It Had To Happen | Pastor Steven Furtick

all right look at this from Acts chapter 27 I preached this message back in 2013 and this is the sequel back then I did a message called it will happen but somebody say it happens however you want to take that the message about faith and fear and want to get back into it today and I’ll share with you another level of it and let me read Acts chapter twenty seven twenty palms of a miracle but he’s also in the middle of a mistake and sometimes the two are the same thing that’s about perspective sometimes the two are the same thing well the Bible says in verse 20 Acts chapter twenty seven when neither Sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging because it was one of those things that wouldn’t let up it was not the kind of trial that you go through and just get through it it’s it’s like when when you don’t see any end in sight it was that kind of thing so what happened was they lost all their hope and they they quit believing that they could be saved that it could be different that they could be delivered and right if they right at the time that they started to let go of their hope God spoke to Paul in a powerful way and of course Paul was that great missionary who took the gospel to the Gentiles and and so it was a good thing for them that he was on board touch somebody so you ought to be glad you’re sitting next to me because any boat that I’m on is better because I’m on it come on now come on now so the Bible says after they had gone a long time without food Paul stood up before them and said men you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete and then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss but now I urge you to keep up your courage because not one of you will be lost only the ship will be destroyed here’s how I know last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said do not be afraid Paul you must end trial before Caesar in other words you can’t go down in this battle because I got a bigger one ahead of you and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you so keep up your courage men for I have faith that it will happen just as he told me nevertheless we must run aground on some Island so three and a half years ago I preached a message called it will happen and today I want you to announce my sermon title look at your neighbor and tell’em neighbor Tellem neighbor it had to happen father I thank you for your word I pray that it would go forth and clarity now to bless the people that you’ve brought here to hear it not only would they hear it God but I prayed that they might apply it so that it can strengthen their lives in Jesus name Amen on your way to you see touch your other neighbor that you hadn’t talked to yet and tell them it had to happen because Paul as spiritual as he is is apparently not above telling someone I told you so because he had warned the sailors who were on this ship that was headed to Rome they were trying to get to Italy and and Paul was on there for preaching the gospel he didn’t do anything wrong but sometimes the reason that you go through things isn’t because of something wrong that you did you know that right even as a Christian and sometimes the things you go through are directly connected to something you did right and you can’t always know the reason and that’s difficult for me I always want to know the reason and I feel like I’m really good at dealing with resistance if I know the reason for it and even with people I’m kind of skeptical I am I always take people at face value for what they say they want in a relationship and I probably shouldn’t be so paranoid Holly tells me I should trust people more but I think she should trust people less so we just balance each other out I really do I think you should trust people less because people will say that they want to be your friend for this reason and sometimes there’s there’s a deeper reason I know I can’t go through life living like that you should assume the best about people and all of that but I don’t sometimes sometimes I get in situations where I’m like hmm I wonder what the real reason even with my kids you know that they’re too nice to me you know if they helped me a little too tight if they come running a little too fast

hey daddy I know that behind the affection is an ask it happened today I was coming out to preach I heard a noise in the bathroom back in my green room and I was in another room and I knew was Elijah and because I heard the pop of the the product my hair product and I said who’s there here and I know it’s him I was messing with him and he said it’s me daddy I just came to say I love you and I said and to use my hair product I know why you’re really in here you want my product and he said and because I love you and I said well mostly because you want my product and he said why can’t it be both pretty good why can’t it be both and for me I hear Paul okay he’s he’s gonna ship that he doesn’t believe he rightfully belongs on taking us prisoner for a crime that he didn’t commit being accused of things that he didn’t do and I hear when he’s talking I kind of hear two things I hear faith it will happen and I hear frustration this didn’t have to happen and I hear both because watch he says if you would have taken my advice you would have spared yourself this damage and loss in other words the reason we’re about to wreck is because of a decision that you made but if we say too long in the reason we’re going to drown because what matters at some point you have to get past at some point trying to figure out why it happened and this is difficult this is difficult for those of us who want to know a reason even past thoroughly when I call someone and and and maybe they’ve gone through a loss of tragedy and I say I was just calling to pray with you there’s a temptation for me to try to give them a reason for why it happened and when I was when I was a rookie pastor before I became the stage of wisdom that I am before you today can you feel me rolling my eyes at myself in sarcasm I would always feel compelled to give them a reason you know but God is going to use this for good you know Romans 8:28 and put in 8:28 ver Jeremiah 29:11 every little every little coffee cup verse I could spin out at them just as fast as I could you know there’s a reason from that and I realized that well at some point during giving people reasons sometimes people don’t need a reason when they’re in the middle of a storm they just need a reassurance that God will not leave you alone in it so please when someone that you love is suffering don’t be so quick to give them a reason don’t be so quick to point your finger well the reason your kids are rebelling is because no no that’s not the time for that people don’t need a reason when they’re going through a great time great trial what they need is someone to reassure them that God is with you and so am i and here’s Paul standing in the middle of a storm and the reason it’s happening is because of their dumb decision have you ever had to go through a storm because of somebody else’s dumb decision this is an awkward moment in my sermon because if you agree too much the person next to you it’s going to is going to know Paul says if we would have done it this way oh yeah because not everything that happens to you happened because God wanted it to happen to you and certainly not everything that happens to you happens because the devil did it because if the devil did it then God had to allow it sometimes I think we got the wrong word sometimes because I think they both start with the letter D and we get confused sometimes it’s not the devil it’s a decision it’s just too crowded in church today I need to free up some seats for the next week so I don’t you have to sit in parking or anything like that it is is sometimes it’s something so Paul says Paul says this didn’t have to happen like this and those are the hardest for me really really the hardest for me is when I feel like this was avoidable you know and when I feel like I could have avoided it but yet it’s inevitable and that’s the tension isn’t it I was talking to one of my best friends the other day and I said a year from now we were going through something and we were talking through it and something that we couldn’t understand and I said a year from now we will understand why this had to happen and he said do you really believe that I said yeah I believe that in time God will show us something he said nothing about that part do you really believe it had to happen because what he was doing he was reverse-engineering all the

decisions that led to it and what I kind of wanted to say to him that I wasn’t smart enough to say at the moment but I’ve thought about it for a few weeks now and I want to tell you then I come to the place and my belief system where I no longer try to figure out whether God did it or the devil did it because it has to pass through the same hands before it gets to me and I’ve read enough of the Bible to know that God will use other people’s bad decisions to get me to my destiny and I’ve seen enough play out to know that Joseph at the end of his life was only able to look at his brothers and say don’t even worry about it because you meant it for evil but God meant it for good which one was it evil or good it was both why can’t it be both why can’t it be an attack from the devil that God used and put to good you suggesting order to accomplish that’s what Paul is saying you think it didn’t have to happen I don’t want you to blame this on God we could have avoided this you didn’t have to date him your mom told you he was crazy and you wouldn’t listen to anybody but if we stay stuck in the reason we’ll miss the revelation because Paul says you know there there’s a reason this happened and it could have been avoided but last night while the storm was raging last night I was all alone and God showed up and reminded me that his purpose is still intact even if the ship goes down it had to happen it had to happen and God doesn’t tell Paul a whole series of explanations he doesn’t give him a reason he gives him a revelation revelation is more powerful than reason so you can’t fight the devil with a reason because sometimes you don’t know the reason sometimes sometimes you have to go back to who God showed you that he was and God is very tactical in this so he will create a situation for Revelation going to preach about this per minute so he will let Lazarus died and he loves Lazarus and when they tell him that Lazarus died he’ll say I’m glad it happened Jesus actually said I’m glad he died why because now we’ve got a situation and the situation is what enables the revelation it’s not just true because it rhymes it’s true because it’s true up until this point they knew him as healer now they needed to know him as resurrection and so he said I’m glad it went wrong I’m glad it went poorly Paul said we must run aground on some Island somebody say it had to happen it had to happen and sometimes when you ask God for a reason he will bypass the reason and give you a revelation you still belong to me you’re still my child see I don’t operate by reason if I operate by reason sometimes I’ll be up sometimes I’ll be down I operate by revelation I know he is good and he does good I know he’s with me I know he’s for me I know he’ll never leave me nor forsake me that’s my revelation to somebody say I got a revelation and so when you get in trouble you don’t need a reason you need a revelation he like to look at me the other day and I was telling him to do something and he’s 11 years old and so he is being visited by demons of 11 year old Ness and he’s coming up to me talking about dad I’ll do it if you tell me the reason he said I’m not the kind of person who can just do something without knowing the reason did you ever see The Simpsons I know you don’t watch TV you read the Bible all the time when Homer grabs Bart around the neck and I know I probably couldn’t do that when you said he said I need a reason and I looked back at him and the only thing that came to me was I looked at him the spirit of Star Wars came on me and I said hey you don’t need a reason to do it boy do you need a revelation of who I am how big see see the project the times in your life you won’t know why but if you know who the god so look I [ __ ] somebody tagged on a revelation and

Paul says we’re going to make it but the boat isn’t the boat has to break but we’re going to make it we will suffer loss but we will not lose what’s most important that’s the promise all right so you know what’s amazing about this story it happened just like Paul said it would and they all got to the shore and they got to that Island that Island look at this in acts 28 verse one somebody say it had to happen that’s the word for you today it had to happen and when they got there the bible says x 28 verse 1 once safely on shore we found out that the island was called Malta Malta means refuge so the grace of God does not always prevent the consequence but it gives you a place to land and so we must run aground on some Island and when we got there we found out the island was called Malta and it must be a relief now that we’re no longer on these open seas because they spent weeks thrashing around wondering if they’d ever see dry land again and then they get to the place the Bible says in verse 2 that the Islanders showed us unusual kindness the Islanders is a kind term the actual word that group that is used here from Luke who wrote the book of Acts is barbarians and he called them that because they didn’t speak his language Malta is an unfamiliar place and it’s an unfamiliar place not only that but they built the fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold now imagine this coming empathize with Paul for a minute because he survived a shipwreck only to shiver in the cold of an unfamiliar Island and an unfamiliar language and he survived but now the place where he is is unfamiliar to him I mentioned that because many times in my life I have found myself on Malta have you ever been to Malta oh sure you have sure you have it’s that place I’ll show it to you I’ll show you in the map here I’m in my Bible look that’s where Paul started that’s where the wind blew him around for like several weeks and that’s Malta where they landed look you see that that little tiny island called Malta a little see how small Malta is see how tiny it is how small it is I’ll strength that’s where Paul was going and that’s where the wind blew it that’s where Paul had always wanted to visit Rome where he would stand trial for Caesar and be used as God great spokesman the most powerful place in the world in his day and that and the operated up somewhere you never plan on being that’s what I’m trying to say have you ever been to mall – I need somebody over here in this section who’s been to Montana Malta is the place you didn’t plan on staying Malta is the season you didn’t plan on experiencing Malta is the lay off you didn’t see coming Malta is the relationship you didn’t see ending Malta is the emotional place you never thought you’d experience you saw other people depressed you never thought you’d be depressed you saw other people’s kids act crazy you thought yours would act right Malta is that place where you’re 28 and single Malta is that place where someone who was there for you is no longer there for you have you ever been to Malta what is somebody as important as Paul doing somewhere as small as Malta let’s find out let’s find out I love the Bible man Bible says that Paul got the Malta survived the shipwreck he ever survived anything have you ever survived anything have you ever gave up hope and just when you gave up hope hope didn’t give up on you and grab hold of you in the depth I’ve been preaching this all weekend but I feel something special happening right now for somebody who is in an unexpected place a strange place a small place a stuck place the Bible says that those Islanders were so kind to the prisoners 276 of them in all that they built them

fire and Paul was such a good dude that he decided to help so they’re building a fire and Paul doesn’t want to stand over there like me at a love Week event looking like some lazy preacher who doesn’t know how to do anything Paul grabs a piece of wood look is right there in verse three he gathered a pile of brush brushwood and as he put it on the fire trying to help a snake came out so let’s go back to everything that’s happened to Paul he’s imprisoned for preaching the gospel he’s shipwrecked because the sailors are too stupid to follow his advice now he’s cold on Malta it’s a mob Monta stuck in standing shivering ecole uncertain in an unfamiliar place and just as he thinks he’s made it to safety he gets struck by a snake this is almost comical unless you’ve been there when just when you thought the fight was going to be over here comes pump it out have you ever and and and this snake pops up out of the fire the pole was simply trying to help them build on an island called Malta where he never even planned to go and the Bible says it fastened itself to his hand so this is not so quickly this is this thing bit down on Paul and watch what the people dig he’s got to be careful about people let me tell you got to be careful about people because when that happened people will always find a reason to why you’re going through what you’re going through well if I were her husband I would elected people will say stuff like that not to you they never say it to you they just think it about you they think that the reason bad things happen to you is because of something that you did well the Islanders are watching this guy who’s got a snake on his hand who just came crawling out of the sea with some seaweed around his ears and he claims to be a preacher and he claims to be a servant of God and so if you’re a servant of God why isn’t God protecting you has the devil tried to convince you lately that if you really had a God you wouldn’t be going through what you’re going through and so they stood back they stood back and said this dude when they saw the snake hanging from his hand which means it was there for a minute when they saw the snake hanging from his hand they drew their own conclusions he must have done something wrong he must be a murderer he must be out of the will of God for though he escaped to see the goddess justice has not allowed him to live I love the next verse because Paul preached is one of the most powerful sermons in the New Testament watch this when Paul saw my look and he knew had a captive audience and verse five says that when Paul saw him looking he said and this may not be in your Bible I’m reading from the ESV the Taylor Swift version he said he said players going to play play play play play come on y’all go back to 2014 with me for a minute and haters gonna hate hey hey hey hey five times that’s a quintuplet in the New Testament Heartbreakers gonna break break we get the point pastor you’ll have to quote the whole chorus and the verse but Paul’s response that’s the word response watch this he didn’t say a word he didn’t try to convince them that God was with him he didn’t feel sorry for himself he didn’t go on Facebook and write a response post watch what he did he did what you’ve got to learn how to do when you make it through the storm and all hell breaks loose on the sword come on when they talk about will it look like this is the end when you’ve been through it in a Keith time the final step was to get off plus several people think make it off shake it off shake it off right now before it gets in your system take it off right now before it kills you take it off right now while they’re standing around Washington you got to do it right now right now you

got to shake it off you don’t take a vote from the island committee to see whether or not they think God is with you know Paul said I got a revelation God already told me I’m going to Rome so I can’t die on this time I already know he’ll never leave me or forsake me I already know I’m more than a conqueror I already know so if I’m going to Rome I can’t die on Malta and when the shakes fell off of Paul’s hand and died in the fire it wasn’t a surprise to him he knew it had to happen it had to happen someone say it had to happen I had to survive I had to make it I had to get through it God had to prove his power I’ll feel your presence Lord for everybody who’s been wondering why you’ve been stuck on the while and you know what I’m saying you’ve been so busy trying to figure out a reason and God is trying to give you a revelation not just you but everybody watching you God wants everybody to see you shake it off God wants everybody around you to see you trust him though he slay you and that’s why the snake had to bite him yeah because faith doesn’t prevent me from getting big face doesn’t prevent me from washing up on the shore what I love about it is that after Paul shook the snake off the people stood back and watch to see what was going to happen next because that’s what they do they don’t bring you ice pack or an aspirin talk to me they will stand there and watch you and the Bible says that they were shocked because they expected him to swell up you know you got some people that are surprised that you made it and surprised you’re still happy you know they thought when they broke your heart you were going to quit but look at you inserts worshiping God serving God believing God look at you look at you so they’re like they’re like oh let’s let’s see what happens next touch them I say let’s see what happens next so they waited a long time and then when they saw that he didn’t swell up or turn into a walker they changed their mind this is why you cannot put your confidence in people they changed their minds and said he’s the god one minute he’s a murderer now he’s the god one minute Hosanna the next minute crucify him that’s why your response cannot be to people even when I preach I love you but I can’t preach for you I can preach to you but I can’t preach for you does the thing that I say that you need to hear might make you cross your arms and get an attitude well sit back and take it honey because if God sent it i’ma say it all right now watch this I’ll show you one more thing so he shakes up the snake they think he’s gonna die doesn’t die and a cool place to end the sermon I think but I want to give you something that will maybe help you let me just see from a show of hands is there anybody in here who has found yourself in Malta recently it could be a season it could be multi-race it’s you that’s stuck place I think these are the kinds of questions generic questions that people ask because we know that it’s guaranteed to get a hundred percent participation I mean who doesn’t feel stuff from time to time that’s kind of the point isn’t it is that we all must go through Malta and Paul at this point in the story has a decision to make misery or mission misery or mission because we already read that it was rainy and cold we already read that it was unfamiliar we already read that the man almost died

and now he has a decision to make and so do you about this season of your life Paul didn’t decide to go to Malta but now he has to decide what to do while he’s there and he can sit in wait to get off this stupid island or he can he can do on Malta what he did in Jerusalem all right so so Paul they think he’s a god now right so they’re like they’re like hey this guy’s important and apparently the chief of the island hears about it and he wants to have dinner with this guy who can survive a snake bite so your opportunities in life will be the byproduct of adversity that you go through and he gets invited to the home of the official on the island because he was able to stand up under the trial you keep praying for the opportunity but you don’t want to stand up under the adversity so somebody say it had to happen I had to go through something I had to prove perseverance that’s the only way my faith could grow to enable the opportunity so there was an estate nearby look at this in verse seven there was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius which is incidentally a baby name that is available to any of you who are looking for something to name their child that will get them beat up this guy’s important and he wants to see the guy who was able to stand up after the snake bite and survive the ship rat and he welcomed all of them into the home and showed generous hospitality for three days and I’m imagine in Paul’s thinking this is nice but at some point during Paul’s stay he learns that Publius has a problem says somebody say Publius has a problem and Publius this problem is about to become Paul’s opportunity because Publius his father was sick in bed with the multi fever and it’s bad he’s got temperatures and dysentery and Paul when he heard about it went in to see him now the way I picture it and maybe I’m using too much imagination but I imagine that they’re sitting down to a meal and Paul sees somebody wheeled into the room and says who’s that and Publius says it’s my dad and Paul says what’s wrong with him and and and Publius says he’s sick and there’s nothing we can do about it imagine about right here is where Paul started smiling which seems kind of weird but maybe this is the moment that Paul realizes there was a reason I went through the storm there was a reason the hurricane hit there was a reason the ship had to break apart there’s a reason we had to run aground on Malta well said can I fear can we have a moment and the Bible says that when Paul went in to see him he prayed for him and watch the next part you can love this you look kind of military can I use you for an example so everybody said oh I went in and prayed for it and after prayer somebody say it had to happen come on Missouri it had to happen you had to be here at the sermon today there’s something God wanted to speak to you you had to be here with the beefy top beard goatee you had to be right there in that section and Paul put his hand on Publius his dad dad’s head and when he put his hand on his head the Bible says he was healed which is a miracle all in its own but what made it even more amazing to me was to realize that the same hand that the healing came through was the same hand that had a snake hanging from it just three days ago oh come on your stop praising God right now what you went through that big tell you so let me have your texted Paul says I can’t keep the snake from biting me

touch somebody say it had to happen the other day have you came up to me and she said Elijah just bit me I said did you bite him back she said no sir I said go upstairs and tell your brother you can bite me again if you want to but daddy said to tell you if you bite me I’ll bite back now that might not be good parenting but this this club reaches the devil [Applause] same hand that the snake bid became the hand that the healing came from what did you go through that you wish you wouldn’t have gone through that you never should have gone through I came to declare over your life it does not matter the reason what matters is your response you’re on Malta now Malta is what you make of it the Bible says after he laid his hands on that man’s head word got around the whole island this guy’s got something this guy’s got something this guy knows somebody when he put his hand on the father’s head the Bible said the whole island came and all of a sudden now Publius had to turn his house into a first building and the whole island got healed it happen [Applause] how’s your happy before Island got you I’m sorry I messed up your hair but it has that I feel like I got something on me right now to tell somebody release it’s about the release [Applause] when Paul was going through the storm he said we must run aground on some Island somebody say it had to happen Paul thought he needed Malta but it turns out Malta needed oh there’s a purpose for I don’t need a reason I got a revelation God is with me he is good he does good it had it had to happen I’m not saying God did it I’m saying he’ll use it now what are you gonna do on Malta that small place you’ve been changing diapers pillow like nobody appreciates you that’s your Malta you’ve been praying for a ring and you can’t even get a text back that’s your mom I never wanted to be on Malta but Paul said now that I’m here who can I heal [Applause] matter of fact y’all got any more snakes I wish another snake would bite me because of that much power can come from the pain who else can I heal who else can I heal God wanted to bring me this but we’ve all talked and while they were getting ready for a wreck God was positioning them for a revival this is the mistake that turned into a miracle that turned into a mission and I want you to know today whoever is for the 48 percent of you that God sent me to preach to who are spending three months on Malta right now I want you to know that your supply is in your assignment did you get it over here your supply is in your assignment he could have sat there on Malta moping about what he went through on the adriatic sea but he turned it into a mission and the whole island got here maybe what you went through wasn’t even about you maybe it’s generational

and that’s what I told my dad before he died I said I know your life was hard I know it was the living hell I know your father abused you I know you had to suffer through many things but you broke it you broke it had you had to go through it so I wouldn’t have to so I could breathe so I can sit sometimes there’s a lot about all the side of the bike back with his head still rolling from the snake bite suck that poison out and turn it into power [Applause] what am I call of the sermon I’m bit but I’m not bitter how preach that in three years I’m preach that in bars and battles in two weeks but for now God wanted you to know that it had to happen even the rejection my friend said do you really believe that it had to happen and I said well I don’t know but you know what I just it made me who I am what I went through it made me who I am I want to look in the camera because we have 14 locations right now and I want you to stand on your feet at every location and realize that healing is in your hands that God brought you to Malta and when you’re in the middle of a storm it seems like there’s often no sense of guidance and when your boat is being blown around and you have no control over it it’s a scary thing to be out on the Mediterranean Sea with nothing to look at for life and to arrive at a cold place only to be met by the sting of a viper yeah I’ve been there before in my own life but God sent me with a message for you today it had to happen because while the wind was controlling the boat God was controlling the wind I’m not saying he did it but a God allowed it you can accept it and did you can accept it the very place where you were injured will be at the very place that your purpose comes forth from it had to happen it has to happen even the mistakes had that because God needed me here in Malta right now father I have declared your word to your people and you have promised your blessing upon it father I pray that today would represent a shift in the perspective of everyone who has seen themselves as stuck on Malta search I want you to repeat this out loud after me it’s a paradigm shift say I’m not stuck I’m stationed now clap your hands and give God praise that he’s got the right where everyone has got you right where he wants you there is an assignment on Malta with your name on it even if they did it God’s gonna use this is my month and the Bible says in verse 10 that when they were ready when the assignment was completed they honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail they furnished us with the supplies we needed God said if you’ll do what I put you there to do I will give you what you need for where I’m taking you who is this message for this thing’s my Malta this is my mouth touch I’m not crying I’m done regretting your hand here

ha ha ha [Applause]