I pray that you are looking forward to this day which the Lord has made for His glory. We have a great opportunity before us today to bring glory to Him. May we be faithful to point others to the Lord.
Today's devotional thought is from Acts 28; and really, it comes from just verse 1. Acts is one of my favorite books of the Bible (besides the other 65) and I have read this passage hundreds of times. But something in Acts 28:1 caught my attention. It is the word "escaped". The verse starts out by saying "And when they were escaped, ..." Normally, escaped is not a major word. We use it often in today's language and know that it means "to break free from confinement or control." It really is not that significant of a word unless, of course, you stop to study it as a Bible word and not as a regular English word. I am afraid that I have read so many Bible words assuming I know what they mean instead of actually knowing what they mean. I wonder how many times I have missed out on the great meaning of a passage because I quickly read over a word.
Before I get to the definition in this passage, let me explain the previous chapter. In Acts 27, we have the account of Paul's journey to Rome and the great storm that comes up named Euroclydon. It is a marvelous story of God's sovereignty and protection. Although the storm was great and dangerous, all men aboard the boat survived. It leads right into chapter 28 where we see this word "escaped". You would immediately understand the word escaped, because they all survived the storm and happened to get through it. But this is where the proper meaning is so much better than what I assumed.
If I read too quickly, I can think that they all escaped the storm and everything worked out, but that diminishes what God did. The word escaped here does not mean "to break free from confinement or control"; but rather it means "to preserve through danger, to bring safely through, to keep from perishing." In other words, the men on the ship did not survive because they happened to escape. They survived because the Lord brought them through and preserved them. Our modern definition of escaped gives a hint of things "just working out". The Acts 28 definition means that God is in control and has a plan. That is an awesome thought!
Have you ever been in a storm of life? Perhaps you are in the middle of one or maybe you are facing one just around the corner. Please know this ... God is in control. You do not have to fight the storm alone. God knows what is best and how to care for you. Let me share three brief thoughts about escaping the storm.
1. God's promises never fail.
God already told Paul that he would be preaching in Rome. Therefore, Paul had to get to Rome. The storm may have been a heavy time, but it was only temporary. God had a plan and He fulfilled that plan.
2. God's presence never fails.
God was with Paul the whole time. Earlier in the storm, Paul was visited by the angel of the Lord declaring that he would make it. In Acts 23, the Lord actually stood by him and said he would testify at Rome. The presence of God always brings comfort.
3. God's power never fails.
When the storms of life come, remember that Christ stood in the boat on the sea and said, "... Peace, be still. ..." (Mark 4:39). The storm then ceased. He is the same God who declared in Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God: ..." He is the Master of the wind, the waves, and the rain. He controls it all. Because of that, I know that He can preserve me from danger. I can escape the storm because it is He that controls the storm. It is not my power that gets me through the storm; it is His power that gets me through the storm. Praise the Lord!
Fear not. When the storm comes, you can escape!
Written by Kenn Winn