May 24, 2022
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 24 May 2022
"God helps those who help themselves” is an assertion often attributed to the Bible, yet the saying is most certainly not found in the pages of Scripture, and the claim is inconsistent with what the Bible teaches. Everyone has experienced situations where they felt powerless to help themselves. If the Lord God only helps those who help themselves, then everyone would be in great trouble and without hope of divine assistance.
The feeling of helplessness can arise from professional or financial impediments due to company layoff or plunges in the stock market. Feelings of despondency can also arise from a sudden or chronic illness. The feeling of helplessness can arise from an aggressive computer attack that steals one’s information or erases one’s work. Given enough time, everyone will experience the emotion at some moment, yet all people do not know how to recover from times of despondency and vulnerability. The fundamental spiritual lesson in Acts 27—28 is the recognition that life is one in which all people are entirely dependent upon God.
Life on earth is wrought with times of helpless struggles, and without God, they can become hopeless. Jesus already told Paul, “‘Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also’” (Acts 23:11). Now in Acts 27, in the midst of life-threatening circumstances, Paul received a reaffirmation of that promise. Many struggles and countless decisions may result in feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. In those situations, one can trust in God’s sovereignty and in the Lord’s providence to provide whatever rescue is needed.
Acts 27 indicates how difficult travel was in ancient times, and demonstrates how Paul emerged as the leader of the journey, even as a prisoner on his way to stand trial before Caesar in Rome. Once more, it is evident that God is controlling the circumstances to bring Paul to his next ministry in Rome. While everything appeared to be against the outcome, God is sovereign to accomplish his purposes.
Regardless of the conditions in which he found himself, Paul’s witness was exemplary. The biblical account proves how God will supply all needs (Phil 4:19), rescue one from danger (Ps 40, 69, 80; 2 Cor 1:10), and provide an opportunity for evangelism (Acts 27:21-26, 33-36). God’s people can endure hardship, and yet transform every difficulty into an advantage for Christ. Search your own life as to how your faith in God will allow you to overcome obstacles and perhaps even for others to depend upon you for help in their lives.
The gospel is the only dynamic stated in Scripture to be synonymous with the power of God. America needs to experience that power today. Would you agree?
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