How to Survive the Fog
Text verse: 20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
Intro: Walking by faith and not by sight is a distinct characteristic of a child of God. But that is much easier said than done. The Bible says that “…when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared…” they lost all hope.
They could not see the sun or the stars.
How did the Apostle Paul make it through this time of extended fog in his life?
- Refrain from fighting the storm. – vs. 14-17
A storm is a supernatural event.
There is nothing you or I can do to stop a storm once it starts.
It might start out as a soft breeze at first (vs. 13)
But once it turns into a tempestuous wind, it is beyond our control.
The only thing you can do is let it run its course.
- Remove unnecessary baggage. – vs. 18, 19
- Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Clean out the clutter.
Don’t wait for someone else to do it.
- Acts 27:19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.
Take ownership and make some hard decisions.
A storm is a good time to re-evaluate your priorities.
A storm is a good time to clean house.
When you can’t see the horizon, or the shore, take care of what you CAN see.
- Retreat to your prayer closet. – vs. 21
If your storm hasn’t forced you into your prayer closet, it isn’t much of a storm.
If your storm hasn’t forced you to your knees, it will before it is over with.
Paul …after a long abstinence…
- 16 ¶ As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.
- 17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
- 18 He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.
Paul survived the fog because Paul fasted and prayed for a long time.
There was a song that came out years ago that went like this…
Whatever brings you to your knees is good for you
- Reassess your choices. – vs. 21b
Some of our storms are brought on by our own failures.
A storm is a good time to look back and see what we might could have done differently.
Use it as a learning experience.
NOTE: Just because the storm is beyond your control doesn’t mean you can’t learn from past mistakes.
- Remember who you belong to. – vs. 23
Paul never forgot that he belonged to God, and that God was standing beside him.
He never repented of serving God. He did not regret what God had called him to do.
If he had not been a servant of God, he wouldn’t have been on that ship going through that storm.
He was there in spite of his previous warnings. (vs. 9, 10)
- Rely on God. – vs. 25 – for I believe God
Paul never lost sight of the fact that God wasn’t through with him – vs. 24
Paul knew that God had a plan – a purpose.
Paul made it through the fog because he chose to believe God.
He could have blamed God and turned his back on God, but he didn’t.
Sometimes, the key to making it through the fog is to repeat to yourself and to others – I BELIEVE GOD!
- Rest in the anchor. – vs. 29
- 17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
- 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
- 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
- 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
- Remain with the ship. – vs. 31
Paul caught some of the shipmen about to flee out of the ship. – vs. 30
Paul’s words were plain – Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.
The ship, as fearful as it may have seemed, was the safest place in the world at that time.
Don’t give into the urge to cut and run during a storm.
Stay with the ship!
- Refresh yourself with food. – vs. 33-38
Don’t get so busy watching the weather that you forget to eat. (fourteen days without food – vs. 33)
Stay in the Word. Don’t neglect your Bible.
Take some meat – for this is for your health. (vs. 34)
The only thing worse than many days in the fog is to die of starvation while it’s happening!
Stay healthy during the storm.
Feast on the riches and promises of God.
I notice this – no matter how bad the storm, or how long the fog, there was ENOUGH to eat! – vs. 37, 38
Conclusion: The storm was bad. It was violent. It was long. The fog lasted for many days. But eventually, the sun came out.
And when it was all said and done, they…escaped all safe to land. (vs. 44).