by Christina Farris
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. To think of falling into the hands of angry God is not one of fairy tales but a possible reality. Why would God be angry at the children of the world. One they have forgotten him and his ways. Two they honor not God in anyway. People are evil to each other and wicked, and are no longer afraid of God's eternal power. In the Continual scripture, we find Nineveh was not in fear of God in the story of Jonah, that why God sent a prophet, who was not equal in fear of him. God gave Jonah a new sermon/testimony to talk about the anger of God. Jonah ran from God and went on a sailing vessel trying to get away from God. In Psalms 139 it says where can one go from God's spirit. That not the exact quote but it is the meaning. In truth where can you hide from God's wrath. God was not pleased with Jonah and caused a storm to come upon the ship so severe that the men aboard were afraid and they cast lots/bids to see who had caused this storm, because it was of a great God that caused the storm the way their ship was being tossed about. Lot fell on Jonah and he confessed he was running from God. The men wanted to know how to appease this God of Jonah, so they might live. Truth is if you are in the way of the hands of angry God that after someone else, your life might be in jeopardy too. Yet in truth if the one that is trouble with God says kill me or put me over the side of the ship, then God just might rescue you. When the men seen God calmed the waves when Jonah was tossed into the sea, they knelt that day and built an altar to the Lord upon their ship and worship God in fear. God used that event to bring loss souls to him, besides Jonah. Jonah sin, did not stop his witness of the reality of God. Jonah found himself in the belly of a huge fish for three days and three nights. And there Jonah prayed and repented. Imagine for a moment what being inside a huge fish must of been like. The stink of rotten fish, along with bones not yet desolved in the acid of the fish's stomache. Yet while he prayed, I suspect a calm came with his repentance. Here he was trapped in the belly of the fish for a reason, and that fish was taking him where he did not know but he had meat to eat inside the belly of the fish. He had maybe water, after all he was in the sea, and it would of not been drinkable, but processed in the belly of the fish it might of been suitable for drinking. God provided a sub to get Jonah back in the direction he told him to go, so to speak. If you want to call a fish the first sub.
After three days when the fish spewed him up on shore tired of Jonah being in his belly undigestable, he found himself on shore, with the ability to go toward the city of Nineveh to preach and to tell his story of the three nights in the belly of the fish, because he had been in the hands of an angry God. Toss into a sea that quickly calmed down and propelled toward the city that needed the hope of God's word. If you read the four chapters of Jonah you find a man in need of revival in his soul himself, for he judge those he preached too. He understood not why God would show them mercy. God mercy is on the people of the world. He sometimes takes events to draw them to their knees, and sometimes only a preacher is needed to tell the truth about an angry God who desires to show mercy and grace, despite what man thinks should happen.
The hope of faith and beleive might seem of little value on this earth but once before the throne of God one is then going to face the judgment seat of God concerning the things he did in his life. Will we find ourselves lacking. The truth is as a believer and one in right standing with God because of faith and obedience should have no fear of standing before God beyond his Authority and sovereignity of who He truly is finally realize in full picture of the reality of the throne, no longer a great mystery of the heart and soul of those that believed. Our hope rest in faith in the promise first of salvation and eternal life through Christ Jesus. Then the hope of us striving hard to run the race set before to gain the prize of eternity. What that means is running the race of faith. To live with faith, no doubting but striving believing God is able to do more then we ask, to stand between us and the enemy in times of trouble and to go through the trials of life with the aid of the Holy Spirit, and to face whatever we may need to as far as persecution of our faith. To stand the trials with the Holy Spirit holding our hand and knowing God deliverance is sometime death from those against Christ and God. Stephen was stone to death believing and testifying of Christ and God.
What is faith, but hope. What is hope that what we believe and do is pleasing to our Heavenly Father, that we fully understood about faith in Christ and His Word. That we know that the hope is everlasting life, that Jesus does not deny knowing us when we are before the throne because he is our intercessor between God and us. God's word is the hope we have, the Spirit of God echoes that hope in our heart even when we pray.
God is not pleased with backslidders, but God is a God that will not leave believers that backslide running away but he goes after them, by causing of storms and other things in their life to know that his power is real. If we turn to him we may have hope again, but if lost in the storm, we maybe lost forever. God knows what will bring us back in faith and what will cause our faith to be put on hold for a time. He knows what is happening to us, but he waits patiently for us and he uses the situation to bring others to himself besides just you at times. The call to be his minister is not just on the glory road of faith but on the road of our trials.
Dear Heavenly Father help us to obey and stay true to your word so we do not learn the consequence of your wrath. Help us not to find ourselves in the belly of a fish. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:Jonah 1:6-17 KJV
6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.
7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?
9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.
10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.
12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
14 Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.
15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.
16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.
17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.