times, as we journey down life’s highway, we may encounter obstacles
that halt or slow our walk with the Lord as we try to press forward.
There may have been words spoken over you that were not encouraging
and left you feeling as though someone pulled the rug from under you.
Circumstances and painful words sometimes leave a damaged heart, but
God never intended for us to live discouraged, but to live a victorious
life as He guides us through our every day challenges.
The apostle Paul
was on a missionary journey proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Then, while why he was on his way to Sicily, a great storm began to
rage and the ship fell prey to the powerful winds of adversity and
Paul found himself shipwrecked on the island of Malta (Acts 28). This
journey was not something Paul had planned for, for as he was heading
for Sicily the storm caused him to detour 60 miles away from his original
How is it that
sometimes we are aiming for one place and end up in
another? Have you ever been going somewhere and suddenly a storm arises
in your life out of no where, and you are wondering how you got there?
Well Paul found himself in the same situation.
The island of
Malta is between Sicily and Africa and is 20 miles long and 12 miles
wide. In fact, the word Malta comes from the Greek word “melita”
which in Spanish means “honey.” But interesting enough,
when you are in a storm and off course you don’t feel there
is anything sweet about the journey you are traveling on. But God
had plans for Paul as he ended up in Malta. This detour gave him an
opportunity to live among the natives for 3 months. So what began
as a mighty storm became a blessing as the message of the gospel was
being preached through the apostle Paul.
As Paul was on
the island it started to rain and it was bitterly cold. So the residents
of the island made a fire for Paul and his crew to stay warm, showing
them hospitality. Paul reached for more wood to add to the fire and
according to Acts 28:3, “But when Paul had gathered a bundle
of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the
heat, and fastened on his hand.”
was Paul standing by the fire with this viper attached to his hand.
Fangs had pierced his skin and this creature hung dangling as it had
its grip on Paul. As Paul looked at the viper he did not begin to
entertain it, converse with it, argue with it or analyzed why the
viper was on his hand. He did not say, “Well you poor little
old viper, you must be having a bad day, I know you did not mean to
stick your fangs into my hand.” No! Instead the scripture says
that Paul, “Shook off the creature into the fire and suffered
no harm.” He realized this creature was not supposed to be attached
to his hand. I can only imagine Paul thinking, “I am not going
to sit here and try to figure out how it got here, or where it came
from. I am going to shake this viper off my hand and throw it back
into the fire.” It is interesting that there is a day when Satan
will be thrown into the lake of fire and will no longer be able to
torment or bring destruction to anyone any longer.
Perhaps you have
had things latch on to you from the past. It might have been a hurtful
word, a painful event, or things that happened to you in which it
left you feeling hopeless without a vision for a bright tomorrow.
God never intended for us to live under painful circumstances without
hope. But to live under His anointing and to fulfill the destiny He
has given each and everyone of us.
There will always
be people with varying opinions of you, some will be
edifying and some will be challenging. When Paul landed on the island
of Malta he was welcomed (vs2). But when the viper attached himself
to Paul’s hand the natives thought he was a murder and justice
was taking place for his crime (vs4). Then in (vs6) we read that the
people were waiting for him to swell up and drop dead because of the
poison. But when Paul did not fall over the residents of Malta decided
he was a god. Not a good thing. First Paul is welcomed as an honor
guest, and then he is considered a murder, followed by the fact that
they were looking for him to swell up and drop dead to now thinking
he was a god. All of them were opinions they based on the outward
appearance of a man. But isn't it good to know that God does not look
at the outward appearance but instead looks at our heart?
in Malta there was a man named Publius who was the leading citizen
on the region. Publius' father was sick with a fever and dysentery
(vs7). So Paul went to Publius father and laid his hands on him and
prayed in the name of Jesus and the Lord healed him. The man was healed
and Publius showed Paul kindness with hospitality and opened his home
to him for three days. Then the news that Publius father was healed
spread to the rest of the natives on the island and all those who
had diseases came and were healed.
see a full circle taking place of people’s opinions towards
Paul as he set foot on the island of Malta. Everything from being
welcomed, to being considered a murder, then expecting him to fall
dead, to being a god, then a healer to being honored. Acts 28:10 Paul
says, “They also honored us in many ways, and when we departed,
they provided such things as were necessary.”
on his missionary journey with many places to visit and bring the
gospel of Jesus Christ. But Malta was not on his agenda. A storm and
what seem to be disaster brought him to people who needed a blessing.
Perhaps you are heading someplace in life and a detour takes you to
some other place, is all this really an inconvenience? Or is it a
disguised opportunity for you to pour out the blessings in that place
God has brought you to?
their may be vipers but they do not need to stay attached. Anything
that is not from God needs to be thrown into the fire from the pit
of hell where it came from. Then take that same hand and reach out
to someone in need.
Where is your
Malta? Where is your place of influence? Where are your circumstances
taking you to? Are they leading you to discouragement or victory?
To find our Malta
we only need to look around us. To see those who are in need of God’s
touch and bring the blessings of God to those who desperately need
Him. Let’s take a good look around us, and turn our storms into
today you find yourself facing storms that are hard for you to encounter.
No matter what you’re facing there is someone who cares. Jesus
Christ wants to bring comfort to you in your deepest need. He understands
and loved you enough to go to the cross and die for you. Will you
pray the prayer below and allow Him to come into your life and turn
the dark skies of your life into a bright tomorrow? He is waiting.
Please pray this prayer.
I am asking you for help. I am facing some hard things and I cannot
face them alone. Will you please come into my life and be my comfort
and my Lord? I know that there have been times I have lived my life
for myself and have not found the peace that I need, You are that
peace. So please come to me and forgive me of my sins. I open my life
to you for I want to walk a life that pleases you. I receive you as
my Savior and Lord and thank you that you died for me on the cross
so that I could live forever with you. Thank you for dying for me.
I now ask you to turn my life from a storm into a blessing. I ask
this in Jesus name. Amen.
If you prayed
this prayer from your heart, I would love to hear about it so I can
continue to pray for you. Will you please email me at EvelynSpeaks@aol.com.
and let me know? I would appreciate it. You are a blessing and may
God richly bless you.