Monday, July 1, 2013

DO NOT GIVE UP by Gary Wilkerson

Paul did not blink when disaster came. Consider the scene: “Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.” So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island’” (Acts 27:21-26, ESV).

I don’t know about you, but I would have a hard time hearing this word. “My ship is about to crash? Whoa, Lord, what’s happening here?”

What would you do if you were told your ship was going to sink? How would you react if your calling was threatened by circumstances beyond your control? Many of us would have an identity crisis because our identity is wrapped up in our calling—whether that calling is our family or work or even ministry. Our ship can be our home, our new car, our kids’ success at sports, or a hundred or more other things. We should thank God for the ships in our life, but none of them has equal value to Christ and the people He has called us to serve. Our identity cannot be in anything other than Christ.

Paul knew this, and even as his ship splintered into pieces, He never took his eyes off his calling, which was Christ. Paul was calm throughout the storm because he was burdened for all on board, and he had God’s assurance that each would be spared. Someone’s precious ship was about to go down, but Paul encouraged them all, “We are to press on.”

If God has called you to something, it doesn’t matter what storms may arise. He says, “It is not over. When everything seems out of control, I am in control. Do not give up!”