Bible Reading: Acts 28:1-6
Focus Scripture: But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. Acts 28:5 (NKJV)
The month of July has been challenging for me. Family emergencies, website issues, transportation loss and the passing of a loved one, just to name a few. As each thing would come, sometimes I would think, “God, please have mercy on me and give me a break. This is way too much stuff for me to deal with right now. I have been doing everything you’ve asked of me. Why am I experiencing so much adversity?”
Then I was reminded of all the times God has made a way, consistently covering and protecting. In spite of the challenges I’ve experienced, God has consistently been faithful.
Paul, in the book of Acts, also experienced some consistent challenges. First in chapter 21, we learn that he is advancing the Kingdom of God when he gets arrested for preaching the Gospel. While he was under arrest, the Jews plotted to kill him in chapter 23. Paul then pleads his case and while on his way to Rome with other prisoners, he was shipwrecked in Malta. The storm was so violent that although the prisoners survived, the boat was destroyed, chapter 27. Finally, it appears that Paul was able to catch a break. He was safe on land and no one was trying to kill him on that island. I couldn’t imagine experiencing trouble of that magnitude! But now he could breath a bit, or so we think. In chapter 28, as Paul was trying to build a fire to keep warm, a snake bites him. Really God? Were the previous misfortunes not enough? But what Paul did next was simply amazing. He just shook the snake off his hand and continued with what he was doing. After everything he had just gone through, Paul was confident that God didn’t deliver him to die from some snakebite.
The same is true for you. I don’t know what the snakebite in your life is right now, but I encourage you to be like Paul and shake it off. God didn’t deliver you from previous troubles for you to suffer and die here. If he delivered you before, He will do the same again. Don’t let the venom from your snakebite keep you paralyzed from moving forward to the greatness God has called you to.
Prayer: Father God, the challenges in my life have been great, but You are greater. Thank You for consistently covering and protecting me. Although I may get weary at times, help me to remember that You have all power in Your hands and that Your track record is good. I ask for Your strength as I shake off every adversity that comes my way. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!