The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

      You lose your job. You’re failing a class. You have a health problem. You have money problems. You find yourself without friends. You’re stripped of someone you love. In stormy seasons like these, it can be hard to maintain hope. It is not unusual for any of us in a crisis or difficult time to plead with the Lord. In our story of Jonah, the ship that Jonah and the sailors were on was in a severe storm.

      Jonah 1:11 Since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, “What should we do to you to stop this storm?” 12 “Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” 13 Instead, the sailors rowed even harder to get the ship to the land. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn’t make it. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, Jonah’s God. “O Lord,” they pleaded, “don’t make us die for this man’s sin. And don’t hold us responsible for his death. O Lord, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.” [1].

        Jonah was the only one on board the ship that truly knew the Lord, yet he was silent. He wasn’t on speaking terms at the time. The sailors, who did not have a relationship with the Lord, were the ones who shouted out to Him.  Like Jonah, we often become so blinded by the storms in our lives that we forget the power and the love of the God we serve. Our present circumstances take our attention away from His eternal promises. He promises to provide for us, to strengthen us, and to sustain us until the end. We wind up running to Him in a panic, begging for Him to do something, when, in fact, He’s been faithfully by our side all along. Jonah is the one who should have been praying to God.

      One thing that helps me in the storms of life is God’s word. When my father died, I spent the next several months reading through the Psalms almost every day. Over time God’s word brought healing. When life seems to be spiraling out of control, let God’s Word be the thing that anchors you in place. Search the Bible for His promises to you and let these words become the very foundation of your days. When things get darker or more chaotic, repeat these scriptures to yourself to remind yourself of the reality of the situation and see things from God’s perspective. Remember that:
1) He is in control and is stronger than your problems.
John 16:33 I (Jesus) have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” [2]

2) He loves you and has plans to prosper you.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.[3]

3) He will give you the strength you need to get through the storm.

Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. [4]

To hear more of the story of Jonah, listen here:

[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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