10 Feb En Route To The Promise
In my book, The Waiting Room, I share how God impressed upon my heart that my desire to bear children would be granted. Fast-forward nearly a decade this perceived promise from God hadn’t come to fruition. Longing for, praying for, and waiting for a child aroused doubt and overwhelming weariness. All the while, my life still needed to go on.
En route to my promise, Scripture has provided the affirmation and encouragement that I need to move forward. I truly admire Paul’s confidence as he exhorted, “Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told” (Acts 27:25) . Facing opposition and threats to his life, God told Paul not to lose heart. God assured Paul that he would live to be God’s witness in Rome (Acts 23:11). Despite the passage of time and now facing a violent storm, Paul believed that he’d surely make it to Rome. Paul’s confidence in God’s promise governed his actions en route to the promise.
As we journey toward the promises and visions that God places on our hearts, we can pass the time more constructively by following Paul’s example. Here are five insights I gleaned from Paul’s journey.
- Stay aboard. Rather than abandoning ship when things became bleak and loss was imminent. Paul stayed aboard the ship. Yes, the ship was destroyed en route to the promise. Nevertheless, Paul and those who remained aboard lived. Reaching the promise requires remaining aboard and staying the course amid difficulty.
- Encourage others. While in the storm, Paul took note of others. He noticed that his shipmates were worried, anxious, and refusing to eat. Paul reassured his shipmates that they wouldn’t perish and encouraged them to eat. En route to the promise pay attention to others. Strengthen the morale of those around you rather than diminish it.
- Take care of yourself. While Paul’s shipmates stopped eating, Paul continued to eat. He realized that food was vital to preservation. We eat and take care of ourselves when we expect to survive, when we anticipate the promised outcome. Maintain healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual standards en route to the promise.
- Embrace present opportunities to serve. Shipwrecked on Malta, Paul’s ministry continued. Paul took time to pray with locals. People came to him and experienced healing. Refrain from becoming so preoccupied with getting to the promise that you ignore immediate opportunities to contribute to society. Embrace opportunities to serve at this present point in your journey.
- Consider who stands to benefit from the promise. The promise that Paul would speak before Caesar wasn’t solely about the preservation of Paul’s life. Reaching Rome would ultimately allow others to hear and respond to the truth of Jesus Christ. Consider, who stands to benefit from the achieved promise that you seek. If you stand to achieve the most, reassess your perceived promise from God. Although the promise may bring you joy, God’s promises ultimately benefit His kingdom and the people He wants to save. Who else stands to benefit from the fulfillment of God’s promise in and through you?
To explore this topic further, I encourage you to listen to a recent message I gave – En Route To The Promise.