We all experience what could be called storms of life.
They come in various forms, such as relational, financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Sometimes they are even the result of our own foolish choices. The trouble that comes to us may be the harvest of what we have sown in the past. And that was certainly the case with Jonah.
When Jonah tried to run away from God’s assignment, the Lord brought a corrective storm into his life. And because He loves us, He will similarly disrupt our plans when we insist on going our own way instead of submitting to His will.
God’s storms …
Get our attention. Storms disrupt our normal routine in such a way that we stop to consider what God is doing in our lives.
Humble us. The Lord challenges our pride and self-reliance so we realize that we are not in charge and can do nothing apart from Him.
Lead us to repentance. Sometimes the consequences of our sin and rebellion are so painful and troublesome that we come to our senses and turn back to God in humble obedience.
Align our life with His plans. Storms cause us to let go of our stubbornly held plans and yield to His will no matter what it costs us.
Crying out to the Lord is the best response in a storm.
Like Jonah, we should humble ourselves in the midst of our circumstances, submit to God’s dealings with us, turn from our rebellion to obedience, and yield to His will. Only then will we become a useful servant in His mighty hand.
1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish, 2 and he said, I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. 3 For You had cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me. 4 So I said, `I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.’ 5 Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head. 6 I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God. 7 While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple. 8 Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness, 9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD.” 10 Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by Permission
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