The One Year Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), December 5
Paul doesn’t have a hope-so faith but a know-so faith. He has a word from God: “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you” (Acts 27:24). God will have to keep him alive during the storm for this to happen. Dead men don’t testify before kings.
The same thing happened with Noah when God spoke to him regarding the coming flood. Noah obeyed God in building the ark and had to trust God to protect him during forty days of torrential rain and during the year-long floating upon the flood waters. God’s promise required God’s activity.
The same thing happened with the patriarchs:
God gave Abraham a promise of a nation through a son, and then a famine struck the land and he fled to Egypt. It was there that the promises of God were jeopardized by Sarah’s inclusion in Pharaoh’s harem. God intervened to ensure the fulfillment of His promise. Thirty-five plus years later, the Lord instructed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham believed that the fulfillment of God’s promises resided in Isaac; therefore, he believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead (Heb. 11:19). God instead provided a substitute ram. God’s promise required God’s activity.
God spoke to Isaac regarding the famine in the land and forbade him from running to Egypt. He promised to bless Isaac with the promises of Abraham. Therefore, God intervened when Abimelech took Rebekah into his harem and protected Isaac during the conflicts with Abimelech and his servants. God’s promise required God’s activity.
God spoke to Jacob regarding his return to the land of his inheritance when he fled from Esau. He promised to be with him and keep him wherever he went. God’s promise required God’s activity.
God spoke to Joseph through two similar dreams. The Lord was with him while he was in prison. The jailer was so impressed by his faith in God that he placed him in charge of the other prisoners. Why? Both had promises from God regarding their future. God’s promise required God’s activity.
The same thing happens throughout the entire Bible as God speaks to those whom He has brought into His confidence and then performs what He has spoken.
Paul appropriates God’s promise and speaks in faith: “Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me” (Acts 27:25). Paul possesses a promise-based faith; therefore, he makes a faith-based proclamation. The promises from God distinguish believers from those around them and hold them steady during life’s storms.
God still speaks today.
So, how does one obtain a word from God?
You ask Him to speak to you regarding the concerns of your life, and then you pay close attention to His Word both in preaching and in personal reading. God knows where you are reading in His Word, He knows what’s ahead of you, and He is able to match the two together brilliantly. Sometimes He highlights a portion of Scripture for you as you read His Word. Sometimes He highlights His Word for you as you listen to preaching. It is crucial that believers become highly Bible-literate through reading God’s word systematically and daily.
He makes promises to His people today that they may pray over and watch Him implement. We come to know Him more intimately and see God do what only God can do.
Question from today’s chronological Bible reading (Acts 27:1-44):
God could have stopped the storm, but He did not. How does He use the storm in the lives of all who were on the ship?