How to Overcome Adverse Circumstances

Acts – Chapter 27

Outline

  • Acts 27:1-8– Paul and other prisoners are assigned to Julius, a centurion, and sail to Italy but their progress is slow because the winds are not favorable.
  • Acts 27:9-13 – Paul prophesies that the voyage will end with disaster but the centurion is persuaded by others to continue
  • Acts 27:14-26 – They continue for many days in the tempest and Paul prophesies again reassuring that no one will die but the ship will be lost and they will end on an island
  • Acts 27:27-38 – On the 14th day Paul urged all to eat to get strength. He broke bread and gave thanks. All 276 people ate and were encouraged. Then they lightened the ship
  • Acts 27:39-44 – The following morning they saw a land that they could not recognize. The ship ran aground and the centurion commanded those who could swim to jump overboard and the others to use boards to reach the land. All were saved

Hearing from God Makes a Difference 

This journey to Rome shows that the sailors and the centurion could only depend on their experience and physical strength but Paul had more. Initially that was not enough for them, but when the situation became hopeless, they became afraid for their life. This is when Paul’s strength started to shine.

The Preeminence of Spiritual Leadership

Even as a prisoner, it was Paul who directed, encouraged and finally led everyone to safety. At the beginning they did not listen to his advice, but they all came at the end of their “ropes”. Human strength is able to cope with things when all is well, but when things turn really bad, the only way to make it, is with God’s direction and strength. Hearing from God makes the difference. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are of great value in dealing with difficult times.

How to Become Fearless

Here Paul demonstrates the fearless strength that you too can have if you know God and believe in His promises.

Paul did not question the revelation he had received. He was not confused or distracted by the circumstances that appeared hopeless. Paul was not even begging God to protect him as the disciples did when the tempest was tossing their boat (Mat 8:24-26). He was fully persuaded (Rom 4:21-22) that he had heard from God and could boldly say, “So keep your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.” (Acts 27:25)

Decide to Believe God’s Promises

God gives you promises through the Bible and through your heart.

To overcome fear you must know and rely on God’s promises. The switch turning on the power of your faith is the decision you make to believe in the promises rather than in your circumstances. When you make that decision, you stop looking at your circumstances and start looking at God’s promises. Then, courage and strength will replace fear and weakness.

Then, you can speak with the same boldness demonstrated by Paul because you have a Bible full of exceedingly great and precious promises given to you to make you partaker of the divine nature and obtain victory (2 Peter 1:3-4).

You Are Greatly Blessed

Now, you are in a better place than Paul was. God has spoken and speaks to you through the Bible. All the promises in it are yes and amen in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 1:20). Do you realize how blessed you are?

Is there any area in your life where you have doubted that God`s promises apply to you? They were written for you. The only condition to receive them is you believing in them (Mark 11:23-24). Therefore, let go of your doubts, believe God with your heart and start speaking boldly your victory because with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation (Rom 10:9).  “Therefore take heart because it will happen just as He told you.” (Acts 27:25)

Believing in the promises always changes our attitude. It also always produces some results. But at times to get the final result involves many small steps as your beliefs are being expanded. Do not give up but keep your eyes on the little progress you are making and keep growing.

Loving, Trusting God and Your Spiritual Gifts

God’s love  protected Paul against all odds. God loves you just as much. The power of His love is greater than the most adverse circumstances.

As you see God’s power working in you, you come to realize and experience the love that He has for you. The more you experience His love, the more your trust in Him and the ability to receive will grow in you. In this process, your spiritual gifts will become stronger.

God’s love, not fear, must be the beginning of our Christian experience. That is what the New Testament is all about. Without that love we are either following a philosophy or a religion. We cannot have a relationship with the living Jesus. Only when we are established in His love we can grow. From His love we develop our love, commitment, obedience, and ability to believe and receive. Going through the Bible with that focus, reveals to us how God’s love is always present and that empowers you.

Questions

  1. Do you have circumstances in your life that you want to overcome?
  2. Do you have specific promises that you focus on to replace the effect of your circumstances?
  3. Have you realized the instantaneous difference from focusing on the promises rather than the circumstances?
  4. Do you find that in some areas it is easier to believe the promises than in other areas? Why do you think it is that way?

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Pastor Maurizio

About Pastor Maurizio

Maurizio Mingardi, in 1972, had an encounter with God that totally changed his life. From a scientist doing research in Quantum Mechanics and an atheist, Maurizio became a believer and a disciple of Jesus Christ. Then a spiritual journey began. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and later started Mount Zion Church of the Firstborn in Ottawa, Ontario. Maurizio has been in the ministry for more than 30 years and is presently the Senior Pastor of Mount Zion Church. He has also filled a number of executive positions in public and religious organizations. He has been elected President of the Evangelical Church Alliance Ministerial Fellowship of Canada. His goal is to help people to know God, discover and use their gifts and fulfill their destiny.
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