What are the chances? I mean, what are the chances? In Acts 23 we read a terrible injustice happening. Paul, this strong Christian convert… who once persecuted Christians and now is the champion of sharing the Good News of Jesus, is once again before the religious leaders being questioned. They are totally bent out of shape over what he’s doing and more importantly what he’s saying. They have no love loss at all for him.
After another day’s grinding, gruesome questioning, Jesus appears before Paul at night and says…
“Don’t worry! Just as you have told others about Me in Jerusalem, you must also tell about Me in Rome.” Acts 23:11 CEV
At first you want to say, “Oh great! More of the same!” But to this guy Paul, that must have been sweet sounding news. He was on a God-mission, and it didn’t matter where God needed him to go… who God needed him to talk to… or when God needed it done, because God was behind it all and had everything orchestrated. Paul knew God’s timing was always the best timing. God is never too early and God is never too late – He is always right on time, because He has strategically designed to make things happen at just the proper time.
That’s why I asked, “What are the chances?” You see, the next day, after Paul had that visitation from Jesus, there were about 40 men who vowed they would not eat or drink anything until they killed Paul. They even went to the religious leaders and told them their plan. They actually asked the leaders to call for Paul to be questioned some more and while in transit they would kill him.
But, just about the time you think this has got to be curtains for Paul, God steps in. For in that crowd of people, within earshot of those 40 angry men, standing within range of the religious leaders, is a nephew of Paul’s. If you’ve ever read this before, have you ever asked yourself, what was he doing there? What are the chances that Paul’s nephew, someone who evidently cared for his uncle, heard the plot of these wicked men?
And the answer to that becomes very simple if you’re like me and don’t believe in luck, fate, coincidence, or chance. There is no such thing when faced with the sovereignty of God. He is aware of everything. There is nothing that gets by Him without Him knowing about it. He’s not sitting on His throne, wringing His hands, wondering how the hardships in your life, got by Him unnoticed. He knows exactly what you’re facing and He knows exactly what it’s going to take to move you on to safety.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Don’t ever lose hope! God’s not finished yet. There is no such thing as luck, fate, coincidence or chance! Our God reigns. Trust Him!
I put all my trust in You today. You know what I need and when I need it. Thank You, Jesus. It’s in Your name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen