‘when you read ‘But God’ you are filled with hope…‘
The greater the storm the brighter the rainbow.
The closer the storm the larger the rainbow.
There is always something to be thankful for, even on the worst day.
There is always hope.
Today there is hope. (We need hope more than ever).
The sun rose this morning. So did you.
Jonah lived a while ago, God told him to go to a city, ‘but Jonah went in the other direction’. This resulted in him boarding a boat, ‘but God’ sent a wild storm. Everyone thought they were going to die on board and the captain and crew thew Jonah into the sea. ‘But God’ sent a fish… which gulped him up and spat him out on the dry land.
Full story below – crazy stuff.
‘But God’ today is still there, asking us to talk, turn and walk – yes hand in hand with our creator.
So moved was God when he saw your/our storm, hopelessness and pain… God chose to come to planet earth in human being form – Jesus. God knows about your (and my) mental health, physical health, addiction to smoking, drugs, porn, greed & money. He knows about your need of acceptance, lots of views on social media, your pride, fear, insecurities, questions of your sexuality, the list goes on…
Many including me… maybe most, know that following Jesus means we are called and made ‘holy’ through knowing Jesus, but still have ‘holes’, we are holy in both senses.
Jesus has made us holy but we are also made from dust/flesh, it’s a constant battle. Jesus does save, help and heal here and now and one day when Jesus comes back all those holes will be gone, we’ll be like Him, FULLY… fully holy, no mess-ups!
Jesus also went through the hurricane of a storm like Jonah sleeping, but his roughty-toughty fisher mates were far from calm, they said ‘we’re going down’, that’s it mate, game over. But Jesus said silence to the wind and it was as calm as a pond.
‘But God’ chose the wildest storm of death on a cross, taking all our junk and ‘buts’, other directions and failures, and said ‘I’ll pay for those. I’ll bring hope. So when you mess up it’s on my account when you ask’. God says ‘I long for your heart, I long for you to follow my ways because I know they are best for you’. (I can feel his heart even as I write this over some of you).
‘And God’ gave us a book called the Bible, if you’re looking for truth – there’s no fake stuff. Read it, make moments to connect with God, ask him to give you hope today, forgive you and reach out to others who know Jesus.
Journey this life with hope.
Travel through the storm with peace, yes you can sleep through storms once you know Jesus and talk about all the mountains and valley moments. Because you know brighter days lie ahead, yes stormy ones too, but if you know Jesus you know the end of the story….
Life right now is a gift, it’s not just enduring (although many times it feels like it during this COVID storm) but find joy, gratitude, thankfulness, God.
This life is all about giving, you know our real identity should be in what we give away rather than what we have, culture has told us ‘we need’ this or that.
But we need very little actually – be generous in the here and now because greater treasure is in store when Jesus returns for those who have found hope in Him, clothed the poor, fed the hungry, visited the sick, visited orphans, widows, prisons…
Death is not the end – if it takes me if it takes me before I hit my life expectancy, it’s ok. I enter a doorway into the presence of King Jesus.
A young man and his team died taking this life changing news about Jesus to a people-eating tribe 50 years ago, years earlier in his diary he wrote ‘He is no fool who have given what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose’.
If you’d like to find out more about faith, hope and God, email a local church or email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Full bible references:
Running Away from God
Jonah’s Story, found in the book called Jonah, chapter 1.
1 1-2 One day long ago, God’s Word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: “Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They’re in a bad way and I can’t ignore it any longer.”
3 But Jonah got up and went the other direction to Tarshish, running away from God. He went down to the port of Joppa and found a ship headed for Tarshish. He paid the fare and went on board, joining those going to Tarshish—as far away from God as he could get.
4-6 But God sent a huge storm at sea, the waves towering.
The ship was about to break into pieces. The sailors were terrified. They called out in desperation to their gods. They threw everything they were carrying overboard to lighten the ship. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship to take a nap. He was sound asleep. The captain came to him and said, “What’s this? Sleeping! Get up! Pray to your god! Maybe your god will see we’re in trouble and rescue us.”
7 Then the sailors said to one another, “Let’s get to the bottom of this. Let’s draw straws to identify the culprit on this ship who’s responsible for this disaster.”
So they drew straws. Jonah got the short straw.
8 Then they grilled him: “Confess. Why this disaster? What is your work? Where do you come from? What country? What family?”
9 He told them, “I’m a Hebrew. I worship God, the God of heaven who made sea and land.”
10 At that, the men were frightened, really frightened, and said, “What on earth have you done!” As Jonah talked, the sailors realized that he was running away from God.
11 They said to him, “What are we going to do with you—to get rid of this storm?” By this time the sea was wild, totally out of control.
12 Jonah said, “Throw me overboard, into the sea. Then the storm will stop. It’s all my fault. I’m the cause of the storm. Get rid of me and you’ll get rid of the storm.”
13 But no. The men tried rowing back to shore. They made no headway. The storm only got worse and worse, wild and raging.
14 Then they prayed to God, “O God! Don’t let us drown because of this man’s life, and don’t blame us for his death. You are God. Do what you think is best.”
15 They took Jonah and threw him overboard. Immediately the sea was quieted down.
16 The sailors were impressed, no longer terrified by the sea, but in awe of God. They worshiped God, offered a sacrifice, and made vows.
17 Then God assigned a huge fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah was in the fish’s belly three days and nights.
Jesus Story, found in the book called Matthew, chapter 8.
23-25 Then he got in the boat, his disciples with him. The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm. Waves were crashing into the boat—and he was sound asleep! They roused him, pleading, “Master, save us! We’re going down!”
26 Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?” Then he stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: “Silence!” The sea became smooth as glass.
27 The men rubbed their eyes, astonished. “What’s going on here? Wind and sea stand up and take notice at his command!”