Today's devotion is from Acts 28:3-6 (NLT)
‘As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.’
Bad things do happen to good people, but when they do, just shake it off and move on!
The Apostle Paul was falsely arrested, put on a ship as a prisoner, a storm and big waves ran the ship aground and sunk it, and then a poisonous snake bit Paul on the hand when he was helping with the fire. That is a lot of BAD stuff in a row! Paul decided not to be moved by circumstances.
God had given him the revelation that ALL things work together for good to those that are called according to His purpose and Paul was FULLY CONVINCED that this string of bad events would work together for his good, no matter what… so when the snake sunk it’s long venomous teeth deep into Paul’s hand, as the burning pain shot through his body, he shook it off by faith!
When you face some things as Paul did... Some may judge and criticize you!
‘The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.”’
Paul had to shake off more than the snake; he had to shake off the temptation to get offended at the people’s unjust criticism and judgment of him. If Paul had allowed himself to get offended he would have stepped right into the bait of satan, but he did not… Paul shook off offense!
ALL things work together for GOOD for those who are called according to His purpose!
After Paul shook off the snake and continued on unharmed, it opened the door for him to minister to the people on the Island of Malta. Paul ministered healing to the father of a leading citizen of Malta, and then a healing and miracle revival broke out over the whole Island.
The false charges, the imprisonment, the storm, the shipwreck, and the poisonous snake were all bad things… they were all meant to harm Paul, they were all the devil’s attempts to steal from, to destroy and to kill Paul. BUT GOD worked all of those bad things together for the good of Paul, his ministry, the kingdom of God as well as for the people of Malta.
Shake it off!
The Apostle Paul had to shake off the feelings of abandonment and discouragement when he was falsely accused and taken into custody. He had to shake off fear and anger as he was forcefully thrown into the dirty, stinky, dark hull of the ship. He had to shake off fear and anxiety when the huge waves, wind and lightning hit the ship with full force. He had to shake off the threat of death and the feelings of abandonment from God as the ship hit the rocks and the waves together with the rough water nearly drowned him. Then he had to shake off the pain and the fear of death when the poisonous snake bit him.
Family, we are going to encounter some stuff as we serve the Lord.
We are going to get a lot of opposition to our mission, but; like Paul we have to shake it off and move on… God is working… He is maneuvering… He is reconstructing, and when all is said and done, every test will be a testimony, every trial will be a triumph, and every challenge will be a victory.
Don’t get stuck in the mud of fear, offense or discouragement…
Don’t let yourself be talked out of faith… just shake it off and move on. Shake it off and keep the faith, keep your joy, and rest in the Lord. Shake it off and strengthen yourself in the Lord as David did at Ziklag. Know that God is faithful and the He is working on the things that you are facing. Know that something GOOD is on it’s way and when the good comes it will be worth every minute of the price that you had to pay to get there!