Absolute Thanksgiving Amidst a Storm (Acts 27:33-37) 7/12/2020
The Answers of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd RUTC:
Absolute Thanksgiving Amidst a Storm (Acts 27:33-37) 7/12/2020
There are two types of people when encountering life’s crises and storms. There is one who fears that a problem will become bigger despite it actually being a small problem. This is different from preparing ahead for a problem that is to come. Their fear develops and results in them running away, falling into despair, and even giving up. What should a person of true faith do? They should hold onto the fact that there are an answer and separate blessing that God has surely prepared behind problems, pray during those times, restore their faith, and be at a place where they can give thanks. The ship that Evangelist Paul boarded was caught by a storm. It was not an individual’s fault. The owner of the ship, captain, and even the Centurion did not listen to Paul’s advice (Acts 27:11). Although a storm may have come due to my mistakes, God says that He will even change that into blessings if I truly repent and start anew (1 John 1:9, Romans 8:28). How does Paul portray himself at that time? He receives God’s answer while praying (Acts 27:23-24). He restores true faith (Acts 27:25). However, 14 days passed despite having that faith (verse 33). Now, this was enough for them to be discouraged, skeptical, and fall into despair. Instead, it said that Paul brought bread from somewhere and gave thanks to God in front of the soldiers (verse 35). The Greek word “eucharisteo” for “Give thanks to God” means “to be thankful,” and also has a deeper meaning of being thankful for God’s grace. Jesus used this word when having communion after his miracle of the five loaves and two fish. This is where the saying “Gratitude creates miracles” comes from. A person of God has countless things to be thankful for. Thanksgiving for salvation, thanksgiving for receiving grace, thanksgiving for the solution for problems, and thanksgiving amidst tribulations. Faith is being able to give thanks in all circumstances and being able to give thanks before death later on. You will be happy when you can give true thanksgiving. You will experience continuous answers. How will you experience miracles through thanksgiving and experience true happiness and answers continuously? We can do world evangelization of saving and blessing the world with the evidence that comes from experiencing this blessing.
- Hold onto God’s absolute covenant. From that, the faith to give thanks comes forth.
What is the covenant? The entire Bible is the covenant. However, we must hold onto at least three absolute covenants. No matter what problems you have or what problems reoccur, it does not matter. It is rightful and inevitable. Whether it may be personal problems or problems of this age, those are rightful problems (Genesis 3), and problems that are inevitable before the Lord returns (Matthew 24).
1) God sent His son Christ to solve all of those problems (Acts 1:1). It is a covenant of an absolute answer.
He finished the authority of sins, curses, fate, Satan, and hell through the cross and resurrection (John 19:30). Hold onto this absolute answer.
2) He promised that the kingdom of God will take place wherever a saved person goes (Acts 1:3). It is a covenant of absolute mission.
Although Satan does all types of evil things on earth, the forces of darkness will crumble, and God’s kingdom will take place when we pray in the name of Christ (Luke 17:21. Matthew 12:28). We are those who enjoy a heavenly background and its authority (Philippians 3:20, Hebrews 1:14, Luke 10:19). Enjoy this mystery and fulfill the kingdom of God in the place I am at (This is evangelism and mission).
3) He promised the works of the Holy Spirit to us who are nothing but weak (Acts 1:8). It is a covenant of absolute power.
We are weak, but we are strong. We can do anything. Why is this so? It is because we have these three absolute covenants. Look unto the power that lets us be strong when we are weak (2 Corinthians 12:9) and receive strength to soar on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31).
- Hold onto God’s absolute reason. Live with a reason that leaves God with no choice but for Him to work.
God surely works within this world with your conclusion, especially for his people (Psalms 121:4-8).
1) There is a reason why God must use me who is saved and holding onto the covenant (Acts 1:8).
“You will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth,” (Acts 1:8). It’s not a command but a promise. This is why God must change all the problems in this world, all disasters we face personally, pain, and tears into evidence.
2) Even our smallest devotion while loving God becomes a reason for God to work (Romans 8:28).
When Hezekiah was on his death bed from an illness, fifteen years were added to his life when he prayed while holding onto this covenant (2 Kings 20:3-6). Jesus said what we do for the Lord’s church, the Lord’s servant, evangelists (Matthew 10:41-42) and the least is like doing it for Him. (Matthew 25:40).
3) Resolving and praying(vowing) for God’s will becomes a reason for God to work (Psalms 50:14-15).
There was Hannah’s vowing prayer (1 Samuel 1:11). Daniel resolved and prayed (Daniel 1:8). There is Esther’s prayer where she prayed “If I perish, I perish” for her people (Esther 4:16). There is Paul’s vow from the passage as well (Acts 18:18). What was Paul’s vow? It was a prayer for Rome Evangelism (Acts 19:21). God confirmed that (verse 24).
- We have seen God’s absolute answers that followed after in advance and are going forward.
It did not matter even if a storm came and there was a time in which all hope was lost. How does God answer?
1) God gives us a word that will surely be fulfilled when we truly hold onto the covenant and look upon God (Psalms 107:20).
“A servant of God (angel of God) stood beside me and said” (verse 23), the servant of God here is an angel and also a being who delivers the word. Absolute works begin when believers surely listen to God’s word from the pulpit and restore their faith (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
2) When we hold onto the word, God moves angels to fulfill that very word (Psalms 103:20).
Despair is what is visible, however, it becomes a miracle because the works of the Holy Spirit that are invisible takes place through angels. It is called “Supernatural (divine) providence, power” in theological terms. He gives evidence that transcends nature’s principle and the laws of earth.
3) The really important absolute answer is to meet the people that have been prepared to be saved within that.
When Paul gave thanks to God and prayed amidst the storm and despair, all the soldiers on that ship watched. They saw the fulfillment of Paul’s faith, confession of faith, and proclamation in the end. Why is this important? They were the ones that God had prepared. That is why the number of 276 people was mentioned (verse 37). Individuals who accompanied Paul when he shared the gospel in Rome would have been one of them. They are the ones who become absolute disciples. Who is the disciple? Who know the Christ and saw the work of God through the Christ is the disciple. They devote for the Christ.
Conclusion – We can tell who a person is when problems and disasters come. Some people see answers as problems, and some see problems as blessings and prepare for the next. They are the evangelists. May you experience this absolute thanksgiving and absolute answer.