Scripture Jonah 1:3-4

Storms in a Sinful World

Genesis 1 tells us that God created a perfect world and it was good. He created plants, and animals, and people and they were good. But he gave us the choice, free will to obey or disobey Him. To trust and love our creator or go our own way and love and worship other things. Once Adam, representing all of us, doubted God’s goodness, and chose to disobey, sin and death entered the perfect world, and we are all born sinners and unable to connect with a righteous God.

The ship’s captain and crew had not run from Jonah the way Jonah had, and yet they are in the same boat, the same sea, facing the same storm as Jonah. Their sin may not have caused this storm, but God could still use it to bring them to repent and know Him. All sin results in mighty storms and Numbers 32:23 warns, “be sure your sin will find you out.”

Storms in a Sinner’s Life

Jonah was experiencing the price for his sinful behavior. He didn’t trust God’s goodness, he didn’t want to share God’s salvation with the terrible people of Nineveh. He didn’t want God to show them mercy. His sinful, prideful, unloving, unmerciful heart needed to change.

No one can escape God. But instead of fearing his judgment or fearing the storms that may come, the believer, the follower of God has the promise that God will use them for our ultimate good. This verse in Romans 8 is often misquoted or misapplied. Often verse 29 is left out.

When you face a trial, a life altering event do you blame God or do you seek God? He wants us to love this world and its treasures less and love people more. We have the benefit of reading Jonah’s whole story from start to finish, so it’s a lot easier to see God’s hand at work and say “hang in there Jonah” “God’s doing something amazing.” But when we are at the bottom, and we’ve reached the end of our rope, it can be hard to thank God.

God is in Control

This is why theology is important. If we don’t study God’s Word to see what it reveals about Him, we will be floundering without a life saver. God is omnipotent. He is all powerful. He can do anything. God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. He is not bound by time or space. He is always with us. God is omniscient. He knows everything. Back in Psalm 139 David said God you know me from the inside out. You even know my thoughts. You know the words I’m going to say even before I speak them. God knows what you are facing. He knows the difficulties you are in right now and He cares. Jesus said cast all your cares on me because I care for you.

Take Aways

Jesus shared a series of stories about lost things being found. Deacon Dan Jones preached from Luke 15 back in July 2021. You can find that on our website. God seeks out sinners to repent and become his children. And he also desires his lost children to return like the prodigal Son who when he lived his own way and reached the bottom, realized how good things were in his father’s house.

Jonah wasn’t just lost, he was running from God. But God was not going to let him get too far.

Where are you today? Have you ever repented of your sins and recognized that you need God, you need a Savior? Jesus proved he was God when He rose from the dead and he said come to me. You with all the heavy burdens. You with the guilt and shame. Bring all your sins to me and I will forgive them and give you rest. Give you peace with God and eternal life. If you’ve never trusted in Jesus alone for your salvation come talk to me.

Or maybe, you’ve been follower for some time now, but you stopped listening to God’s calling. You are living where or how He wants you to. You need to come back where you belong. To live according to His Word; to rebuild your relationship with him and with his people – the church.

Some of you are facing some pretty tough storms in your life. I know. I’ve talked to you. I’ve prayed with you. Some have financial problems. Some long running family feuds. Some with serious physical struggles. Or maybe you are seeing theses storms in your children’s lives and you are thinking “God, why would you let that happen?” Things are really hard and you may be struggling to believe that God is still there and that he is still good. Don’t give up. Don’t keep trying to do this alone. Pour your heart out to God, pray with your brothers and sisters at church, let someone in and help you find peace with God.

If any of these descriptions sounded like I was talking to you, it’s not me, it’s God’s Spirit. Come down front and pray alone or with someone. If this sounded like someone you know and care about, give them a call or stop over and pray with them. See how you can help. Just listen and love them. We have several shelves of booklets with solid biblical help in the Lobby. Take one for yourself or a friend who needs it.