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Have you ever faced a situation that threatened to shipwreck your faith? I'm talking about those times when your back is so far against the wall there is no way to retreat. When you've lost everything you own and it looks like you're going to lose your life. When it seems like what you're believing for must have been shipped to another address.

That's exactly what happened to the Apostle Paul. In Acts, chapter 27, he describes it in his own words:
And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia, one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.

And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.

And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone. And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called the fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea. Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, and said unto them, "Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives."
(Acts 27:1-10)
Notice that Paul was very courteous when he warned them not to sail. An apostle of God warned them what was going to happen. Whenever an apostle talks, you'd better listen. Yet the very next verse says, "Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship more than those things which were spoken by Paul" (v. 11).

In other words, they had money on their minds. They wanted to get across the sea and sell their cargo, but they never made it.
But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; and the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.
(vv. 14-19)
Final Authority:
It didn't make any sense to believe like that, because they'd already lost everything. But Paul wouldn't compromise what God had spoken. I want you to think about the word "compromise." If you take away the first three letters it spells "promise." Paul had a promise from God, and he refused to doubt even in the face of overwhelming evidence that they would die. He was the only believer on board, but one believer can save everyone on the ship. I know that because Paul's presence on that ship saved every life.

I also know it from personal experience. I was flying on a commercial airline, minding my own business and reading my Bible when this guy looked at me and said, "Do you believe that?" "Yeah!" "I don't believe any of that book! I don't believe in your God. I don't believe in your Jesus!"

Except he was cussing the whole time. I was so mad I wanted to hit him, but the Lord wouldn't allow it. I'll tell you what happened. Lightening hit one of the engines and it burst into flames as jet fuel spread to the wings. We dropped from 37,000 feet to 15,000 feet in seconds.

That man who'd cursed Him screamed, "Oh, God!" I know I shouldn't have done it, but I couldn't help it!" I said, "He doesn't exist, remember? Enjoy death, you lying dog!"

The captain announced, "Get ready for heavy flame and smoke!" Everyone on board began screaming. Nobody screamed for Buddha. No one screamed for Mohammed. No one screamed Hare Krishna. You know what I heard?


I jumped out of my seat and shouted them down. "You'd better thank God I'm on this plane!" I yelled. "Because life and death are not in that engine. Life and death are not in this smoke. Life and death are in the power of my tongue! If you'll stick with me, we'll land and nobody will be hurt. My God is able, and if He is for me, who can be against me? I'm more than a conqueror, and this day God has given me this plane! Now I command that demon of hell to get off this plane!"

You know what they said? "Okay!" "Amen!" "Amen!" God answered my prayer and brought us safely to the ground. Paul didn't compromise and neither did I.

Difficult Days
Nothing prepared me for the day I married my daughter to Eddie. They asked me and my brother-in-law to do the wedding. Cathy didn't think I could do it. "You're going to marry Jodi and Ed?" she asked. "But you're going to cry!" "I'm not going to cry," I assured her.

When the time came for the ceremony, Cathy was bawling like a seal. I thought, "Help me Jesus!" I looked at Jodi, and she was crying. You could hear sinuses flowing at that wedding! Everyone in the place was looking at me, and you could see it in their faces. When you gonna cry?

After my brother-in law-did his part, it was my turn to say a few words, and then to actually marry the two. I thought, "Lord, I can't do this!" The Lord reminded me that I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me, but I wanted to compromise.

"What will I miss after Jodi's gone?" I began. "I won't miss that blood-curdling scream every morning when Cathy hollered, 'Jodi! Get up! It's time for school!' I won't miss the dried milk glasses underneath Jodi's bed, or the car never having any gas when I start it. I won't miss her little friends who don't eat much—in front of boys. But when they come to my house it takes an eighteen-wheeler filled with pizza to feed them. I won't miss hearing, 'Daddy you got a couple of bucks?'"

I reminisced about her childhood, her teenage years and how Eddie started coming around the house. The memories I shared had much of the crowd boo-hooing.

Did I cry? Well, I might have welled up and cried little...but my tears were nothing like Cathy's! But seriously, it was a really touching moment for all of us, including me.

A few days later I got a phone call from Hawaii. "Hey Dad, thanks for making my dream come true. It was a fairytale wedding." I got to thinking about how much I love Jodi and what I would do to make her dreams come true.

It's nothing compared to how much your Father loves you, and what lengths He'll go to make your dreams come true. How do you get there when storms are threatening to sink your ship? Make God's Word your final authority. Simply believe Him. That's how it works.

Copyright © Jesse Duplantis Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Jesse Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Jesse Duplantis is a dynamic evangelist who has traveled throughout the world since 1978 preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has its International Headquarters in America and additional offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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