Pick up your sermon series guide in the worship center foyer or download your guide online here.
Read Acts 18:1-4; Proverbs 16:9; Romans 11:33-36; James 4:13-17
“And [Paul] found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them” (Acts 18:2).
The twists and turns of life are endless and at times, unplanned. We love to make plans and set expectations of how life should unfold. But often, plans are derailed and expectations missed with the hard right turns of change. As believers who have read how God orchestrated the lives of biblical characters, such changes in our plans shouldn’t surprise us. And yet, how often they throw us off guard! In Acts 18, we are introduced to a couple forced to leave their familiar home in Rome when Emperor Claudius banishes all Jews from the area. To Aquila and Priscilla, this move was not a re-location to something. It was an unexpected, unwanted change, a hard right from their road of expectations.
About seven years ago, we moved to California. And like this couple from first-century Rome, our move was not our first choice. But God had reasons beyond our original plans, and He provided what we needed. Just as we were so glad to connect with believers in our new city, so must Priscilla and Aquila have been when they met Paul, a fellow Jew. Acts 18:2 says, “[Paul] came to them.” An accidental meeting? Not a chance.
The Lord sees eternity. We see today and a fuzzy tomorrow. God moved Aquila and Priscilla because He knew exactly how He wanted to work through them for His Kingdom. Trusting a sovereign God is difficult because it requires us to relinquish the control we cling to. But He is trustworthy. So hold onto Him in the midst of change. Whether the change is an unplanned loss, a job shift, a new health concern, or any other unwanted surprise, ask our loving Lord to provide wisdom, strength, and faith. His plans are bigger (and better) than we can imagine.
Lord, sometimes it’s difficult to say “thank you” for the changes in life. Help me trust you. Help me see that you are the Creator and Author of my life, who is still unfolding the story you wrote for me long ago. Your ways are better than mine, so I know I can trust you with the outcome of today’s challenging change.