7/29: Shake It Off

In Acts 28:1-6, we read of an incident that happened to Paul while he was being transported as a prisoner to Rome. Having already suffered quite a grueling adventure including horrible weather and a shipwreck, all on board had made it to shore and discovered they were on an island called Malta. The natives kindly welcomed them all and built a fire because it was cold and raining. The story goes on to say:

  • “But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, ‘No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.’ But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god” (vss. 3-6, NKJ).

We will all go through “horrible weather” and “shipwrecks” in this life’s journey. Sometimes, we may even feel like prisoners, unable to escape the turmoil. And then, just when it seems as though things couldn’t get any worse, out of our fires will spring yet one more obstacle bent on killing us. Everyone witnessing the bite of our latest trial will be sure we’re goners, especially since the same kind of “serpent” has killed others much hardier than we. Those onlookers will even watch, spouting their I-told-you-so’s, speaking their disbelief in our character, and expecting our soon demise.

But like Paul, when life happens to us in this way, we have but one reaction to perform: shake it off. Remember that nothing has changed about the truth we know of God. It’s still true that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (I John 4:4 NKJ). Our role is to keep letting God be God, the only One who is ever in complete control anyway. God will use the testimony of our continued trust in Him to reach out, even to the naysayers, and provide healing and deliverance. May our prayer in such situations echo that spoken in Acts chapter 4:

  • “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them… grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:24-30 ESV).


©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.


Pick up a copy of Sharon’s book,

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame,

available from New Hope Publishers, and Sharon’s newest release,

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children, available for pre-sale from www.JudsonPress.com and all major online book buying sites.


~ by sanewriter on July 29, 2013.

One Response to “7/29: Shake It Off”

  1. Jesus is on the mainline, tell him what you want….

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