Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.
Have you ever heard the expression when it rains, it pours? Paul was living this out in Acts 27 and 28. He shipwrecks on the island of Malta, he has no idea where he is, and he is bitten by a snake! His circumstances went from bad to worse. However, something stands out about Paul, he doesn’t waiver or change his stance about spreading the good news. If anything it encourages Paul to press forward! We see throughout scripture not everyone handles bad circumstances the right way. Remember in the book of Exodus, when the people were freed from being enslaved for 400 years and after passing the Red Sea the people dealt with some tough circumstances. What was the reaction of the people? They started grumbling, complaining, and even made false idols. The people quickly turned from God because they felt he couldn’t handle their situation. Paul’s approach to his circumstances was to always remember that all things are possible with Christ!
1. How are you handling your current circumstances? 2. Are you having a Paul approach or the approach of the people in the book of Exodus? 3. Are you trying to control everything and do it on your own?
I would challenge you to ask God where you need to trust him and how you can praise him through your circumstances.
Lord, thank you for your word and how it changes our heart, mind, and soul! This year we are praying that you will push us to trust you in all things and we trust you will handle all of the details! I pray we become stronger in our faith. Lord, I pray we will bring you glory in all things (1 Corinthians 10:31) when things are good and when things are bad. Continue to use us in a mighty way! We love you and praise you! Amen.