Drippy faucets, squeaky doors or constant badgering are just a few things that can cause a person to unravel or erupt. In Alabama, as a fifth grader in a new school, I quickly became the target of aggressive bulling. Day after day like drops of water on my head, I was picked on to the point of discouragement. I even had a pen stolen that was used daily in my presence and eventually destroyed just to watch me squirm. Although life’s clamorous sounds and inconvenient happenings are more dramatic than elementary school memories, the similarities are the same causing us to become fatigued, off course, and placing our lives in a whirlwind.
The Apostle Paul was no stranger to such harassment from the enemy. While only following the directions of the Lord, he was beaten, imprisoned, stoned, and at one point by the negligence of other’s decisions, shipwrecked. Yet he makes a statement in Acts 20:24 that must be given attention and placed as a banner in our hearts that speaks to the enemy’s ploys of stripping our hope, “None of these things moved me.”
In Acts 27, Paul is sailing for Rome to face Caesar when a south wind begins to blow and turns the trip into a 14-day journey of being tossed and thrown at sea. The sailors completely depleted of hope are filled with the sinking notion of their end.
Acts 27:20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, ALL HOPE that we would be saved was FINALLY GIVEN UP.
Remember that hope is the anchor of our souls and will not disappoint in the times of trial. Hope is the image that encourages our hearts and employs faith. Their hope was not taken; it was simply given up as worthless and ineffective in the moment.
In the midst of the storm, Paul is visited by the Angel of the Lord and takes the words given him to paint a new outcome to his mates. With confident assurance, he steps up and announces words of positive change that look completely contradictory to the current environment.
Acts 27:22 And now I urge you to TAKE COURAGE, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
Hope is full of courage. Hope can see the end result through the persistent pestering of the situation and with the force of faith reach out and TAKE what has rightfully been given. Paul goes on to say again to his captive audience, “Therefore take heart, men, for I BELIEVE GOD that it will be just as it was told me.” The key to hope is learning that God does not lie and He will produce the picture that is placed inside us by His word. We must not give up or quit because of boisterous storms or by what others suggest.
Don’t allow the drips, squeaks or rants of the enemy to get you to GIVE UP hope. Speak what you see painted inside by the Word and become joyfully expectant of God bringing you to your destination without tragedy or incident. Sickness cannot stay, poverty must bow, and anxiety eliminated by the power of His word. Take hope; take courage knowing everything will be just as it was spoken to you.