"I Believe God"

Acts 27

Two hundred and seventy-six souls on board a doomed vessel, and every one of them hopeless and panic stricken but Paul. What was it that made him the one man in that crowd that could impart comfort to it? He could say without a tremor or doubt, "I believe God." It was this that sustained him and made him superior to the terror of the storm. He could say more than that, he spoke of God — "WHOSE I AM, AND WHOM I SERVE." What dignity, what confidence that fact gave Him. Consider them "Whose I am." He was God's man, and he served his God. Does God care for those who are His? Who will question it, who can doubt it? If eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him" (1 Chr. 16:9).

What we need in this hour of distress is men who can stand forth calm and confident in their knowledge of God; men who are His and believe His Word. They may not be able to say as Paul said to his companions, "There shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you", but they can assure those who have believed that whether they live or die they are the Lord's; they can impart the comfort wherewith they are comforted to those in fear and distress. And they can tell to the multitude that "the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy." They can do this with conviction for they have proved it for themselves.

We have no word to say against natural fortitude, it is an admirable quality, but more is needed, even the knowledge of the Almighty God and confidence in Him. Those who know Him best will trust Him most and it is written, "Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusted in Thee" (Isa. 26:3). This is true — "I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me." It has been the blessed experience of the servants of God in the storms of the past; it is being surely proved by many of them in the present distress, and it will still be proved until days of strife on earth end in universal peace under the righteous sceptre of Him whose right it is to rule.

This confidence in God will not make a man unpractical, it made Paul a benefactor in the midst of his distressed companions, it set him free from self-concern and made him compassionate for those about him, who did not know his refuge and resource The man who can rejoice in the experimental knowledge of God will strengthen his fearful brethren by his own quiet yet exultant faith. He will be able to say to them confidently and effectively, "Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."

May God give us men of this stamp today for His people's good, and for the blessing of the distressed multitude.

"As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth and for ever" (Ps. 125). He is nearer to them than danger and war and suffering and death.