Thursday, September 21, 2017

Surrendering in the Storm

And the LORD hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up. Jonah 1:4
As we have seen this week, there are many examples in the Bible where God used a storm to reveal His power.  God also sends storms on His people when they are out of His will.  The wind and the rain that beat against us are God’s way of getting us to wake up and come to our senses.  Some storms in our lives occur because that is the only way God can get our attention.  God may also send a storm to save us from ourselves.  Take Jonah for example.  He was flat out running in the opposite direction that God told him to go.  He was headed for self-destruction of the worst kind.  So, God sent a storm to stop him in his tracks.

Instead of doing what God asked him to do, Jonah bought a ticket to Tarshish, which was in the opposite direction of Ninevah, where God asked him to go.  He knew what he was doing.  He didn’t want to do what God had asked him to do, so he didn’t do it.  But when he got on the boat and settled in for a nap, a horrible storm came.  Storms were a normal thing to these sailors on this particular sea, but this storm was different.  It was no ordinary storm and the sailors were scared.  They determined that Jonah was the reason and the captain woke him from his nap, started questioning him, and telling him to call out to his God.  They asked him What have you done?  Jonah had already told them that he was running from God.  Jonah said in verse 12, Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you.   The sailors did not want to do this and tried to row back to land; but the storm grew wilder.  Then they asked the Lord to please not let them die for throwing Jonah overboard to certain death.  Little did they know that God was saving Jonah from himself. 
Surrendering in the Storm
God got his attention with that storm.  Jonah stopped running from God and admitted his sin.  He is back in God’s hands now even though that meant that he is sinking fast to the depths of the ocean.  You know the story…God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah, which saved him from certain death.  That fish spit Jonah out and Jonah went on his way - rather God’s way.  He decides it was in his best interest to do what God had asked him to do in the first place. 
God provided this great fish to rescue Jonah in the sea; and in His mercy, He has provided our great savior, Jesus Christ, to rescue us from our storms that come from disobedience.  God had a purpose for this storm and will allow storms to come in your life for different reasons.  He may allow things to happen in your life so he can bring you back to Him.  What are you learning from the storms you are experiencing in your life?  One very important lesson that we can all learn from Jonah’s storm is that more can be accomplished in one moment in God’s will than hours of intense labor outside of God’s will. 
Why do we do such self-destructive things to ourselves, over and over again?  Why bring on the storm?  Why do we cause ourselves such pain and sorrow by running in the opposite direction God is sending us?  We sometimes have to learn the hard way that we cannot run from God.  We can choose to ignore Him and continue in disobedience, but God knows all.  There is nowhere we can go to get away from Him.  He is always capable of finding us and rescuing us from our self-inflicted storms. 
When we are facing a storm in our lives, it is not a matter of trying to work it out on our own, but rather the secret is surrender.  Instead of fighting against God we need to surrender to the storm, turn it over to Him and learn to trust in His strength and not our own. 
Scripture to Claim:
In my trouble I cried to the LORD, And He answered me. Psalm 120:1

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