to be tried by Caesar. While taking the trip, they came across a violent storm that risked their lives. The men of the ship became fearful that this storm would take their lives. After many days in this storm, Paul stood before the men and reminded them that he told them not to leave from port; however, he also told them that God assured him that there would be no loss of life of the men if they stayed onboard. Paul’s final words to these men were, “…for I believe God.”
Even after this speech to these men, Paul’s faith in the LORD was tried again when he told the centurion that except everyone stay onboard, they would not be saved from the storm. Those words caused the sailors to let the storm take the ship wherever it would. The problem was that when they got close to land, the ship ran aground causing the violence of the waves to break up the ship. As the ship began to sink, the passengers jumped overboard and began to swim to land. However, some could not swim, so the only thing they could do was hold onto the broken pieces of boards and swim to land.
The faith it took in this story to fulfill Paul’s confirmation that all would be safe was tried to the point that people had to hold onto broken pieces of boards to make it to land, but they all made it to land according to the Word of God. Faith has a way of trying you just like this storm. Faith often causes you to face storms in your life that seem to have no end. This is why it is called faith. If we could see the end of where the LORD is taking us, it would take no faith to follow God; however, when God tells us to do something, we often find ourselves in storms that seem to be breaking our lives. In these moments, there are two things we need to remember.
First, remember that God always follows through on what He says He will do through you. God never tells you to step out by faith if He is not going to honor your act of faith. At the writing of this devotional, I have been in evangelism close to three decades. There have been many times in my journey of faith that I was not sure how I was going to make it, but God always kept His Word and protected and provided for me as long as I continued. Always remember that the nature of faith causes you not to see where God is taking you, but the faithfulness of God will guide you every step of the way. Don’t ever doubt God’s faithfulness.
Second, God grows your faith by stretching it to the point of faithlessness. The only way God can grow your faith is by bringing you to the brink to where you feel you can’t make it. There will be times when you feel like you are holding onto boards just to get to land, but if all you have is a board of faith to hold onto, don’t quit. God never takes you further than what you can take. Faith will cause you to feel that you are going to drown, but let me encourage you to grab a board of faith that life’s storms have broken and keep holding onto your faith until God brings you to land.
My friend, are you at the point where your faith seems to be breaking up? If all you can do is hold onto a board of faith, keep holding on until God brings you to land. He promised He would never leave you, and He is growing your faith so that He can use you later for something greater. You will only realize what God is preparing your faith for if you don’t quit.