January 9, 2021
It Is Well | Rev’d Dr S.O. James
Listen to the sermon below:
YES I BELIEVE
The year 2020 will remain a year to be remembered. For many years, 2020 was projected to be a great year. Nigeria established vision 2020 and the
However, the year brought a lot of disappointment despite the great expectation; it was a year of trial, tragedy and trouble all over the world. Many are entering the year 2021 with fear, apprehension and uncertainty.
Today we shall briefly reflect on the experience of Apostle Paul in time of crisis and make some declaration in line with the word of God as we move on in this New Year.
Apostle Paul was on his way to Rome with great expectation before the setback. His life and that of 276 people with him on the ship were at risk. Apostle Paul and all the people had some traumatic experience and late a shipwreck. Yet in the midst of this trial and uncertainty, while others seem helpless and hopeless Apostle Paul had a unique divine encounter and declared the good news. Beloved, there is good news for you despite the crisis and uncertainties in the land. The Bible declared;
21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.
NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
– An angel of the Lord stood by him
– The Lord whom I belong and serve
– Do not be afraid
Beloved, this is my prophetic declaration to you as you move on in 2021:
I believe you will land safely:
I. DESPITE YOUR PAST AND PRESENT EXPERIENCES
Note the sevenfold negative experiences. This includes:
1. We made slow headway for many days –vs. 7
2. The wind did not allow us to hold our course- vs. 7
3. We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens-vs. 8
4. Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous –vs. 9
5. The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along – vs. 15
6. We too such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard –vs. 18 (Great economic lost!)
7. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved –vs. 20
II. DESPITE THE DANGERS AHEAD
Beloved, like Apostle Paul, there are dangers ahead. In dangers and despite knowing they will experience a shipwreck, the Apostle declared,
21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
III. BECAUSE GOD HAS SPOKEN
The Apostle declared,
24 ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.
The future is not about your present experience, it is also not about the danger you can see or what an expert says; it is about what God says.
Numbers 23:19-20 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? “Behold, I have received a command to bless; When He has blessed, then I cannot revoke it.
IV. YOU WILL REACH YOUR DESIRED DESTINATION
What is your dream and vision in 2021? You will surely fulfil your vision no matter the situation. Apostle Paul affirmed:
23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar;
V. BECAUSE YOU WILL WALK IN THE SUPERNATURAL
21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic[c] Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28 They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet[d] deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet[e] deep. 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away.
33 Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. 34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board. 38 When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.
39 When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 40 Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach. 41 But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.
42 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 The rest were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely.