Text: Jonah 1:4-16
Big Idea: “Even in our disobedience, God will lovingly use all the trials of our lives to help us see Jesus and trust Him more.”
1. God’s storms reveal our Idols (1:4-6)
When God sends a storm into our lives, He reveals our idols. He exposes what we worship, what we’re really trusting in. For these sailors, God uses this storm to expose their false-gods as powerless.
And unfortunately, idol worship didn’t end with the Bible. We have just as much, if not more, idol worshiping right now than any time in history. Because an idol is anything that we trust in more than God, anything we love more than God, anything we worship other than God.
One of the most common idols today is when we worship the god of our making – the god we have come to know through experience, through others, the god who agrees with our own opinions or fits our own understanding – rather than worshiping the God of the Bible.
Are you going through a storm right now? Maybe it is one of your own making, like Jonah. Or maybe it’s a trial that you have no idea why it’s happening (like the sailors). Either way, if you’re a child of God, know that God is in your storm. He wants to reveal truth to you. He wants to reveal areas in your heart that you’re not submitting to him. He wants to show you how powerless and worthless our idols are. He loves you that much.
2. God’s storms reveal our Savior (1:7-16)
No doubt, the people of the ancient world had heard of the mighty works of the God of the Hebrews, and they knew He was real. So when Jonah told them he was Hebrew, and he worshiped the God who made the sea and the land, the sailors were terrified.
It’s ironic – the very thing Jonah was fleeing from (preaching the One True God to sinners) is the very thing he wound up doing on this ship. God’s purposes will always be accomplished, and His purpose is to make the Savior known.
The storms of life have a way of doing that – revealing our idols as weak, and our God as strong. Storms have a way of reminding us how insufficient our strength is, but how all-sufficient Jesus is. What we cling to other than God simply collapses. But when we are in the middle of a storm and we cling to Christ, He holds us up. He is faithful and true. He keeps us in the palm of His hand and no one can take us out.
If you’re in a storm, don’t curse the skies. Submit to the one who made the storm. He’s also the one who calms the storm. And more than that, He is the one who died to set you free. We will fail often, but Jesus never will. Trust in what He has already done, and even in the midst of the storm, He will be always be with you.