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Advent 2015: Born Is The King: Day 20

Jesus Is The True & Better Jonah

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Today's Text: Jonah 1:1-17, Jonah 2:1-10, Mark 4:35-41, Colossians 1:15-20

Text: Jonah 1:1-17, Jonah 2:1-10, Mark 4:35-41, Colossians 1:15-20

Looking for some fantastic proof of Jesus’ deity, the Pharisees asked for a miraculous sign. But Jesus firmly answered them, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah” (Matthew 12:39).

The sign of the prophet Jonah… what is that? A big fish drawing? I kind of wish it was. But the sign of Jonah is a sign of judgment for a “wicked and adulterous generation.” Jesus was condemning the Pharisees, like the Ninevites, as “those who cling to worthless idols” and “forsake faithful love” (Jonah 2:8).

We are still a wicked and adulterous generation. And as much as I’d like to think the problem is my depraved next door neighbor or the villain on the nightly news, the truth is, it’s me. I have the heart of Jonah. I have the heart of a Pharisee.

While I would very much like to stay out of the category of those who cling to worthless idols (and I don’t like to be called “wicked” or “adulterous”), I fear we are all quick to turn to idols. When I am afraid, I will trust in chocolate, soft blankets, and Netflix. My idols seem to crop up everywhere I look. Do you find you are inclined to run to your comforts instead of running to Christ?

Jonah is notorious for running away to hide from scary things. And, I agree, the Ninevites were scary; they used to cut off the thumbs and gouge out the eyes of enemies. A brutal group like that hardly seems to deserve grace, mercy, and salvation.

But God’s call to Jonah was clear. “Go!” Run toward probable death or mutilation. Run toward those who do not deserve your love. Run into the storm.

We need the same mercy that God extended to to Jonah, the Ninevites, and the Pharisees. We needed someone to run into the storm for us. We needed one who would run toward certain death. Even though we did not deserve His love, Christ is the true and better Jonah because He ran into the heart of darkness so we wouldn’t have to.

But like Jonah, we are quick to forget the mercy we’ve been shown, and quick to take for granted the grace that kept us from drowning.

The sign of Jonah reminds us that another Jonah has come. Jesus entered the belly of the earth willingly. He put Himself in our place, cast over the side into the deep, bearing our curse. This true and better Jonah is slow to anger and abounding in compassion.

Jesus has calmed the storm of God’s judgment with His own sacrifice. As our lives were fading away, He raised us up from the pit. Despite all of our unfaithfulness, He offers His faithful love.

SRT-Advent15-instagram20s

  • katherine

    I’ve been having trouble keeping up with this study because this is such a busy time of year – I work retail, so my time is seemingly always spent at work. I’m in my senior year of college, so being on top of finals has been of the utmost importance. I’ve been pulled in a million different directions this month, and every few days when I have the time to catch up on these readings, I feel so calm and relaxed and centered. This one in particular is coming to me at such a good time. Love it!

  • Susie McLain

    This was a great one. So relatable as I too turn to comforts instead of Christ first at times. But it’s nice to know I am not alone in the struggle, I always feel I am the only one. As if everyone else gets it but me. :-)

  • Becca Bailey

    I absolutely often turn to comforts before turning to Christ – this devotional was both convicting and encouraging. Thank you!

  • Jessica

    “Do you find you are inclined to run to your comforts instead of running to Christ?” This hit home for me. I’ve definitely realized this before today but it was a good reminder of how am I relying on the world to comfort me instead of my Father. We miss out on opportunities to shine His light through us when we snuggle up with our comforts or run to people instead of Him who is the answer to all things.

  • I used to live a life that was consumed by body image, causing me to go down a dangerous path if overexercising and undereating. Because of this, we had a difficult time having children. God was calling me to let go of my idols and let go of the control I thought I had. For awhile I ran from this calling, only causing more damage to by mind, body, and soul. It was a bible study based on the story of Jonah that changed my life. Changing my lifestyle and trusting God was a scary thing for me. It was my Nineveh. But God used Jonah to show me that I was running, and if I would just be obedient as Jonah finally was, he would protect me and bless me. I had known Jesus for a long time but after full surrendering to his will, my life was changed because of his mercy and love. I now have 3 beautiful children. My first is named Jonah, and he remind me every day of God’s grace.

    • Becca Bailey

      What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing.

    • Kaitlin

      That is beautiful, Becky. Your Jonah is a true reminder of God’s love, mercy, and grace. Amen!

  • Why are we still so afraid. Have we no faith?
    What a challenge to trust in the God who controls all things and yet has our very good planned.

  • Stephanie

    Yes Rebecca! All of us are like Jonah, afraid to face whatever God is putting in our path. Help us Lord to follow Jesus’s courage in living the life you created for us, regardless of its difficulty.

  • Charlotte Elizabeth

    I too am quick to “forsake faithful love” from my Heavenly Father and turn to any number of earthly conforts and coping mechanisms. I’m afraid I have gotten to a point in my faith where it is hard not to think that God must be getting tired of my inconsistent and wavering faith. Lord I believe, help my unbelief!
    Today was a much needed reminder for me.

  • Thank you for your prayers. My depression has lifted a lot. I’m so grateful. So often fear of what others think dominates my mind. That is a worthless idol. Would you please pray that God blocks those fears and calms the storm and that I rest in Him with humility and thankfulness. Thank you precious SRT sisters.
    I’m praying for you Emily and believing for you. I wonder if you meant that the Evil God of this world Satan himself was the one who intended you to never walk again not God the Father of Jesus Christ. Am I right? Covering you with my prayers
    Grateful to be His
    Kay

  • It seems I am constantly looking for comfort in places other than Christ… Even as I read this morning (with my hot cup of sweet and milky coffee) to not “fall behind” on my Advent Reading, I’m thinking (as I read!) about the “new episodes” of a show on Netflix! Really? Now, while none of that is necessarily sinful in or of itself, I AM having a tough time focusing this morning, and the content of the narrative could NOT have been more specific for me on THIS particular MORNING! God really used it to call me out on my soul alignment. :) My soul is so dominate. Father God, strengthen my spirit, that it may lead me in communion with Yours. Forgive me for giving in to my flesh and soul-ish comforts at times when Your Spirit desires my mind… My strength and ability to focus comes from You, Father.

    • JLB

      I know exactly what you mean. Why do I wake up everyday and make the same mistakes?! Your prayer is my prayer today. “Strengthen my spirit that it may be in communion with Yours.”

    • Eeleah

      In the same boat!! Pun intended…. I feel like I turn to things in habit without even realizing! Lord break my habits and give me fresh eyes on my life that I may change to become more like u and in deeper relationship with u.

  • Alas, I can’t run towards anything anymore. I’m just thankful that I can walk some; I can’t ever forget that the cruel and unfaithful God originally intended for me never to walk again. ><

    • Missy CM

      Lord God, I lift up Emily. Whatever the situation is, you know it inside and out. You see her aching heart and know that you knit her together, created each bit of who she is. Hold her close. Show her your mercy. Soften her heart.

    • Jess

      Emily, I believe the God who allowed this terrible thing to happen in your life never desired sin to enter the world in the first place to allow things like that to happen. And I believe He intends for you to run and dance and jump for joy with Him for eternity in heaven. Right now He’s calling you to trust Him, seek Him, and love Him in the midst of circumstances that make those actions seem foolish. Jesus knows your suffering, but He has a good plan for you and He loves you very very much. ❤️

  • I love that verse of one clinging to worthless idols instead of unfailing love. I could relate to today’s devotional and to Jonah really well today. It’s often difficult to see that tendency in myself but seeing myself in Jonah and seeing my need for Jesus has revealed to me that I run away from the presence of God to worthless idols. And why would I do that when I can run into His unfailing love? Even the sound of those words are comforting: unfailing love. And that’s what this season is all about: the comfort and joy of our Savior who camed into this dark world and was mutilated for my sake. How dare I put anything above Him.

    • Eeleah

      Totally agree! I struggle too! It’s like I need a reminder literally on my forehead!

  • Madison

    i am so quick to run to other comforts, when Jesus is the ultimate comforter. I think it’s because I forget that He does not bring condemnation, but grace. Whatever it is that has me feeling in need of comfort, He wants to love me and hold me through it. May I turn to Him more and more, as I understand each day just how full of grace our God is

  • Katlyn Giberson

    Love seeing how Jesus was always present from the beginning. Also makes me think about how quick I can be to run from Jesus instead of toward Jesus!

  • Jonah was more concerned with his own life than that of the lost Ninevites that he would rather disobey God.

    Jesus was more concerned for us who were lost that he laid down his life in obedience to God so we would be saved.

    Praying that I would become like Jesus; having compassion on the lost and seeing obedience to Him as more important than my life.

    • Imi

      Yes Bek! I’ve never seen so many amazing correlations with the Jonah story and Christ’s.
      Jonah knew God had the power over the wind and the waves so he threw himself at it. Jesus showed himself to be God by calming it with a word, just as it had been created.

  • She reads truth- this app is helping me spread the word of Jesus!!! Something I have never been comfortable with before!!! Thank you!

    • Kylee

      Same! I love how easy it is to relate to, and to share with others.

  • “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.”

    Challenged by this verse, as I have been struggling with a subtle idol in my life: romance novels and movies (and I’m talking totally clean ones!) They stir up in me something that I don’t understand. But I do know that they captivate my heart in a way that draws me away from Jesus. I keep telling myself that I’m being silly and that they are totally harmless, but by rejecting the nudge of the Holy Spirit and clinging to these idols, I am in fact turning away from God’s love- the only love that will truly satisfy these deep longings and desires of my heart. I think I have some turning away and cleaning out to do!!

  • Before I even read these verses, as I prepared my heart to take in God’s Words, I thought about how worthy God is, how He is above all we can ever know. I kept repeating to myself, “It’s all about God; It’s not about me.” And low and behold, these verses, especially Colossians, speak boldly on God’s supremacy! It is so marvelous to me that such a high and spectacular God would also go into the heart of the storm to save us. But we mustn’t forget that He holds the power to calm every storm, even death.

    “It’s all about You. It’s not about me. And when I’m looking at Your face, there is nothing else I’d rather see.
    “It’s all about You. Never about me. And when my heart bows down to You, only then can I be truly free.”

    • Kylee

      Hannah that’s beautiful! I’ll be saying that over & over again,”It’s all about You, God, never about me”. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • Melinda

    What really intrigues me in this mornings study that when Jonah ran in fear from certain persecution and possible death, he ran straight into death. What a picture of life. When I make decisions based on fear, rather than on faith and trust in my Creator God, rather than avoiding death I am actually running straight into it. The awesome part is that God did not just let Him go. He followed him and pursued him with a huge and unexpected storm. Then he provided a safety net in the form of a huge fish. I have been thinking much lately about the verse in 2 Timothy 1:7. But God does not give us a spirit of fear but His Spirit of power, love and self control. Oh that I might live each day and make each decision of how I react in the moment based on this truth and living by His Spirit.
    I am so thankful for this study. I feel that this year more than any other Advent has carried so much reflection time and I am truly and deeply so excited to celebrate the GREATEST Gift known to man. Jesus our Savior is the BEST reason to celebrate Big. May our celebrations make His name know in our neighborhoods.
    Blessings to you all on this last Friday before Christmas ladies!

    • Hannah

      God’s way is ALWAYS best. I remember when I resisted part of God’s will for me. I felt so miserable and tired, and only when I embraced God’s Story could I worship with joy! Thank-you for the comment!

    • Natalie

      Wow, I so relate to this, Melinda! It’s so easy to make decisions based on fear, but I always have to remind myself, “when has God EVER disappointed you? Never!” And I LOVE that verse from 2 Timothy. Thank you for reminding me of it. ☺️

  • Diane Huntsman

    “But like Jonah, we are quick to forget the mercy we’ve been shown, and quick to take for granted the grace that kept us from drowning.” So good. Loved seeing how we are named among the blow-it’s and yet we are still His.. I pray in humility and Gods strength we don’t run from hard assignments in rebellion, but we run in obedience to do that which He’s called us to do.. Run to forgive, run to give, run to help those in need… May we give what we’ve been given, forgiveness, grace, mercy and abundant love. ❤️

  • Courtney

    Also, Jesus did it willingly! He did not run from the task that was set before him. And unlike Jonah, he did not get angry at God for showing mercy to sinners. He is the COMPLETELY true and TOTALLY better Jonah.

  • melissa

    This was timely! I am in the middle of something very difficult that I would like to walk away from rather than press in to. I believe the Lord has gone before me and directed me steps to this place…I trust His faithfulness and rest in the fact that although this is hard, I do not have to ever face the ultimate darkness of death and judgement from God.

    • Melinda

      Praying your are filled with His spirit, the Spirit of power, love and self discipine as you step into this place.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you today, sweet friend. Thanks for joining us today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Caroline @ In Due Time

    Thank you Lord for being a King who set forth the path of light for all of us!!! Your light always outshines the darkness! http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Perfect timing for this season life!

  • This passage has given me so much peace. It’s very easy to give into fear, panick, and worry, especially when everything around you is in chaos. But we are blessed to have a Father that will rescue us in our time of trouble even when we disobey Him and try to do things on our own. I’m so grateful to have an ever present God. Peace be still!

    Thank you so much for sharing this, miracles and blessings to you!

  • Roxanne

    Amen.

  • Because of JESUS my sins are dissolved like cotton candy on my lips. I never cease to be amazed by all my Lord has done for me. I do the same as Jonah, rebel even after he has shown me he is faithful.
    What I want for Christmas is a new heart, with His love flowing through me for his glory . May I be willing to do what he asks of me moment by moment laying down my fear and believing what HIS WORD says to and for me. Come quickly Lord Jesus, babe who has my back.
    Blessing to all who work at SRT and all who trust in the amazing LOVE.

  • Very well said, and SPOT ON! Thank you for the comparison and write up. Merry Christmas!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for joining us, Jen! We love having you in our community!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • This is wonderful! Thank you!

  • Rebekah

    What a convicting message! But so needed. Thank you!!

    And praise God that even in the midst of our sin and rebellion, He still hears and answers our prayers! <3

  • I love Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the whale — “I called out to the Lord & He answered me” — but I have to wonder if he felt silly then, realizing God was with him all along, that God would have been with him every step of the way to Ninevah, that God would not have lead him there without staying by his side…”I called out to the Lord and He answered me..” Rather than running, as is our human tendency, what if we all cried out to the Lord & told Him our every fear (He already knows)? He would answer and we’d feel him near… Just some thought I have pondering Jonah. Always so encouraging to know even the “greats” of the bible struggled with fear, anxiety, & doubt, just like we do today…blessings for your weekends, SRT sisters!

    • JadeyLoo

      Love this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Beverly

      I, too, enjoyed reading the confident hope and expectation in Jonah’s prayer. He prayed knowing that God would save Him from the Pit. How often my own prayers are out of fear and small faith… But He is God, He is with me, so I can also pray with an abundance of faith. Because He knows my heart already. Thanks for your thoughts, Kylee!

    • Melinda

      Your thoughts really resonate with me Kylee. Thanks for sharing!

  • He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

    I tend to be a worrier, and this verse reminds me that if I’m afraid of life and spend my time worrying I’m really telling God that I don’t trust his plan and that I don’t have a strong faith in him. We have nothing to worry about because God has a plan for us :)

  • Nichole Clark

    This really spoke to me. I received a bad report from the doctor this week. We have been trying to conceive and nothing has happened. We felt God told us to have another child and now it looks like it will take a miracle to make it happen. I admit I’ve been discouraged and chocolate, withdrawing have been my “run to’s”. He is my comfort, great physician and if I have to run into this storm- He will give me the strength…..

    • Kylee

      Will be praying for you, Nichole!

    • Robin

      Praying for you precious sister. God has this and is working it out for your good, to His glory, in His perfect timing. Amen.

    • Melinda

      chocolate and fluffy movies are my run to’s. I can relate. Lean in to Him in this storm. Praying for you as you navigate this part of your journey.

  • Gretchen

    Jonah ran away from God’s calling to go to a brutal people and deliver His message. I can understand the fear. I can understand Jonah’s reaction. Would God called me to take his message of judgement to ISIS? Would I run away instead of facing certain torture, brutal rape and most likely death? In my mind I picture the Christian saints lined up on their knees in orange jumpsuits on the beach ready to die for Christ at the hands of ISIS. It moves me to tears. What a testimony of courage and faith. Lord, may we all be ready to be a witness for You every day and not run away! We may not face such brutality everyday….but there is evil everywhere and we need courage to face it even in our own neighborhoods. Jesus willingly came to our neighborhood knowing he would face brutality and ultimate death. So great is His love for each of us that He willingly came. Love came down at Christmas!

    • Sylvia Reeve

      Gretchen you took the words right out of my thoughts. I too when reading today’s reading thought of ISIS. Would I run into the midst of such darkness. I’m afraid I too would have run the other way. Praise God that Christ is the better Jonah.

    • Sarah_Joy

      It’s hard to imagine facing such persecution, but we fear speaking truth to those around us! I’m right there with you.

  • Maribeth

    Thank you for your addition, Candacejo! Praying right now for Christina’s surgery and Tina’s grandson Kane, and thanking God for providing this study and this community at this particular season in my family’s life. HE knows what we need, from the beginning of time to all eternity. Blessed be the name of the Lord, for He is good!

  • I have loved the story of Jonah for so many reasons, one being that it provides such great visuals of what a great God we share. He is a God of great lengths. He goes so far to save Jonah, to reroute him, to give him other opportunities to turn things around. He isn’t quick to give up. As a parent, in recent adversity, I am realizing I am nowhere near as dedicated, so this is humbling this morning. My ten-year-old daughter has autism and a defiance disorder. Lately, the defiance is rearing it’s ugly head and many times daily I am standing over her in correction. It is exhausting and just last night, after she had gone to bed, I noticed something that she had done that I had been very clear about not doing. Everything in me started to boil up and I asked my husband what we are to do. Confused that no amount of conversation, words or corrections seems to impact. There are moments that I am so worn by it that I now realize I would say I will go to great lengths to help her through these, but my daily frustrations with her blatant choices show otherwise … she is my Jonah and lately, I have been bent on words OVER her, rather than words for her, rather than love. Each time Jonah finds another way to defy, God reaches His great hand out to protect and redirect. He has the most defiant of children and His love is unconditional, abounding and full of ongoing grace. There is no limit to His trying to reach us. NO LIMIT. So much so that He sent Jesus; for you, for me, for my daughter. In our constant defiance of Him, He reaches to the ends of the earth (literally as candacejo pointed out) to save us. In all our running, all our whining and all our selfishness ways, He provides the one thing He knew would save us forever …. Jesus. “Jesus has calmed the storm of God’s judgment with His own sacrifice” … I, unwittingly, judge my daughter daily. I love her, so incredibly much, but in my aggravation, my exhaustion, I am no reflection of God’s loving grace … I have become that noisy gong and clanging bell 1 Corninthians 13 references of late. Don’t get me wrong, we have beautiful moments, but this has been a season marked by great vexation and just when I know what to say to her, something else happens and I am left speechless. Will I accept the lengths God has gone for me, just for me or will I accept it for others too? Just as Jonah ran, I do too. Just as Jonah fitted, I do too. I am prayerful this morning that I remember “Jesus entered the belly of the earth willingly” for me, for us and that though this season may feel like the belly of a wretched beast to me, it is by far different because of grace. Prayerful that as I look upon my daughter, as I see her errs, I remember that she is God’s daughter even more than mine and that He would defy all reason to save her, that He did! Prayerful that as my words may lack, that my heart will not and that God will fill her heart and allow the fog that covers it to lift so that she may see things outside of these “disorders” and be fully what God made her to be and that I have the daily opportunity to walk this out lovingly with her. Prayerful that God’s love and mercy take over my heart so greatly that He speaks through me and that my mouth be an instrument of His guidance and encouragement and not the result of a Jonah style defiance.

    Love to you beautiful ladies this morning. So thankful to walk these realizations out with you all! ~ B

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Oh Betsy~ You just struck the world’s biggest chord with me this morning! My middle dude (almost 16) also is on the spectrum, and has sensory integration issues that result in defiance/rages…..the last few weeks have been exhausting….testing everything I have as a parent….as a human being. Last night I was “done”. Done with the attitude. Done with the refusal to hear/see/listen/understand. Done with trying to accommodate. Done with listening to the blaming. Over it. Done. Exhausted. Spent.
      Thank God….literally, THANK GOD, that He doesn’t get to this point with us. I am joining you in prayer this morning. Praying with you for our sweet kiddos…..and for us as mommas. Love and hugs my friend.

      • Savannah

        Praying for both Betsy and Heather. My little sister (12) has autism and epilepsy. She’s been having trouble with emotions lately. She’s got such a sweet heart and it hurts me to see her like this. I have to remember that the world looks different and is often scary to her. For example, what look to me like twinkling, festive Christmas lights are instead an over stimulating experience that can cause her to have a seizure.
        God comforts us when our world looks scary… He is patient, kind, and love. These things don’t come so easily to us, especially when tested. But it does give us a glimpse at God’s loving strength and a yearn to be more like Him.
        Merry Christmas!

    • Amy Riker

      I will keep you both, Betsy and Heather, in my prayers.

    • Savannah

      Praying for both Betsy and Heather. My little sister (12) has autism and epilepsy. She’s been having trouble with emotions lately. She’s got such a sweet heart and it hurts me to see her like this. I have to remember that the world looks different and is often scary to her. For example, what look to me like twinkling, festive Christmas lights are instead an over stimulating experience that can cause her to have a seizure.
      God comforts us when our world looks scary… He is patient, kind, and love. These things don’t come so easily to us, especially when tested. But it does give us a glimpse at God’s loving strength and a yearn to be more like Him.
      Merry Christmas!

    • Beverly

      Prayerful over you and your daughter, B. That God would give you the patience and wisdom to respond in love. And that she would find rest in being defined by our great God and not by her disorder. Praying He give you both peace at the end of each day because the next day can be fresh and new – either full of possibility and good things or full of so much grace for the not so good. Hugs to you and your sweet girl, B!

    • Shaylin

      Betsy and Heather- thank you so much for your grace and bravery. Your children love you, I promise they do. Even when it feels like they’re poking you in the eye. Bless you both with wisdom and grace this morning. He is all we need.

    • Melinda

      Your words, will I accept the lengths God has gone for me just for me or for others too?, really jumped out at me this morning. Will I, do I have that long suffering for my children and others? Lifting you up this morning B. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  • Samantha

    “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their steadfast love…”
    O Lord, when it’s so plainly stated before me, it seems absurd that I would ever do that, but I know that I am often tempted to chase after vain idols and forsake my steadfast love. Please help me see those idols for what they truly are, and to put them away in favor of what is best. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.”

  • Churchmouse

    The story of Jonah is rich with application. Jonah 2:9 jumped out at me this morning. In this culture in which God has placed me, may I be willing to stand and say “but as for me…”

    • ~ b ~

      I love that … “but as for me…” Taking that with me this morning Churchmouse! ~ B

  • Churchmouse

    Anyone else noticing the graphics at the end of each devotion? They are so simple yet reinforce the devotion. SRT, thank you for adding them. I love your creativity.

  • candacejo

    Always been intrigued by Jonah and his running away. Do you know how far he was going to get away from what God wanted him to do? Jonah’s home was in Gath-hepher, near Nazareth in Israel, Jerusalem being about 30 miles northwest of Joppa. So he travels to Joppa, where he gets on a boat heading for Tarshish… the most distant city in the known world! It is 2200 miles to the WEST, clear on the edge of Spain!

    Nineveh, where God told Jonah to go, was at least 500 miles EAST of Jerusalem in modern day Iraq! Jonah went to a lot of trouble to disobey God! He went to the opposite end of the earth.

    “‘Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the LORD. ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:24).

    There is no hiding from God. If He wants us to do something we might as well give in at the beginning and save ourselves heartache :) God’s bidding to Jonah wasn’t just for the Ninevites, He had a work IN Jonah that needed to take place too and so it is with each of us. Praying to be obedient when He first calls, not fighting, kicking and screaming all the way to Nineveh.

    Blessings to you all and thank you for your prayers while we were in Haiti. God is so good. ♥

    • Erika

      Love this added context!!

    • ~ B ~

      There is no hiding from God. So true. I have also always been intrigued by this story. So much beauty in it and even this morning God used a story I knew well to bring light something in my life. I love how He is always doing that. Love to you N! ~ B

    • Shaylin

      Great word candacejo, thanks!

  • Christina

    Here I am at 3 am waiting on the Lord for an answer. I just told my daughter about Jesus calming the storm last night (Mark 4:35-41) and how it applies to us. Wow! I didn’t except it to apply to me 2 times in the last 12 hours. Praise you Lord for you are good. Let your light shine upon all the righteous women who read this devotional! May we trust in you with all our hearts, soul and minds! You are enough.
    Asking for prayer: I am having brain surgery today. May the Lord guide the surgeon’s hands and the procedure go without complications. Thank you sisters!!

    • Carly B

      Praying that it all goes well for you today, Christina.

    • Monisola

      Praying for you Christina, that all will go well. The Lord himself will take charge of the surgery.

      • Mimi

        Christina,
        Praying for You! Remember that GOD’s hands will be performing your surgery! May you and your family feel HIS presence!

    • candacejo

      In Jesus’ name we bind with you in prayer today for the Lord to give wisdom to your doctors and peace to your heart and mind. He is with you! ♥

    • Caryn

      Believing with you!

    • Churchmouse

      Praying now and throughout your recovery

    • Jess

      Joining you in your prayers for the Lord to guide hands and give a complication-free procedure. Also praying for peace for you and your family.

    • ~ B ~

      Christina, I will be lifting you up throughout the day. Prayerful that God guides the hands of your surgeons, that He provides you peace as you are under and perhaps even an experience that you will take away today knowing He was with you entirely. Prayerful that as you walk the halls of that place you know that God walks with you, that as you lie on that table, as you begin to close your eyes and lastly as you wake, that you will know and feel God with you. Prayerful that whatever has you enduring this today be rid from your body and you wake to find yourself free of disease, that you can hold your daughter’s hand knowing you are well. Peace and love to you my sweet sister in Christ. Continuing in prayer over you today. ~ B

    • Shannon H

      Praying Christina! And may His perfect peace guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus!

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Prayers lifted for you this morning Christina!! Hugs and love!

    • Sherri

      Christina, may God’s grace & mercy comfort, heal & restore you. Praying in the Mighty,Matchless Name of Jesus. Amem

    • Sherry

      Praying for you Christina!

    • Amy Riker

      Praying for you, Christina.

    • Beverly

      Praying He gives you so much peace and comfort in His great love today, Christina. Hugs!

    • Shannon

      Stopping to pray for you now, Christina! May you feel His presence and may the doctors have wisdom. Prayers of healing!

    • Kendra

      Praying!

    • Tina

      Praying for you Christina….Praying for your family to know Gods peace throughout…
      Will continue to hold you up in prayer dear sister…Emanuel…God is with you..
      Hugs..xxxxx

    • Joanna

      Christina, I pray that the surgery went well and your recovery is gentle in the hands of God.

  • Carly B

    This hit me hard this morning- how often I seek comfort or distraction in other things instead of looking to God, how much I have been giving in to fears and worries and struggling to focus on him, how I cling to control and want to do things my way and find it hard to completely trust him.
    Jonah 2:8 says “Those who worship false gods turn their back on all God’s mercies.” I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to turn my back on all God has done and I don’t want to forget, or to take it for granted.
    I’m so thankful that Jesus’ sacrifice does not depend on our faithfulness but that he willingly faced the storm, and calmed the storm for us.

    • candacejo

      Love your thoughts and that last line! “I’m so thankful that Jesus’ sacrifice does not depend on our faithfulness but that he willingly faced the storm, and calmed the storm for us.” Amen!

    • Margaret

      The same verse spoke to me: “Those who cling to worthless idols forsake faithful love” Jonah 2:8
      I love this simply stated reminder that ANYTHING or ANYONE I look to other than our Heavenly Father will let me down and won’t fill up the place in my heart that feels incomplete. Sometimes it’s hard to do this, to let go of my earthly idols but He is always faithful when I do. He strengthens me more and more.
      Thank you for the lovely devotional book and website.

    • Beverly

      Me too, Carly! It’s so *easy* to find comfort in the things we have right in front of us. And I, too, don’t want to turn my back on God’s mercies. Nor do I want to choose the easy way of distraction. Praying for strength to choose the narrow path that leads to Him, always.

  • These last couple of weeks, I have had such an aching heart…such a pain in my grandma heart for my older grandson who is hurting…big time…I want to say I don’t know what to do…but that is the worldly cop out, I want to run, for the fear I have for him, I see what is happening and have decided already I know what the ending will be…I am Jonah in this time…, oh how sick I feel to my stomach for who I am right now….fear is holding me captive …and so I weep for what I can’t do, I eat or not for I feel alone, I glue myself to something on the box just so I don’t have to think…I run towards……hold out my hands…then run in the other direction gripped by fear…
    Oh, Rebecca Faires, thank you so much for this, this morning, for knocking me into shape, for the reminder that Jesus…Jesus.. Jesus is for sure is the way , the truth, and the life…the answer….the redeemer….Thank you for getting my mind back to my favourite two words….
    But God…But Jesus…I need to listen more to God, and stop walking off on my own, not even in any particular strength, I need to trust Him, for there is no one else that would give his son to suffer for MY sins…or my grandsons naughtiness..
    Forgive me Lord God for my running, forgive me Lord God for allowing fear to be my companion, and for listening to the whispers in my head… Thank you Lord that you alone know the plan, have the plan and know the outcome of each of our stories, thank you Lord God that you have made a way for us to run towards you and out of the darkness that surrounds us…Thank you Lord,God that Jesus IS for always and for sure,n the better Jonah..
    Lord God, thank you…Thank you..
    Running towards you Lord God holding my beautiful grandsons hand….lead us Lord God, guide us, help us as you did the Nimivites…
    he better Jonah..
    Lord God, thank you…Thank you..

    Sister’s, might I ask for prayer for my grandson who is ,hurting, lost and feeling unloved, so is playing up…it truly breaks my heart to see him so….His name is Kane…
    I love and thank you for listening …
    Every Blessing being prayed for you, this cold winters morning…xxxx

    • BarbaraH

      Father God, I lift Kane before You, Your dearly-loved Prodigal. Love him better, Lord, love him into shape, may he know Your Father-heart is waiting to welcome him back home, so enfold him in Your love that he can stop ‘kicking against the pricks’ like Saul, and know his safety is in You, know that Jesus has sorted all his messes out. Please comfort Tina’s hurting grandmother-heart and hold her in Your peace

    • Carly B

      Praying for Kane, and praying for you too, Tina, that you know God’s strength and peace. Xxx

    • candacejo

      Casting all your care upon Him for HE cares for you…and Kane. Praying for both of you today and believing God for a miracle. ♥

    • Kim

      Bless you sister in Christ. Jesus IS THE WAY! Praying for Kane

    • Churchmouse

      Adding my prayers for Kane and you along with all the others. Greater is He…

    • Jess

      Joining you in prayer this morning, Tina!

    • ~ B ~

      Praying for Kane’s hurting heart this morning Tina. That our God, who IS a God of great lengths, would show Kane His extended hand. That Kane in his hurting will connect with Him and find Christ. That this will bring out in Him a great testimony and bring calm upon your heart as well! ~ B

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Lifting Kane and his sweet grandma up in prayer this morning <3

    • Joanna

      Tina, praying for Kane and your entire family.

    • Shaylin

      Also lifting up Kane this morning. That God would use many people to speak Truth into his life. Thank you for your transparency, Tina.

    • Beverly

      Praying for Kane this morning. That God would reveal to him so much love and hope. And for you and your family, Tina. That God will give you peace knowing we are *all* in His hands. Hugs to you!

  • Lys-in-RO

    As I read this morning I was reminded of the Syrian Refugee crisis we have in the world now. Are we willing to run into the darkness that has been these people’s lives and bring the light of Christ?!?! Are we willing to possibly put ourselves in danger so that Christ’s mercy may be known??? Or will we run and hide? I’m a little discouraged at the response of most Christians to this situation. God is literally bringing these lost, hurting people to us (in many parts of the world, I don’t live Stateside.) Maybe THIS is our Jonah moment and we need to choose if we will hold out mercy or run away. Maybe I need to consider how willing I am to take up my cross and follow Jesus even into darkness. Maybe I need to remember that the one who commands the wind and waves lives WITHIN ME! Therefore I need not fear. The same God that was with Jonah when he finally, obediently went to Ninevah is with me constantly. HE is faithful.
    Maybe I need a reminder that the little Baby born in a stable grew up and ran into darkness for me. Maybe I need to remember that this Christmas isn’t for my earthly comfort, but rather for the comfort of lost and hurting souls: American, Syrian, Romanian, Iranian, Roma….

    Will the weary world truly rejoice if we don’t hold out the light of Christ???

    • Lys-in-RO

      I shouldn’t have said “most Christians” I should have said “some”

      Sorry ladies. I’m not trying to judge. Just was feeling some conviction in my own heart.

    • ~ B ~

      Love your thoughts this morning Lys-in-RO. “Maybe THIS is our Jonah moment…” LOVE! ~ B

    • Shannon H

      Thank you Lys-in-RO…for the reminder that I am to shine the light of Christ to the weary world! Indeed, we have nothing to fear when we are held in Christ.

    • Jenna Cole

      I’m with you on this! We all have the tendency to let fear that there might be danger/risk hold us back, but isn’t that the point? Jesus promised us it wouldn’t be easy. But He came to seek and save the lost and to bind up the broken-hearted. We are called to follow Him into the hard places. These precious people are lost, misplaced, and broken-hearted. We cannot control how our government decides to handle these crises, but we can do whatever is in our power to love them like Jesus would. Reach out to the refugee who has been brought to our neighborhoods, PRAY for the ones we can’t reach. Maybe GO minister to those in camps all over the world should the Lord ask us to… Fear is a lie. And perfect love drives it out. 1 John 4:18. Let’s choose to love these people no matter what and fear will be defeated.

    • Christy

      Amen!

  • Jesus is the true and better Everything! Amen.
    What a great concept from SRT team.

  • Love it. God’s love is huge and I’ve never imagined being someone on the ship with, and then without, Jonah.
    Thank You.

  • This one really speaks to me. What do I run to instead of God? Food. Wine. Fiction. This SRT Advent study that I committed to with my daughter has shown me how much time I have to spend in God’s word. And the more I study the more interested I am in learning more in a new way. Thank you Jesus for calming the storm.

Further Reading...