Trust In The Lord
by Pastor Scott
Can you think of a time when you reacted poorly to an inconvenient situation? Maybe it was while you were in the car after having a tire go flat, or in a traffic jam somewhere or even with the kids acting up in the back seat after you’ve had a less than perfect day at work.
Sometimes the best judge of someone’s character is how they respond to challenging times. From beginning to end, the Bible teaches us that our actions and attitudes indicate the content of our hearts.
Think about Jonah and what was happening in his heart when the actions of those around him drove him to a state of depression and anxiety. Israel and Nineveh were besieged by Syria yet protected by the kindness of God. And even with God’s kindness and the prosperity in the land, Israel’s spiritual state was clearly moving in a negative direction. Remind you of anything?
According to Jonah 1:2, the purpose of God sending Jonah to Nineveh was to preach against how the people were acting towards God. What the book of Jonah does for me is that it forces me to take an honest look at where I may lack when it comes to relying fully on God and my faith.
What is our response when life gets a little rough and we see others going through difficult times? How do we react when we witness our nation struggling and divided over so many issues? How do we act when people around us seem to be falling further and further away from their faith? How about when our desperate prayers just don’t seem to be answered? Do we run and hide like Jonah? Is our response to doubt God’s sovereignty?
I think Jonah is a wonderful example of how God uses us despite the people we are; weak, disobedient, full of pride, wanting our own way instead of waiting and listening for God’s decision. Like Jonah, I believe that disobedience to God comes from fear; fear of things in this world, fear of not living up to certain standards and a fear that God does not have control of things.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (ESV).
This passage from Isaiah assures us that God knows what He is doing. When it comes to what is in our best interest, His thinking is different than ours. His ways are so much better than ours. Despite what we see around us, we can trust that God knows what really matters. What we think are the “big things” become little in the hands of God.
The greatest call on the life of any Christian is to spread the word through our words and our actions. We are Christ’s hands and feet. We are His messengers in this world. Instead of listening to and dwelling on all the negative things going on in this world, maybe it’s time for us to act in faith; visit someone who is lonely, forgive someone, correct a misunderstanding, encourage someone, reflect on your life, or confess a wrong, turn around and then accept forgiveness.
God calls us to faithful ministry to those He has placed in our midst, which always brings to the surface the issues we hide inside. When that happens, we are faced with the same decision as Jonah. Do we run away and try to hide from God or do we obey God’s call to share the Gospel with others.
God wants His people to be humble and dependent on Him. Isn’t He the Great Physician? Not only can Jesus heal individually, but He can also heal nations. He wants us to call out to Him and to trust Him in whatever is affecting you, your family, your friends, this nation, and the world. The best thing we can do when we are overwhelmed is to cry out to God in prayer and obey His call.
As we continue in this year of 2021, I hope and pray that we all “Trust in the LORD with all our heart, and to not lean on our own understanding. But to acknowledge him, so that our paths are made straight.” Proverbs 3
In Jesus’ name.
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