Being a preacher’s son, there were a lot of rough situations I walked into.
There are a few things from when I was young that absolutely terrorized me. One of the memories was about a man who had been drinking and got hit by a car when he was trying to cross a bridge. He couldn’t get up or crawl back to the road. When I was taken to the place, I saw 2 holes in the dirt about 6 inches deep where the man had dug all night long, screaming for someone to help him.
I want to preach this one day in a prison: The only reason why God doesn’t help you is because you won’t cry out.
If you humble yourself and cry out, it doesn’t matter what you are facing, God will help you. If you are facing sickness, trials, temptation, addiction, or if life’s broken you, God will help you! All you have to do is cry out to Him!
When you cry out, you begin to humble yourself and draw nigh to God. When you do that, God will draw nigh to you. There’s not a battle He can’t win and not a storm He can’t calm. There’s not a brokenness He can’t heal.
The battles in your life intensify because the devil realizes that you have a call of God on your life to help others.
The devil sees that if you get where God is wanting to take you then you will touch a lot of people. He wants to break you before you and fulfill your calling. But if you cry out to God, He will help you fulfill your calling!
Let’s talk a little bit about Jonah.
There are a lot of ideas for why he didn’t fulfill his calling at first. I think one of the reasons is because he was intimidated and thought he couldn’t do it good enough so he just wouldn’t do it. But if God has called us to do something, that means we are able. There’s not a timidness, failure, or sin big enough to override God’s call. If God has called you, you can do it! The only reason why people leave church broken, discouraged, and lost, is because they won’t cry out. Psalms 34:6. Romans 2:11. If God will move for David, then He will move for you. If you’ll cry out, He will help you.
Coming back to Jonah, I think he might have not wanted to fail God. He ran from God (automatically failing the call of God) so he wouldn’t fail God. Just because we walk with God that doesn’t mean we won’t face sickness and battles. There will still be some lion’s dens and fiery furnaces. But if God be for you, who can be against you? When you fall, tell the devil to watch you get back up!
Something can get your attention.
I wonder if the second possibility for Jonah’s running would be him thinking he needed to live a little first, meet some goals, and start working on his calling later. He might not have been totally quitting, just putting the call on the shelf for later. Or he could have been just plain stubborn and thought it was his life and he would do things his way. There are a bunch of different ways to think about it, but one thing is for sure. It doesn’t matter who a person is or what their excuse is, something can get their attention.
There is a storm that can bring an awakening inside of a person. But even within Jonah’s storm, he would not repent. Sometimes, there are people like Jonah and it takes another level of storm for them to cry out to God.
While everyone else was falling apart during the bad storm, Jonah was in the bottom of the ship asleep.
There is a real peace that passes all understanding, but there is another “peace” where the enemy tries to lull you asleep just before your whole world starts shaking. Sometimes a person might think that they are doing alright, but in reality they are not. God knows them and their heart. Take into consideration where we are in God’s eyes. Are we close to Him, or are we far away?
Later on in the story, the people on the ship took Jonah and threw him overboard, placing him in God’s hands.
The whale, by nature, would probably have been deeper in the ocean to stay away from the storm. It doesn’t matter how messed up and broken a person is, God will send someone after them in a storm. Jonah tosses in the ocean and then gets swallowed by the whale. He probably didn’t know what was going on and might have prepared himself to get chomped in two, but nothing happened.
All of a sudden Jonah realized he was still alive, but he still had not prayed. After a little while of feeling in the dark and pulling seaweed off his face, he remembered the words of an old man of God saying in times of trouble to turn toward the temple and pray, then God would hear from Heaven and forgive.
Jonah’s all twisted up in the whale’s belly and probably couldn’t tell which way the temple was, but he was in trouble and finally called upon God, and God heard him. When Jonah didn’t deserve it and it looked like things were over, God still heard him. All he had to do was cry out.
I hope this message has touched you somehow. If you feel like you may be in Jonah’s situation, let me remind you God’s not mad at you. He wants to help you. If you will humble yourself, lift your voice, and call out to Him, He will come to you in any situation you may have no matter who you are or what you have done.
When Jonah cried out to God, the whale vomited Jonah out on dry land. If you will cry out to the Lord, He will start a new season in your life. God will meet your needs, save your family, heal you, and restore you.
Cry out for the Lord’s help, my friend, He’s listening.
— Pastor Anthony Wynn