Saturday, December 14, 2019

When Life Rises and Falls - Martin Wiles

(A)nd he said, “Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.” Acts 27:24 NLT

Why can’t everything just go right?

A few weeks after joining a new church, we decided to join a small group. Like most small groups, the session started with introductions, small talk, and then prayer requests. My wife mentioned her dad. He was due to have a pacemaker exchanged, followed by a catheterization the next week. The wife of another couple planned a mission trip to Guatemala, where volcanoes were erupting. The wife of another couple had a mom who had had a double lung transplant and was now unexplainably blind. Yet another couple had a friend whose son had been hit in the head with a ball. They feared a concussion.

The list seemed endless. The next week, we received updates on those requests and received more from other couples who hadn’t been there the week before. And we only numbered around twenty. The church membership was 1200. I could only imagine what I’d hear if the pastor opened the floor for prayer requests from all of them.

Paul’s life wasn’t going well either. His list of problems and persecutions lengthened the longer he lived. Now, he was sailing to Rome where he’d be placed in prison and eventually appear before Caesar. But not before he and the crew were shipwrecked. In the midst of the milieu, an angel of God appeared and told him not to worry. God would save them all.

When I ponder the rise and fall of life situations, many of which I, too, have faced, I’m reminded of the cause. While I can cause some of the incidents myself by sinful or poor decisions, the fall normally comes because of sin in the world—a cursed world. Though I would like for things to rise more than they fall, no restoration will take place until the end of time when God creates a new heaven and a new earth.

But good news abounds, just as it did for Paul. God sends His Spirit into our lives. With the Spirit’s assistance, we gain strength, wisdom, and guidance to make it through life’s falls. Like Paul, we can take heart. God has things under control, regardless of how bad they appear. He will work all things together for His glory and the good of His children.

When life rises and falls, take heart. God has not lost control.

Prayer: Father, we trust You for strength through all of life’s trials and troubles.

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