Devotional 4th October 2018
The truth of divine purpose
Last night an angel of the Lord whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said “Do not be afraid, Paul, you must stand trial before Caesar and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.”So keep up your courage men for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. (NIV) Acts 27:23 - 28:10
This closing section of the book of Acts reveals the wonder of God’s divine purpose for each one of us. Many of us carry a deep sense of being insignificant as if our lives have no real meaning or impact, but the Bible shows clearly that we were not only lovingly created by God but that He made us for a purpose; a beautiful purpose which enables each of us, in our unique way, to become like Jesus and to do His works. Our lives don’t have to be perfect for that to happen and, in fact, He will use all that we go through whether mundane, exciting, devastating or euphoric in the working out of his plans for us. I would never have chosen to have a childhood crippled by abuse or to struggle with deafness and sight loss and God did not cause these things to happen any more than he caused Paul’s ship to be wrecked. In fact He carries us in the traumas we go through and deeply feels our pain. Whatever you are experiencing now, He cares and wants to encourage you just as he encouraged Paul when his ship seemed certain to be destroyed and all lives lost. But He took that terrifying situation and made it a point of growth for Paul, telling him not to be afraid of dying because he had to speak about Jesus to Caesar. Paul in his turn then encouraged the men and stood up to the soldiers. He was holding firm to God’s promise and when they eventually ran aground in
No God does not, to any degree cause our struggles, but he leads us through them into his amazing purposes as we open ourselves to his love. My purpose springs out of my openness to His presence with me, even in my pain. In reality there is no way I could reach out to those who feel lonely and shamed unless I knew the power of Him healing my own life.
God is working in your life too. Be encouraged by this story from Acts to know he is with you all the time and never stops loving you, and step trustingly into the adventure of your own divine purpose.
‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future’ (Jer 29:11 NIV)
Yes Lord. May I not hold back!