Speaking from Acts 27-30, Glen tells us about Paul, when he was in a shipwreck on the way to Rome to be tried. Living in Cornwall, Glen spoke of shipwrecks being almost a part of the culture down there. There are so many stories and legends about the ships sunk off the coast of Cornwall.
A shipwreck is defined as a boat that is falling apart, however, we can have shipwrecks in our lives. These can be financial, personal, to do with a relationship, or to do with a job. There are all kinds of shipwrecks that we come up against.
In the story of Paul, we see a clash of cultures. Paul, in doing the work he is called to do, is fulfilling God’s word. He knows that he will be persecuted and yet, he keeps pushing forward for what God wants him to do. When he came up against the authorities, he revealed that he was a citizen of Rome, and asked to be tried before Cesar, which is what prompted the journey in the ship. Paul knew that he was going to meed Cesar, and he knew that he was going to go through suffering in order to get there, and yet, even on the shipwreck, we see him teaching the prisoners. Even on the ship, when it was wrecked, God was still working in Paul’s life. He was still on a mission. Paul used this to his advantage to get to people, to allow them to become saved.
What we need to realise, is that even when things go wrong, we are still Christians, and God is still at work in our lives, even if we don’t realise it. We just have to put our trust in Him, as Paul did, and allow Him to bring us through.
In Acts 29, we see that Paul is still preaching and teaching, and writing boldly and without hinderance, in God’s name, so that he might fulfil God’s plans for his life. The truth is that Paul had Jesus running right through his core. We need to be missionary in our lives. Paul knew what it was like to be in the middle of a storm, and yet, he trusted God. God will always bring us through our storms, even if we can’t see how at the time, and He will bring us through to a place where we can minister because of what happened.
We must be careful to look out for people who want to help us when we’re going through a storm. The truth is that the best thing we can do when we’re going through a storm is to get more involved.
When we do good, sometimes, things go wrong. Paul was doing all the right things and he still got bitten by the viper. Still, he stayed on his mission and shook it off. This is what we are called to do. We must stay on our mission, and not give up. We must shake off the attacks that are coming our way. In truth, Glen told us that everything happens for a reason, and when these things happen, people will watch for our reactions. These are the times when we need to shake things off and keep pushing forward for God. God can change people’s perception off us, depending on how we react to what’s happening to us.
In his situation, Paul brings healing into it. He uses his circumstance and situation as an opportunity to share Jesus. This whole experience for Paul didn’t stop him from being who he was in Christ.
Another example of overcoming circumstance is that of Jesus on the cross. This is the ultimate shipwreck. Beaten, bruised, torn, mocked, scorned, forsaken even by His own father, Jesus hung on the cross, and His reaction in that moment shows the truth about His nature. He kept His eyes fixed on God’s promises. He endured ultimate torture, and yet, in the midst of this, His words and actions shine bright as an example of someone whose eyes are fixed not on His earthly circumstance, but on His Heavenly Father.
In closing, Glen urged us, when the storms of life come and lead us to shipwreck, to not give up, but to get more involved. To fix our eyes on God and His purpose and to rely on the fact that God is in every situation, and that He will bring us through.
Scriptures: Acts 27-30