Are you or someone you love running from God? Have you ever considered that the storms that you're facing right now have something to do with you running from God? You want to know how to calm that storm and come into the light? Stay with me.
That's today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drury, and Chip's our Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. Well, in just a minute, we'll continue our latest series, You Were Made for More, that Chip's teaching alongside his son, Ryan Ingram. We're in the book of Jonah, revealing the relevant lessons we can learn from his life. Now, in this program, Ryan's in Jonah chapter one. But before we get started, if you happen to miss a portion of this program, let me encourage you to catch up through the Chip Ingram app.
It's a great way to listen to Living on the Edge anytime. Okay, let's join Ryan now for his message Into the Storm. We left off Jonah, running away from his calling, running away. God calls him to Nineveh. He heads the opposite direction, heads down south to a port city called Joppa.
And in Joppa, he pays a fare, hops on a ship towards Tarshish, which is just basically the farthest away from, he can get from Nineveh. And this is where we pick up the story. And the title of the sermon today is Into the Storm.
Would you say that to your neighbor? Into the storm. Jonah is running away from, yeah, that's good over there, by the way, running away from God and he runs directly into a storm. We often think the storms of life are actually knocking us off course, don't we? It's just kind of like, hey, that's actually knocked me off course from the more that I'm made for.
And I want you to just maybe think about this. What if God actually wants to use the storm in your life to redirect the course of your life? What if the storm isn't so much to knock you off course, but God in His sovereignty wants to allow a storm perhaps in your life to redirect the course of your life? We certainly find that here in the story of Jonah.
If you got it, would you open your Bibles to Jonah chapter one, we pick it up in verse four. It says, then the Lord sent or literally hurled a great wind on the sea and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to their own God. And they threw cargo, literally the word hurled cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. Jonah is headed in the wrong direction and God sends a storm to redirect him. And you know what's interesting is the storm hits and what did the sailors do? They cry out each to their own God.
Why? Because when you have smooth sailing, you're not so much crying out or focused on God. Isn't it true? That's just our human condition. But all of a sudden a storm hits and they're like, okay, we got to do whatever it takes to survive and we're going to each cry out to our own God. Now everyone is doing their part to survive the storm. Everyone's focused on how do we just get through this? Except one person, Jonah.
It says, the text says, but Jonah had gone below deck. Can you imagine this moment? Think about if you're the sailors, how you'd feel. Everyone's crying out in desperation. It's a life threatening moment. The ship is being beaten and battered on every side.
The wind is blowing. You cannot hold course. But Jonah went below deck like he's on a cruise chilling. But look, he went below deck where he laid down and fell into a deep sleep. Because when you're running from God, you begin to go on a downward spiral and you start to only care about yourself. The captain went to him and said, how can you sleep?
Get up and call on your God. We're all doing our part, Jonah. Maybe he'll take notice of us and we will not perish. No, it's we. The captain's going like, hey, it's not just about you.
It's all of us. And Jonah doesn't want to call on his God. He's running from his God. He's trying to flee from the presence of his God and he's faced in a moment where even people who don't believe in his God are asking him to call on his God. At some point, you just got to wonder at what point does it take for God to get a hold of your attention? Like how much needs to come into your life? What storm?
What outside voice? What circumstance that you finally go, okay, God, I think I'm paying attention and noticing what you're doing here. That was so amazing. The sailors notice and see that, man, we need God in some way to respond. And Jonah, this is what happens.
So what happens to us? His heart. It's hard. Jonah didn't care so much about his own life. And what's even worse is he didn't even care about the sailor's life.
And he just went below deck. Sleep it off. Hard hearted. See, I think there's some that perhaps over the season and your relationship with God and maybe you've been running from him or drifted from him and you've allowed your heart to get hard. And what happens is we stop caring for people around us. We become isolated.
We just care about ourselves. We just begin to focus on me. I don't want to call out to my God.
Just going to go below deck and sleep it off. You know, I had a mentor once. He's kind of explaining to me, Ryan, I notice that in my heart, when I care deeply about things I shouldn't care about, that there's something going on in my heart that's not right. If I really, really care that somebody cut me off in traffic, when I overreact to something, especially things, events, sporting events, when I get so consumed by that, there should be a light going off that something's not right in here. And then he said this, when I don't care deeply about things I should care about. When I don't care deeply about my relationship with God, when I don't care deeply about other people and how they're doing, when I don't care deeply about the major things of life. And for some maybe walking in this morning, you didn't have this realization until this moment that maybe there's some things in your heart and what you're going through and what God brought you here is just to have that heart check moment. Oh, I'm headed down below deck and I don't want to go there.
I've been saying I'm sleeping it off, but I'm actually running from God and I didn't realize it. Text goes on and says, then the sailors said to each other, come let us cast lots to find out who's responsible for this calamity. Now in the ancient day, everything natural was connected to the supernatural. Everything physical was connected or had a spiritual cause. And so when they saw this great storm, they attribute it to some deity that needs to be appeased and the way they would discern kind of how or who was responsible for it. They would just cast lots and let the gods decide is a common way of deciding.
So they cast these lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, tell us who's responsible for making all this trouble. What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country from? What people are you?
And all these questions are designed to get around. Who is Jonah's God that has power over the sea? And he answered them, I'm a Hebrew. I worship the Lord or Yahweh, his covenant name, God Elohim, the creator and maker of the sea and the dry land. Now this terrified the sailors.
They asked, what have you done? For they knew he was running away from the Lord because he'd already told them, wait a second, your God created the sea and so you decided to take a cruise. Doesn't make sense to us. You're running from him and now we're in the middle of the sea, which by the way, in the ancient day, the sea was the place of deep and utter fear, uncontrollable chaos. And so there's this already built in sense of fear surrounding the uncontrollable waves and wind of the sea. And he's going, yeah, my God, he created the land, he created the sea, he created all of that.
And they're going, what in the world have you done? And it's so interesting because Jonah actually had good theology right here. He knew who his God was.
He just practically lived it out poorly. And I think for many, sometimes we can get, well, we're theologically right. We have all the right answers, but practically how we're living it out is wrong. The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, what should we do to you to make the sea calm down?
There's something that's got to stop. We're going to die. And then notice his response. Pick me up, hurl me into the sea, he replied, and it'll become calm. I know that it's my fault that this great storm has come upon you. And he doesn't even care that he's put these sailors at great harm. How lame.
I mean, think about it. He could have said, option maybe number one, how do we calm this? Turn back towards Joppa. Let's turn the ship around.
Pretty confident, a heart that's repentant, turn around, headed back in the right direction. I think God would have calmed the storm that way. He so didn't want to go that way. Option one wasn't an option.
Option two, this would have been actually, I guess, a much kinder option. I'll hurl myself off the boat. Can you imagine that he put the weight of his life in the sailor's hands? They're like, wait a second, we don't want to be responsible for you. He was so cowardly in this moment.
He's like, if you hurl me, then this will happen. But, you know, good luck for you. And notice the sailors showed compassion for Jonah where he had none for them. They hear this and they didn't go, okay. I think here's how I would have been.
Let's be honest. Okay, so you serve the God of the sea and the land. You're running from him. You put us all in harm's way. You went below deck and you slept it off. Yeah, yeah, throwing you overboard sounds like a good idea. Throwing you overboard sounds exactly like the right idea.
I don't even care. You brought it on to your own head. And notice the compassion. Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. They showed him compassion that he didn't even show them, but they could not. For the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried out to the Lord, please, Lord, don't let us die for taking this man's life. Now they're no longer even concerned about the storm, but the consequences of what they are going to have to do to Jonah. Then they took Jonah and hurled him overboard.
And the raging sea grew calm. At this, the men greatly feared the Lord Yahweh. And they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.
Isn't it amazing how God works? You have these sailors that are caught in someone else's storm in the middle of it. They're not God fearing.
They're not walking with the Yahweh. And yet through this storm, through Jonah's disobedience and his sovereignty, revival breaks out on the ship. And the sailors come to know the one true God and how he orchestrates and how he works even in the midst of disasters and other people's mistakes. And so, it says, now the Lord provided a huge fish, and this is where we most famously know Jonah and the whale, to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.
The Lord provided, Lord sent. Sometimes I think we can easily dismiss the book of Jonah as like, well, could somebody really survive that? And certainly there's been historical times where people have survived being swallowed by a fish or a whale type deal.
You can go look that up. But even more than that, if all the miracles and especially if Jesus rose from the dead, him surviving three days in the belly of a fish is not that big of a deal. But what I think is interesting about this, like who would have thought that would be God's like provision? You know?
What I think is pretty funny of God, kind of hilarious. Well, you're not going to head the right direction. You're not even going to ask the ship to go the other way. Well, I'm going to get you inside a big old fish and he's going to swim you in the right direction. But here's what's incredible.
Think about this. God's provision wasn't what Jonah expected. And I wonder for many of us how God's provision and how he's showing up in your life and how he's working isn't what you expected. It isn't necessarily what you wanted.
It definitely is what you needed. But because he didn't show up in the way you wanted, you feel disillusioned by God. You feel like, God, I prayed for this and you showed up here, but I can't even get my eyes on this because I'm so focused on you showing up in the way that I want you too.
So how do we shift to the more we're made for? Well, especially in the midst of the storm. God uses storms in our life to shift us back to the more we're made for. God uses storms. Now doesn't mean that he causes storms. Certainly we're going to talk about that because he hurled a storm onto Jonah and he did cause that.
So we're going to wrestle with that. But he uses storms to shift us back to the more were made for. See, God is not often the source of our storm or our pain. And yet God will not waste your pain.
In his sovereignty, he will say in the midst of a broken, fallen, tragic world, still I can turn and use that painful moment and bring about good results. You know, a passage that I think is thrown around too quickly when people are going through deep pain and yet dismissed too quickly because we just we don't fully believe it. It's Romans 8 28.
For I know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Now, do you know the context of Romans 8 28? The context of Romans 8 28 is just before that. The apostle Paul is talking about that Earth is suffering, awaiting for Jesus to restore and make all things right, that this world is not what it should be. And then it also says that the saints are suffering and wrestling and hurting and awaiting for Christ to return and restore all things. And Paul would even say that this light and momentary afflictions is nothing compared to the eternal glory awaiting us. And I know in all things that God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. Not that that moment was good, not that that act against you was good, not that that evil thing, that trial, that storm, that sickness, not that any way that is good, but you have such a good God. He can take that evil and that harm. And he says over the course, I will work it for good.
I will take ashes and turn it into beauty because I'm that kind of God. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and you've been listening to the first part of our guest teacher Ryan Ingram's message, Into the Storm, from our series, You Were Made for More, facing the Jonah in all of us. Well, Chip and Ryan will join us shortly to share some additional thoughts to what we've heard. Have you ever thought you could or should be doing more with your life, but because of past mistakes or current circumstances, you feel unworthy or unmotivated to make a difference? Well, if you've wrestled with that, this series is for you. As Chip and guest speaker Ryan Ingram teach through the book of Jonah, they'll reveal we were all made for more.
Discover how to shift your ambitions, relationships, and life to the greater purpose God has for you. To learn more about this series, go to livingontheedge.org, the Chip Ingram app, or call 888-333-6003. Well, Chip's joined me in studio now, and Chip, today your son Ryan unpacked for us the purpose of storms in our lives. Now, as you get a chance to interact and engage with people across the country, what are people struggling with?
What are their storms? And then maybe share what this ministry is doing to help them. I'd be glad to, Dave. As I travel around the United States and speak at churches, college campuses, pastors' conferences, military personnel, there is one theme that just keeps coming out.
It doesn't matter where I speak or who I'm with. It's the family, it's communication, and it's relationships. Now, here's the thing. There's a lot that goes into building a strong family. Great communication and doing that for different groups is certainly a challenge, but that's why we're committed to continuing to teach the Bible regularly, practically, and relevantly. We're committed to develop group resources and online courses that help people personally apply the truth to their life. And we're committed to having fun with families and creating tools that allow families to get together and enjoy one another and share their hearts.
Each one of those has their place. And here's what I would ask you. Would you be willing to help us create these and then get them in the hands of families all across America?
It takes resources. And I'm so grateful for those of you that pray and partner with us financially, and I want to thank you first. And second, if you don't partner with us financially now, would you consider partnering financially and helping us do what families desperately need?
Thanks so much for praying about it and then doing whatever God chose you to do. Well, as Chip said, if you're already supporting us financially, we appreciate you. With your help, Living on the Edge is ministering to more people than ever before.
But if you're benefiting from this ministry in some way and haven't yet taken that step, now would be a great time to join us. To send a gift or to become a monthly partner, visit livingontheedge.org or the Chip Ingram app and tap the donate button. Or if it's easier, text the word donate to 74141.
That's donate to 74141. Well, with that, Chip, let's hear your and Ryan's application for this message. Thanks Dave.
Well, hey Ryan. Wow, great to have you back today. And woo, today was a really tough topic because I don't know about everyone else, but I think it's really hard to understand how God uses storms in our lives. But I really think it's worth repeating, God isn't the cause of our pain and trials.
He's not a mean or cruel spirit of God. So help us. Will you talk a little bit about the true character of God and how storms affect us and what his purposes are in sometimes allowing really challenging times to come into our life? Yeah, this is such a deep, heavy, profoundly painful subject. I had a wise pastor once say to me, never underestimate the amount of pain that is in the room at any given moment. And so first I want to acknowledge that many of you who are listening right now are walking through a profoundly painful storm and my heart breaks for you. I wish we could spend time together right now, cry together, pray together and strengthen each other with God's word. Perhaps what might serve our time in this moment is to share how God met me in the middle of one particular storm in my life.
I've been married 20 years and have three wonderful teenagers. And when my son was first born, we almost lost him in delivery. He was rushed out of the delivery room, blue, not breathing, unresponsive. For the next several months he was failing to thrive.
Three months after his birth, he weighed less than his birth weight. At the same time, there were some incredibly difficult and disappointing things happening with my job, a lack of integrity with leadership where I worked, which was in the church. And it felt like in that moment, all of life was falling apart. And I began to cry out, what's going on? God, where are you?
One day as my family, we were driving by a mall. It was literally in the middle of a storm. It was pouring cats and dogs. I saw this scrolling marquee and on it it said, God doesn't bring a man into deep water to drown him, but to cleanse him. And I just broke down and wept. It felt like God had a word for me in the midst of such a painful time that he had not left me.
He sees me. He's working in the middle of the storm and he will not waste my pain. You know, Romans 828 has been used in such a trite way that we often stop embracing that it is actually true. And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who've been called according to his purpose.
The context of Romans 828 is of Paul detailing a broken world that creation longs for it to be restored. The spirit who's praying on our behalf, our present suffering that is actually worth enduring for the future glory and ultimately that nothing will ever separate us from the love of Christ. See, God is not absent or apathetic to our pain. He's the one who took on our suffering.
Unique to Christianity is we worship a God who suffered and died. God in his goodness stepped into our suffering and onto the cross for us. And so if you're in the middle of your storm right now, I want to let you know that God has not left you. He sees you. He is at work in the middle of the storm, and he will not waste your pain.
And it is true. He will work all things together for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. Thanks Ryan. And as we close, if you are walking through one of those difficult or painful seasons right now, we want you to know we care about you. So if you'd like someone to pray with you, just call us right now at 888-333-6003. Or if you prefer, email us at chip at lividad.com. That's chip at livingontheedge.org. Or call 888-333-6003. Until next time, this is Dave Drouy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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