To the GateWay family
DON’T TRY TO HOLD TOGETHER SOMETHING GOD IS BREAKING UP
Two verses in the Bible that are very relevant in this current pandemic are Hebrews 12:26 & 27 – “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens. The words once more indicate the removing of what can be shaken – that is, created things- so that what cannot be shaken may remain”. Many people are finding that life is very insecure now leading to an increase in anxiety and worry over the future and the threat of a winter second wave is fuelling the panic. Our lives can so often be preoccupied by things that are very shakeable. For believers, the Covid19 pandemic is prompting many to look seriously at what really gives us a confident foundation for life, especially at this time when life as we know it is changing so rapidly.
I want to draw your attention to an incident in Acts 27 that might help strengthen the foundations for our lives in these uncertain times. The story concerns Paul on his journey to Rome as a prisoner charged to appear before Caesar. He had once said to his travelling companions, “I must see Rome”. This was not the ‘must see Rome’ of a tourist with another place to tick off his list of travel destinations. This was the ‘must see’ of an apostle who wanted to stand in front of the world’s most powerful leader in the City of the world’s greatest Empire and there proclaim the message of the Kingdom of God. Well, Paul got his desire but not in the way he expected, he was now on his way to Rome but as a prisoner, in chains and escorted by soldiers of Rome. His ambition to ‘see Rome’ appeared to come to a terminus when the storm to end all storms hit the ship. Paul, though in the will of God, was in a life-threatening storm. The 276 sailors and passengers did all within their power to keep the ship from sinking – they off-loaded the valuable cargo threw overboard the ship’s tackle, dropped sea anchors and passed ropes under the ship to try and hold it together but they were trying to hold together something that God was breaking up. The ship had weathered many storms and no doubt served its owner well but it was not sufficient to save them through this storm.
Don’t try to hold together something God is breaking up
Governments, leaders, scientists, medics and politicians are powerless to confidently find a lasting answer to the coronavirus and there is genuine widespread fear for the future and hope of a return to anything like normality is in short supply. In the crisis that the passengers and crew in the Acts 27 hurricane faced, it brought them to a place of despair – “We finally gave up all hope of being saved” (Acts 27:20). It was at this point that Paul received a word from God that changed the whole situation and resulted in the entire group of 276 being saved from certain death.
God sent an angel to Paul with a message of reassurance (even Paul was afraid) and also telling him that he would get to Rome, would stand in front of Caesar and as a grace bonus the life of everyone on board would be saved, though the ship would be lost. Paul received the word, believed it and stood up in front of the ship’s company and declared, “So keep up your courage men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me”.
One person, receiving a word from God, believing it and declaring it can have an effect on the lives of others. God’s Word is our unshakeable rock in any storm. Our world is being shaken to its core and people are discovering that so much of what makes up life is temporary. But for the people of the Book there is a dependable security – “Therefore since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe for ‘our God is a consuming fire.’” - Hebrews 12: 28, 29
Pastor Jim Dick
Gateway Elim Church is an Elim Pentecostal Church that seeks to reach and share the good news about Jesus Christ with the people of Yate and the surrounding area. Our desire is to see many people experience the joy of having a personal relationship with Jesus and living according to His Word (the Bible).
Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance Registered Charity: 251549