I have grown closer to God over the past three years. One of the hardest things for me, has been letting go of control. I can plan out everything, but it will not always go the way that I plan. It can be hard to turn away and give God complete control of a situation in my life. God will always come through a million times better than anything I could possibly plan or imagine.
A few months ago, there was a situation that seemed completely hopeless. I was distraught. It seemed like I had no say or no control on how this situation would play out. I did not realize that I had the greatest force right in front of me. I had the power of prayer. And, it worked. The situation that looked hopeless and dangerous was flipped in an instant, after I gave it all it God and prayed. Not only did God stop anything bad from occurring, he removed the person and put a new person into the situation that was a huge blessing.
God’s ways are better than our own. We cannot imagine all the goodness that God has planned for us.
On Sunday, our Pastor read through the book of Jonah. Four days later, I am still thinking about our Pastor’s explanation and teaching. God wanted Jonah to minister to Nineyah. The group of people were ruthless and brutal. Jonah did not want to do it. Instead of listening to God, he went on a ship traveling in the opposite direction. Jonah was arrogant and thought that he knew better than God. Jonah did not think the people of Nineyah were worth saving.
I have met many people who look down on others. I know many people who look at the differences in others and see them as bad. Instead of celebrating what is different, they look down on them for not having the latest thing, laugh at them for being too fat or too thin, insult them for not dressing how they do, the list can go on and on. It is arrogance. They think they are superior to others. God does not see us that way. God sees all of us as his children, and each of us is worth saving.
We can try and run away from God, but God knows where we go. We cannot run from God. God created a huge storm on the ship. Jonah tried to hide in the lowest part of the ship. The other people on the ship were afraid. They called out to their gods, to no avail. They found Jonah, who admitted he was the reason for the storm. Jonah told them to throw him overboard. The men did not want to throw him overboard. This is so interesting to me. The men wanted to rescue Jonah. The storm got worse, so they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea.
For the past four days, I have been thinking about our Pastor’s words. Sometimes we should not interfere. We should not help. We should let God deal with them, just as God dealt with Jonah.
And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.”
Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. Therefore they cried out to the Lord and said, “We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.” So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows.
–Jonah 1:12-16 (NKJV)
Do you have anyone in your life that you want to rescue? I think we should pray for them. Only God can rescue them. God works on people in different ways. So, let the God of heaven, deal with his children, as he wills.
“I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
–Jonah 1:9 (NKJV)
- The Mercy of God, Jonah, Pastor Gary Hamrick, 1/5/2020
- SERMON IN 60 SECONDS: THE MERCY OF GOD | GARY HAMRICK