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When God Turns it Around, Part 3

Sound of Faith / Sharon Hardy Knotts and R. G. Hardy
The Truth Network Radio
April 12, 2022 8:00 am

When God Turns it Around, Part 3

Sound of Faith / Sharon Hardy Knotts and R. G. Hardy

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April 12, 2022 8:00 am

When he arrived in Rome, his testimony was bigger than anything he could have ever imagined.

Learn how to see your detours and delays as God’s turn-arounds!

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Welcome to The Sound of Faith. I'm Sharon Knotts thanking you for joining us today because we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. If you like stories where God takes a series of misfortunes and satanic attacks against his children and boomerangs them on the devil, then you're going to like today's message when God turns it around.

Paul had an irrepressible desire to go to Rome. And in part to the Christians, they're a spiritual gift. But it took two years, two prison terms, two cruises, one shipwreck with an island vacation before he got there when God turned it around. They've got to have somebody roll out the red carpet. They've got to have somebody come up and wipe the sweat off their brow. How many say amen? Oh my, they couldn't have hung in there with Apostle Paul.

They couldn't have made it. But Paul said these things don't bother me. I've been through these things before. I've got one thing on my mind. I've got to preach the Gospel. And if we would back up to the first scripture that we read, he not only said I've got to preach the Gospel, but what I like, and this stands out in my mind, he didn't just say I've got to preach the Gospel. He said I've got to give testimony of the Gospel of grace. Of the Gospel of grace. And that not only means grace for the sinner, that he can save you from all of your sins, but that means grace for the Christian who's in the battle, who's in the fight, who's in the warfare.

And you feel weary and tired and weak. Paul said I can tell you something about grace because I've been there. Because one of the other few times that God ever spoke personally that he put it in the Word was when he said that he'd been buffeted by that thorn in the flesh. And he'd be sought the Lord three times to take it away. But God said no. No. How would you like God to tell you?

No. He said I'm not going to take it away, but my grace is sufficient for you. I'm going to give you the grace that you need.

How many say amen? There have been a lot of things that I haven't liked in my life. There have been a lot of hard places. There were a lot of things when I was young growing up in the Lord. There were a lot of things I had to learn the hard way when we used to go out in revivals and going out and preaching and stuff.

And I didn't like them and I didn't understand them, but oh, I found out that they were all for my good, that God was working all those things together for my good. Because I know that I've been through some battles. I've been through some places and I know that God will bring you out.

I know that you don't have to fold up and you don't have to fall in and you don't have to give up. You can hang in there when you're sick in your body. When the devil says you can't do it, you're not strong enough. You're too weak.

You can't make it. You can say, oh, I know that God's grace is sufficient for me. He was going to Rome and he was going to preach. He was going to preach to Rome no matter what. And I truly believe that by this time the devil had gotten a revelation and he didn't want Paul to go to Rome. I think by now the devil did not want him to go to Rome. And he realized Paul was above all the trials and all the stuff he was slinging at him.

All of those things. He realized this man is going to make it. And I think the devil wanted to stop him because he knew that when the gospel reached Rome, when the news of Paul came and Paul began to preach boldly amongst the brethren, he knew there was going to be an explosion. And Rome was the capital of the Roman Empire. I mean, it was filled with poor people, rich people, slaves, slave owners, patricians. It was gladiators.

I mean, you name it. There was every type of people from the high born to the lowest was in Rome. And I don't think the devil wanted him to get there because he knew that when he got there that Paul was going to preach such a powerful gospel. It was going to explode throughout the empire. And so I believe that that's why the next thing happened. What was the next thing that happened? All of you who read all of Acts. Shipwreck.

So we'll paraphrase how many read it. So you know what happened. They got on this boat with all of these other prisoners and they went so far and Paul tried to reason with them. He said, you're making a mistake. You really shouldn't try to make it all the way.

You shouldn't try to make it all the way over the winter. He said it's too treacherous. This boat is not the Queen Mary. It leads me to believe it was a kind of rickety boat because he said it's not going to make it and you would be wise to listen to me and not press on. But they wouldn't listen and they pressed on anyway.

And here's something important. I'm trying to paraphrase for the sake of time but the scripture says that they didn't listen to them and they went on and they sailed. And it said that the winds were favorable and the winds blew softly.

Think about that. He told them don't go because it's not going to be good. We're going to get in trouble.

They said we don't care what you say and they went and guess what? It was favorable. The soft winds were blowing favorably. You see when the Holy Ghost gives you a word and gives you a warning and you don't listen to it and you think you know better and you listen to the other side, at first everything looks like it's going your way. It looks like it's favorable.

It looks like oh see I did make the right choice. But just keep reading. Because it said and then came a tempestuous wind called Uroclodon and battered against us. And that was like our nor'easter.

How many, I'm not going to ask you how many saw the movie although it's on cable TV and all that stuff, but how many know the movie The Perfect Storm? Okay that is those famous nor'easters that we get and that happened to be the perfect one, perfect in that everything bad that could happen come together did. Well that was what a Uroclodon was like. And here they were going along with the soft winds blowing softly and they probably were basking in the sun. And all of a sudden here came the Uroclodon and here they were now in this tempestuous storm.

The storm went on and on and on. Day into night, night into day until after a while they didn't know if it was day or night because they didn't see the sun or the stars. They didn't know what time of day it was. They got to the point they were throwing everything overboard trying to save their lives. They stopped eating their food. They knew they were going to perish. They knew they were going to die. And if you read on the scripture says and they came to the place when they had given up all hope that they should be saved. They had given up all hope. They did not have any even a shred of hope that they would be rescued.

They had given up all hope. And about that time here comes that little Jewish Rabbi. He gets up on the deck and he says, Brethren, I want to tell you something. It was the same thing the Lord had said to him in that prison over two years ago when he was being held with stripes on his back and they were going to kill him.

And everybody was trying to get rid of him. And the Lord himself, not an angel, but the Lord himself came. And what did the Lord say to Paul?

What did he say? And what do you think Paul said to those men on that boat? Be of good cheer, brethren, for this very night an angel of the Lord stood by my side. And he said, yes, the ship will be lost, but not one of you will be lost. Not one hair of your head will fall to the ground. He said, and I believe God that it shall be just like he said it will be.

Because no matter what happens, this boat will sink to the bottom. But I tell you, God said I must preach in Rome and he's going to turn it around. God said I'm going to Rome and I'm going to Rome if I got to go there on a piece of driftwood.

I'm getting to Rome. How many say amen? Oh, he stood up on that boat and he said, now if you will listen to me. But you know they were stupid. Some of them were getting ready to jump overboard.

They weren't going to listen like they did the last time. Paul told the captain, he said if you don't keep those men in this boat, God told me they all got to stay in the boat. If you don't keep all the men in this boat, then we will not make it. And they had to throw the lifeboats away so they didn't have no way to get off the boat to keep them from escaping. And then you know the story. You know how that the boat crashed and they were all in the water and you know how that the prisoners, they thought the prisoners were going to get away, but they didn't.

And what happened? How many men were on that boat? How many men?

Anybody know? 276 men. What do you think the likelihood is of 276 men on that boat when it crashes in that storm on the rocks of every one of them being saved? Now it doesn't say anything in here, but there had to be some sort of agreement where they took the shackles and the handcuffs off those prisoners. Think about that. Luke doesn't tell us all the details.

He tells us a lot. But I mean, how were they going to swim for it? Paul must have said, now listen to me. You've got to take these shackles and these handcuffs off these men because we're going down and they've got to swim and they can't make it if you don't take them off. And the captain probably said, there's no way I'm taking them off because I can't do that because if they escape, then I'm going to have to give my head. And Paul was going to say, they ain't going to escape.

They're going to hit the bottom. You've got to take it off. And if you don't take it off, then you're a murderer because you're sending these men to their grave without giving them a chance to swim for it. I think that's what he said. I don't know. Luke didn't tell us.

Something like that. Knowing Paul, I'm sure he did. But they had to take them off. And every last one of them made it safely, safely to shore. How many say amen? Because God said that he would turn it around. They all made it safely to shore. When God sent that angel to come to Paul and encourage him and say, Paul, the ship's going down, but nobody's going to be lost. Why didn't the angel just save them all? Why didn't God just let the angel rescue them? Angels can do that kind of stuff. They're equipped for that. They're trained for that kind of thing.

They're trained for rescue missions. Why didn't they just save them all? Or why didn't they do like Jesus did? Stand up and say, peace be still. And then the winds died down, the seas died down, they're going about their merry way.

Why? I mean, couldn't God do that and save them all from having to be thrown in the water and swim for their life? I mean, you know, why does God do that to people? When God comes and gives you a prophecy and a word of encouragement or a scripture or he quickens something to your spirit that you know is God telling you, hang in there. I got it under cover. I got it working out.

You don't see it, but it's working. And you're expecting it to work out. And instead, all this other stuff happens and you say, Lord, I really appreciate that word. I appreciate that prophecy.

I appreciate that scripture. But why didn't you just fix it instead of telling me you're going to? Because God has always got another adventure up his sleeve. And God had a divine appointment on Melita because God knew that that was an island of a barbarous people that didn't know the first thing about Jesus. And nobody else was going to come and hold a tent revival there that nobody else was coming to town. They didn't have an arena, a stadium.

They didn't have nothing. And none of the big preachers had had a meeting set up for them. But God cared about them just like Jesus cared about that one man legion on the on the shores of Gadara. And he if he had direct them all and let them all have to make it to the he was going to have a revival because God loves revival. God loves camp meeting. There's nothing that God loves more than to get a bunch of people together from all kinds of backgrounds, from all different places.

Get them all in one place, have preaching and teaching, have altar calls and healing lines. My God, that's what you call camp meeting. And God wanted to have a camp meeting on Melita.

And when they got there, you know, they were so friendly, they began to give them things to put on and they began to try to get a fire going. And you know that Paul, he went to help out and get some wood because he wasn't one of those preachers where you got to wait on him. And you've got to do everything for him. He could do stuff for himself. He can go get his own wood, thank you. And he went and he got his wood. And when he reached down to get that wood, an old snake took a hold of his hand and bit him on the hand. And Paul didn't do a thing, but shake him off.

Now, I don't know why God just won't let Paul get a break here. They had somebody over here setting up shop. And you know what happens today when something happens? Immediately, they set up shop making the t-shirts. I survived the Melita shipwreck. And there they were, they were selling them to all 276 men. Here, we got your t-shirt.

They were saying, yeah, man, that'll be cool. When I get back to Rome, I'll wear my t-shirt. I survived the Melita shipwreck. But then when that happened to Paul, they said, wait a minute, Paul, we got to get another one for you.

Come back. I survived the Melita shipwreck and the snake bite. And they were waiting for Paul to die. They were waiting for him to swell up and die. And they waited. They said, this man must be the worst of all criminals because he had, fate somehow led him so that he didn't drown.

But now he's going to get his just dessert, that he's going to die by the snake bite. But after a while, when they saw that he was perfectly fine, there was nothing wrong with him. They said, well, he's not a criminal. Obviously, he's a god. And I know that I know Luke didn't tell me, but I just know that that was Paul's opportunity to say, now, wait a minute, I'm not a god, but I'm here to tell you about my god. He's the one that turned it around. He's the one that sent me your way. He's the one that cares about you that he sent us here just so we could preach this revival. And he said, my god healed me. My god is a healing god.

And they said, he is? Yes, my god can heal. Your god can heal?

Absolutely. Oh, you think he could heal our chief? Our chief is very sick. He surely can. Well, would you go pray for him?

I surely will. Paul went and prayed for the chief of the island. He got healed. When he got healed, my god, they started bringing sick folk from everywhere. They had them coming from the north, the south, the east and the west.

They had them all around. Paul just went through praying for people. People were getting healed and saved.

They were having revival because God said, I'll take a shipwreck and I'll turn it around for my glory. I'll turn it around to glorify my name. I'll turn it around to send you somewhere you wouldn't have gone. So next time you find yourself in a place that you don't understand why God's got you there and what you're doing there, instead of griping and complaining and have a pity potty, why don't you turn around and start looking for, there must be an opportunity somewhere for me to minister. God must have somebody he wants me to go to. There must be a situation here that God has sent me to intervene and to turn it around.

Because God wanted to take that and make it a divine appointment so that God could intervene and bring those people to Christ. I want you to use your imagination. I want you to imagine when they got to Rome three months later, I want you to imagine by that time how big the testimony had grown. I want you to imagine in your mind, first of all, the captain of the ship.

Romans were sticklers for protocol. There would have been a thorough investigation. There would have been all kinds of investigations and they would have had a hearing, you know, whenever we have an airplane wreck, a shipwreck, a sub-wreck, you know, they got to go through all the questioning, all the people, what happened. And can you imagine the testimony when that captain of that ship, when he had to explain to them the miracles and the supernatural divine intervention, when he had to explain to them that this crazy little Jewish rabbi who preached about this Jesus Christ, whom they all knew the Pontius Pilate had crucified and dead, was dead and he said, you know, he's alive, when he had to give the report and he had to keep bringing in all these bizarre facts of all of these turnabouts and turnarounds.

And then the captain of the prisoners, he would have had to go to his superior and file his report. Can you imagine when he told them, yeah, we took all their shackles and all their covers, and he would have said, and what did you do that for? And how he would have explained. Well, you know, it's this Paul. Paul said this and Paul said that. And then he said this and he said that, and he said that, and they would have said, and you believed him? And you didn't? And you believed him?

And they would have probably just finally said, you know, you just have to talk to him for yourself. You're just going to have to see him for yourself. You got to see when he prays. When he prays to his God, there's something about that man when he prays to his God.

You're just going to have to talk to him for yourself. And then every last one of those prisoners, every last one of them, when they got back to their families, when they got back to their loved ones, they would, everyone, you know how everybody tells a story just a little bit different. You know, they say they have 40 people that got off the plane wreck, and they go to this one and they tell you what they saw and felt. And this other one tells you what they saw and felt.

And they're all so different, but they're all part of the big picture. And when 276 of them all began to tell what God had done, how that many times that God had turned things around, by the time that Paul got into Rome, that testimony was so huge. The gospel of Christ was exploding. And God turned it all around.

Our final scriptures, the last two verses of the book of Acts, Acts 28, 30, and 31. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came unto him. Oh, he entertained people. He had people over for tea. Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, but the word could be with all boldness, and no man forbidding him because God turned every detour, every obstacle, every hardship, God turned it around and made it that when he got to that city of Rome, his reputation already preceded him.

Their hearts were already open. And though he was in the palace, he had his own hired house. Now, he was a prisoner, but he was like, what do they call it, camp cupcake? It was better than that because he had his visitors come any time, and he was free to preach and teach the kingdom of God, Jesus Christ. There was absolutely no restrictions.

There was no censorship. He preached freely with boldness and no man forbidding because God turned it around. And every time the devil gets in my face and tells me, well, that's the last time you're going to preach. You ain't going to preach no more. And he tells me, you know, when I'm down or feel like I'm bowing, I'm not going to get up because remember I told you last Sunday to pray for me? How many remember I asked you to pray for me?

And I told you why? Because I know how the devil does. He knows he's too late. He can't get me out of the Bible.

It's too late. It's in my heart. If you took my Bible, it's already in my heart. He knows he's not going to stop that, so he's going to try to find some other way, but I know that I know that God will turn it around. And I'm here to tell you tonight that no matter what you're going through and no matter what you're facing, no matter what your trial is, no matter how weary or weak you may feel, if the devil's telling you everything is on hold, forget it.

It's never going to happen. You can look the devil in the eye and you can say, I believe it'll be just like God said it would be. And if I end up over here when I belong over there, somehow or another, show me what God's going to do. Show me what God's going to do. Somebody stand up and show me what God's going to do. What about the rest of you? What about the rest of you? What's God going to do? So you look in the mirror and you say, be of good cheer.

I love that one sound. It escapes me now where it is. I can see where it is in the Bible, but I can't think of the place. But it said, the man who trusts in the Lord, his heart is fixed. He will not fear when evil tidings come. His heart is fixed trusting in the Lord. And that's what you've got to do.

Whenever it seems like there's another bad report, another obstacle in your way, you've got to keep your heart fixed. Believing God said you must go to Rome, you're going to Rome. If God said he's going to do something in your life and you know you've got a word from God, he's going to do it.

If you don't give up, if you don't get discouraged, if you don't quit. Paul had a million reasons to quit and give up, but he held on to the word of God. And he said, I believe. And he was able then while he was in that prison that we just read about, those two years while he was sitting in that prison, that is when he wrote the letter to the Philippians. That is when he wrote that letter and said those words, don't worry about me because God has rather turned it around for good. They were worried about Paul being in prison and here he's sitting up in his hired house having guests come and go, preaching and teaching the gospel. And he said everybody in the whole palace is hearing God's word. God will turn it around. No wonder Paul said he'll do exceeding and abundantly of all that you can ask or think.

He will do it. Do you have a mountain in your way? Do you have a burden that doesn't seem like it's moving? Don't you get weary. Some of you are worried about your kids, what's going to happen in a few years. Some of you are worried about situations. Some of you are worried about the future.

You don't see a way out. You see trouble and you're thinking, God, how's it going to work out? You're already worrying now about down the road. But I am telling you that if you will hold on to the word of God and hang in there, hold on to God's promises, I've never seen the righteous forsaken. God will not forsake you.

Hold on to that word. God will turn it around. Some of you are worried about these things.

You don't know about the future on your job, your finances. But whatever it is, if you're worried about it, believe the word of God and stop fretting, stop being in a pity party, stop letting the devil beat you down, rise up and say I can make it because even if this is not something I like or want to be, God is going to turn it around. Do you believe that tonight? I feel that in my spirit. I really feel that in my spirit. This message is for everybody. It's for everybody here including me.

But there are some people here tonight. You know who you are and God is talking to you. He's telling you just give it to me. Commit it to me. Whatever it is, commit it to me and hold on to the word of God.

Whatever God has given you, hold on to it. And even though things may seem to get worse before they get better, just keep remembering this story. Remember how far around, how long and how far that Paul had to go, but he ended up in the place where God wanted him to be. And when he got there, it was a great and mighty victory. If he had gone before without Audible Christians, it came from the soldiers and the centurions and the captain and all of those. Oh God knows how to do it better than you and I could ever do it in Jesus name.

Amen. I hope you're enjoying Paul's journey to Rome in our message When God Turns It Around. Rome was the only New Testament church that Paul did not found and he had a fervent desire to go there and impart to them a spiritual gift. But first he wanted to go to Jerusalem where he had many enemies who wanted him dead and were willing to kill them themselves. There were many warnings to Paul not to go, but he was determined knowing God would allow him to get to Rome eventually.

But this began a two-year saga that was filled with beatings, prison time, a midnight escape, a shipwreck detour to an island in the winter, and a poisonous snake bite the first night. But what was meant for Paul's demise, God turned it around and one of the great revivals of the New Testament resulted on that pagan island. Paul did make it to Rome where he was imprisoned again in the dungeon cell of the emperor's palace shackled to a soldier day and night. Now Philippi was Paul's favorite church. He called them his joy and crown and they were troubled when they heard he was in prison and wrote him of their concerns. Paul's answer to them swung on the hinge of one word, rather. That is, instead of my being discouraged about being in this Roman jail, I'm rejoicing because what has happened to me has fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel.

First, my shackles are known throughout the whole palace of Rome, the capital of the world. Everyone knows I'm in jail for Christ, not crime. And secondly, many brethren who were shy about preaching the gospel are now bold to preach without fear. This is truly the boomerang principle of God.

What Satan attempts for our harm, God turns around for our good and for the furtherance of his gospel and kingdom. To order when God turns it around on CD, send a love gift of at least $10 to help us with the cost of radio time, request offer SK117, that's SK117, to Sound of Faith, P.O. Box 1744, Baltimore, Maryland, 21203, or you may order online at, where you can also order MP3. But to order by mail, request SK117, send a minimum love gift of $10 to P.O. Box 1744, Baltimore, Maryland, 21203. Until next time, this is Sharon Atzain, Maranatha. . . . . . . . . . . .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-06 00:43:35 / 2023-05-06 00:55:40 / 12

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