May 22, 2019, 11:00 AM

Over the weekend there was a tornado that touched down in Ballinger. I talked to several friends; no one was injured or killed although there were several homes destroyed. I thank God for that blessing. Today as I am in the office, Haskell is in the highest warning area for storms tonight and early tomorrow morning. All the weather experts are telling us to be prepared.

The Bible is full of folks that had to go through storms of all kinds. One of my favorites is found in Acts 27. Paul is finally ready to head out on a trip he had been planning for a couple of years. Then of course the storms came. In that moment of despair, God sent an angel to Paul, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you” (Acts 27:24). WOW a promise from God; well it was actually a reminder of an earlier one from Jesus. “As you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome” (Acts 23:11). It makes me wonder if Paul just needed a reminder of that promise from Jesus a couple of years before.

I love the picture of Paul encouraging the men; all they could do now was to trust God and the promise.

The most interesting part of this storm for me is next. What happens when something better comes along to trust in? Those sailors took, at least in their eyes a more practical approach. About midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. . . . The sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the ship’s boat into the sea under pretense of laying out anchors from the bow. (Acts 27:27, 30) They were perfectly willing to trust the promise, until something better came along. Practical thinking says, “Abandon ship, take your chances get to shore!” Faith says, “Stay aboard a sinking ship and trust God’s promises.”

As this storm comes to an end, Paul convinces the men to cut away the ship’s lifeboat, eat some food. At daylight the ship runs aground and all 276 were brought safely to land. Now we all knew this was how the story would end. We had no doubt God would keep his promise. Isn’t that a funny thing? When we read God’s word, we never wonder how the story is going to end. It’s a foregone conclusion — God will keep his promise because he always does.

The question I keep asking is, “How will God keep his promise. When Paul needed reassurance that God was going to deliver him, God didn’t tell him how. In fact, God simply reminded him of the promise he had already made.

When I am in the storms, I just don’t know how God is going to keep His promises. What I do know is God always keeps his promises, He never fails. Keep safe, trust the promise and baton down the hatches. I love you all. Philip