When I was a youngster, my parents told me stories about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. I believed them implicitly because they were my authority figures that I believed would always act with complete honesty and integrity. I vividly remember feeling devastated when I learned they had lied to me and, for whatever reasons, betrayed my trust. This experience led my wife and I to not repeat the same mistake. After all, we wanted our children to believe what we were teaching them about salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, the trustworthiness of the Bible, and everything else we told them.
While the Apostle Paul was aboard a ship in route to Rome as a prisoner, winter was setting in. Paul recommended that they remain in Crete until spring, but the captain and centurion paid him no mind. When a violent and persistent storm threatened all life on board, an angel appeared to Paul assuring him that he, and all aboard, would be spared. Indeed, he would appear before Caesar in Rome. With child-like faith, Paul believed everything this messenger from God told him. Then he announced this event to everyone on board, saying, “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25). The Lord always honors those who choose to believe Him. In this instance, Paul’s influence was enhanced: passengers ate as he suggested, they abided in the ship when he counseled them to do so, and the centurion took measures to protect Paul when the ship broke apart. There are Old Testament examples of note too. When Abraham was promised a child and a vast number of descendants, “…he believed the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Daniel was taken out of the lion’s den, “…and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in God” (Daniel 6:23). When Jonah predicted that Nineveh would be violently overthrown, “…the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast” (Jonah 3:5). They turned to the Lord in faith, and Jehovah stayed their downfall.
Believers today must believe God too. We need to believe God will work all things for our good (Romans 8:28), that rather than sin, we can always find a way to escape it (I Corinthians 10:13), and that we are always accepted by God in Christ (Ephesians 1:6). Whatever God says, choose to believe it!
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