“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”.
“21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”
The above scripture is part of the story narrated by Apostle Paul about his journey to Rome to face Caesar for preaching the gospel. The journey was by sea and it was terribly rough. At a time during the journey Paul himself wrote, “all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.” What took their hope away? “For many days we could not see the sun or the stars, and the wind kept on blowing very hard. We finally gave up all hope of being saved” (Good News Translation).
Please note that even Paul was in a major crisis, firstly he was taken a prisoner for doing good. As if that was not enough, he was in a dangerous and hopeless voyage, which was not of his own making. What did he do? He took courage (he was of good cheer) and encouraged his fellow travelers.
This is the first step in coming out of the storm, regardless of what is happening don’t lose your courage, and don’t give-in to depression. Avoid cursing and imagining how hopeless your future will become. Please note courage is not a gift that is given it’s a weapon that has to be taken.
Step two – Fear not, go back to the last instruction you received from God and keep meditating and confessing it courageously, you may not feel like doing it but make yourself do it. During this period you will wish the day could go faster and that the night would come earlier. You wouldn’t feel like doing anything, not even talking to anyone. I have been there several times and I know how it feels but I never stayed there. We are only meant to go through the valley of the shadow of death not to reside there. What would the living be doing among the dead? For God had not given you the spirit of fear but of power, of love and of a sound mind.
Step 3 – Believe God, “Wherefore, sirs… I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me”. A teenager was dying of tuberculosis and at that time there was no cure. He heard of a minister visiting his town who was praying for the sick, and he told his brother to take him there. Although his body was dying, his spirit still believed God. That night the preacher lifted him up from his seat, anointed him with oil and commanded the sickness to depart and it did. Remember in those days there was no medical cure for tuberculosis; in other words, all hope that he should be saved was taken away but he took courage, he removed fear and he believed God. He lived to be over 90 years of age. Friends be of good cheer, fear not and believe God.
In concluding this chapter, please know that problems are meant to be solved not feared, hardships are to be broken not stared at. Everyone faces problems so don’t make your own special. The Bible says your problems are common so don’t make them uncommon. Any problem you will face will be common but thank God for uncommon solutions. As a teacher will not give a year 2 student a year 6 examination so also God will not allow any problem that is beyond you to come to you. That problem cannot be beyond you or else God will be unfair but God is never unfair. So cheer up and take the bull by the horns and get on top of things with your faith that puts you above.
For further Study
Mark 9:23, Luke 10:18-19.
Questions for you to reflect on
Have you ever overcome a major problem in your life?
How did you overcome?
Do you think you can overcome other problems ?
Personal declaration for the day
I will outlast my problems. My best days are ahead of me.