Paul, a prisoner at the time, was on a ship (with a total of 276 persons) headed to Rome to stand trial before Caesar. Along the way storms caused the ship to run aground on the island of Malta. Paul hadn’t planned to go to Malta; he expected to go to Rome.
But one night, an angel of God appeared to him saying, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.” Paul said to the men… “So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.”
We learn that when they arrived on the island of Malta the native people treated them kindly. They were wet…it was cold…and so they began making a fire. When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. The people immediately thought it was a murderer. They waited for him to die.
I believe Paul reminded himself of God’s promises… “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar.” He was going to make it to Rome. He wasn’t going to die on Malta. Because God Himself said so. So…Paul shook the snake off.
Sometimes we need to recall the faithfulness of God and then remind ourselves that He will be faithful again. Hang tight to what God has promised you regardless of what others say… “he must be a murderer…” “she won’t be successful…” "you're not a good parent, look how your children are acting..."
Three days later we learn that Paul healed the father of Publius who laid sick with a fever and dysentery. After this, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases came and were healed.
Imagine if Paul hadn't been shipwrecked on Malta...would the native people have heard about Paul's God?
Are you finding yourself in a place you hadn't planned?
In this place, are you reminding yourself of the promises God has spoken to you in His Word?
Will the people around your "shipwreck" hear about your God?
Because sometimes the places we wouldn’t want to go is the VERY place so often, we realize we were foreordained and sent for the great glory of God and the good of people. This was true for Paul and it may be true for you.