Torchbearers for Christ
Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Text: “I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25). We read the story of Paul’s sea journey to Rome in Acts chapter 27. In many ways, the story could be likened to the Christian’s journey to his heavenly home and the various experiences encountered on the way; the dark days as well as the bright days. On one occasion during Paul’s journey “a tempestuous wind came against them (vs. 14) and “neither sun nor stars in many days appeared......and all hope that we should be saved was taken away” (vs. 20).
In the midst of this desperate situation, Paul received a message from God that was to bring hope and assurance, not only to himself, but to all his fellow passengers. He was told not to be anxious that although the ship would be lost, there would be no loss of life (vs. 22). Paul gave this heartening message to those on board with him. He said, “Wherefore sirs, be of good cheer, for I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me” (vs. 25).
Let us think about these words - “I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me”. We have seen that the promise Paul received from the Lord was to bring peace and assurance in the middle of a dark time. The Bible contains a wealth of “great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4), which God has provided for us to meet the many and varied experiences of our Christian life. He invites us to believe these promises wholeheartedly, trusting Him implicitly. Psalm 62:8 reminds us to “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge”.
One of these rich promises concerns the assurance of forgiveness of our sins. Unfortunately, some Christians have doubts from time to time as to whether God has really forgiven them. Such doubts rob us of our joy and our effectiveness in serving the Lord.     On such occasions, it is good to remember some of the many verses God has given us that we might enjoy His generous and complete pardon. Hebrews 10:17 reads, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more”. This is very heartening. In the book of Romans we read how we are “justified freely by His grace” (Romans 3:24). The word “justify” which is found frequently in the book of Romans means “innocent”. It may be difficult for us to understand how a holy God can, through the death of His Son upon the cross, bearing our sins in His own body, regard the believer as innocent – just as though we had never sinned. But God is both just and the justifier of him who believes in Jesus (Romans 3:26). How grateful we can be for God’s perfect plan of salvation. We can say with Paul, “thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). 
There is another blessed truth concerning which we may confidently say, “I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me” and this promise is the certainty that our Lord Jesus is coming again.   We could quote many Scriptures referring to this momentous event, but we will consider the occasion of our Lord’s ascension found in Acts 1:9-11. This reads “After He (Jesus) said this He was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid Him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going when, suddenly, two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee”, they said, “Why do you stand here, looking into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven”. He left them visibly and He will return visibly. Revelation 1:7 reads, “Look, He is coming in the clouds and every eye shall see Him, even those who pierced Him and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be, Amen”. (NIV)  In John’s first epistle (2:28), and the quote is from the Living Bible, John gives us some good advice. He says, “And now, my little children, stay in happy fellowship with the Lord, so that when He comes you will be sure that all is well and will not have to be ashamed and shrink back from meeting Him”. The book of the Revelation concludes with the Lord’s promise, “Yes, I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus”. (NIV)
This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  For many years, he has traveled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.