Today’s Reading: Jonah 1:1-17
Daily Lectionary: Zechariah 10:1-11:3; 2 Timothy 3:1-17
But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. (Jonah 1:4)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It’s easy to conclude, when all you see is the storm, that God hates you, doesn’t care, forgive, or want to help you at all but is only interested in your pain and suffering. If that’s what you have concluded about God because of the storm you’re in, the Book of Jonah has good news for you. Your conclusion is as far from the truth as the east is from the west.
By tossing Jesus into the raging sea of His wrath and anger toward the sin of the whole world, God has promised that, while there may be storms all around you, there is no storm at all in His heart now when it comes to you. Your sin remains as far from you as the east does from the west. Since you are forgiven, God delights and rejoices in you. All the wrath and fury stirred by your sin has forever been silenced in Him, stilled by the blood Jesus shed for you on the Cross.
Listen to Zephaniah 3: “The LORD has taken away the judgments against you. . . Fear not. . . The LORD God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you by his love” (vv.15-17). And Isaiah 62:2-5: “You shall no longer be termed Forsaken. . . For the LORD delights in you. . . And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” And Romans 8:31: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
It’s easy to conclude, when all you see is the storm, that God is against you. But you’d be wrong. Jesus died for you. And the blood Jesus shed on the Cross for you now promises that in every storm you face God remains your loving, rejoicing, caring, forgiving, saving heavenly Father. In fact, His water, His Word and His Supper still promise you, through every storm, that will never change. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way; When sorrows, like sea billows, roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate And hath shed His own blood for my soul. It is well with my soul, it is well with my soul. (“When Peace, like a River” LSB 763, st.1,3)
-Rev. Bradley Drew is pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Metairie, LA.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch
Pastor-psychiatrist duo Rev. A. Trevor Sutton and Dr. Brian Smith have teamed up to help you evaluate your technology use through a Christian perspective. Learn how to form healthy, faithful technology habits with Jesus at the center. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.