Again, this week let me direct your attention to Acts 27 and 28 where the Apostle Paul has had quite a difficult few months and it’s just gotten worse and worse as this trip has progressed. In Chapter 27 where we were last week, we looked at the calamity of this storm and of how everyone on board had given up hope of making it out alive. Ultimately, they do survive but only after a complete loss of the ship. Swimming to shore on Melita [Ch 28:1] they were met by a “barbarous people” who built a fire for the soaked sailors, soldiers,  and prisoners to warm themselves by. The Bible tells us that a deadly snake came slithering out of the fire and bit Paul on the hand. How about that!?  Can you imagine how you’d feel? Shackled and prisoner, falsely accused by your own countrymen, days on end in a terrible storm, shipwrecked on top of it all and now, dripping wet and sitting by the fire you get snakebit! But Paul just “shook it off” [Ch 28:5] as if swatting at a mosquito. I like that! After all he’s been through, I could see how many might have ‘come unwrapped’ by this point in the story. Adding this final straw to the camel as they say, imagine yourself sitting there cold, dripping wet and now you get snakebit to boot. But Paul has already been through a lot in his life. God has delivered him into and out of dilemma after dilemma and he’s suffered all manner of injury and betrayal. So, this is nothing new for him.  But Paul has come to trust God and he’s believed Jeremiah 29:11 and he believes, as he said in Ch 27:25 that what God says WILL be, WILL BE.  I assure you Christians, the day you determine that what God says is absolutely certain will be a turning point in your Christian walk and in your faith. How was Paul able to just shake off a deadly serpent? He’s already been through a lot with God and he has reached the place where he trusts God completely.  Now I don’t expect you to get nailed by a big ole Cotton mouth or even a little Copper head without getting a little unraveled. But I do think it would do us all some good as Christians if we could get a little more spiritually able to “shake it off” when it comes to these trials and hardships that so easily yank us off course. How pastor? Glad you asked: First remember what God has already brought you through! Remember the times you wondered if you’d make it at all? Remember that time in the hospital? Remember that wreck? Remember that time your child was sick or your parent or your….on and on and how they shouldn’t have made it but God was merciful?  He has been good to you and he’s been good to me. Charles Spurgeon wrote a comforting thought: He said, “when you don’t understand God’s hand, you can still trust his heart”. I have found that to be unwaveringly true – I may not always understand the why of things and sometimes I even question, but I always know that I can trust God to do right no matter what! This is Pastor Malcolm Harrison inviting you to come be with us at Calvary Baptist Church 703 Gillespie Rd here in Palestine, Texas 75801 * 903-729-5924 www.calvarybcpalestine.com