Summary: Have you ever been in situations like Malta? Paul is travelling for Rome but a mighty typhoon sends him to Malta. In the cold of the night and unfamiliar people, he learned to trust God in Malta and deal with unexpected situations.
THE LESSONS FROM MALTA:
DEALING WITH UNEXPECTED SITUATIONS
Have you ever been in situations like Malta? Paul is travelling for Rome but a mighty typhoon sends him to Malta. In the cold of the night and unfamiliar people, he learned to trust God in Malta and deal with unexpected situations.
Have you ever been stock in Malta?
• Malta is a place you never plan landing
• Malta is a situation you never plan coming
• Malta is the termination from work that you are not expecting
• Malta can be a relationship problem
• A Sudden Sickness
• Unexpected baby
• You are in 30s and you are not married
Paul has many reasons to ask God the question why:
1. He is preaching the gospel but end up in jail
2. He was blame for a crime he did not commit
3. He was on board of a ship but met with a strong typhoon
4. He was caught in a storms due to bad decisions of ship captain
5. He is going to Rome to appeal his case but landed on the wrong Island-Malta
In the midst of all the chaos and confusion, there’s one thing that gives serenity to Paul. It is the thoughts that though the wind and the waves control the ships but it’s God who controls them all. God is in control!
23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, 24 and 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.’ 25 So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. 26 But we will be shipwrecked on an island.”
Sometimes God allows shipwreck, sickness, job termination, relationship break ups and many other problems in life. However, we can be assured that God is with us. He may allow shipwreck so that we may learn to trust Him instead of the ship. But God will still take care of us because we are more valuable than the ship for him.
God did not explain the reasons and purpose of events in Paul’s life, but Paul was assured of God’s presence and it is enough for Paul to be strong.
LET US STUDY OUR TEXT STEPS BY STEPS: ACTS 28:1-10
IN MALTA, PAUL UNDERSTANDS THE FOLLOWING REVELATIONS:
I. WE CAN MAKE OUR OWN PLAN, BUT GOD DETERMINE ITS COURSE.
1. Sometimes you can land in Malta instead of Rome
1Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. 2 The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us.
2. Sometimes you just want to help but can end up become victim
3 As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand.
3. Sometimes the people who cares can be the same people who condemn
4 The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.”
II. THERE IS BETTER WAY TO HANDLE PROBLEMS, DETRACTORS AND CRITICS
1. Shake it off
5 But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed.
2. Wait after some time and let the people realize
6 The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.
III. IN GOD’S HAND, EVEN PROBLEMS TRANSFORMTO BLESSING UNEXPECTEDLY
1. They thought they need Island of Malta for emergency landing, but it turned out that Malta needs Paul
7 Near the shore where we landed was an estate belonging to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us and treated us kindly for three days. 8 As it happened, Publius’s father was ill with fever and dysentery.
2. God use the same hand bitten by snake to heal the sick
Paul went in and prayed for him, and laying his hands on him, he healed him. 9 Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed.
3. After trial, comes honor, provisions and blessing
10 As a result we were showered with honors, and when the time came to sail, people supplied us with everything we would need for the trip.
God’s grace does not always prevent shipwreck but it will provide the place to land