Be Still Know
Jonah 2:3a NLT
You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea.’
One of the great questions to ponder in life is, “By whose hands are the circumstances of our lives ordered?” Many respond that it is the work of Satan in our fallen world. Given free reign throughout the earth, even though ultimately defeated by the work of Christ upon the cross, Satan is the source of the sickness and violence that blights our world. However, a simple reading of Job suggests that Satan requires God’s permission to blight Job’s life to the degree that he does. His purpose is to cause Job to despair of God and turn from his faith.
Here Jonah responds to the fruit of his disobedience which led to sailors, despite their fear of taking his life, taking Jonah at his word and throwing him into the water. Jonah sees the hand of God at work in this situation and the challenges ahead before he can begin to grasp God’s purpose. This purpose is that he might become increasingly like God and reveal God’s grace within his immediate context, as it is ours.
When challenges strike us, it can be easy to blame God’s great adversary; in doing so, we run the danger of surrendering too much authority to Satan. If living the Christian life were a simple binary choice of good against evil, we might have a case. But life is more complex than that. We are to reveal the character of God through our circumstances.
Swimming in the deep, not by one’s own choice, can be the last place to become attentive to God. Why would God place me in such straitened circumstances in the first place? Yet, learning to become attentive within the very heart of my crisis is the critical factor in my ultimate survival.
QUESTION: Who do you blame when you suffer misfortune?
PRAYER: Sovereign Lord, you rule over even my troubles and trials and through it all, I can know and be sure of your goodness and love.