Trust in the Midst of Struggle

If you’re anything like me you like to hope people keep their promises more often than not. I like
to see the good in people 9 times out of 10 and it takes about 87 times for me to finally reach
time number 10. This means I let people in over and over again—I trust them when they have
given me a million reasons not to. I give them a place in my life whatever that may look like, and
I typically choose to believe what they say even though their actions don’t match.

This begs for the question of how do we trust God wholeheartedly even when we’ve seen people
not be trustworthy or follow through on their promises?

Let’s take a look at the story of Jonah.

The Lord calls Jonah to call go to the city of Nineveh and call out against it because their evil has
come before Him. However, instead Jonah fled on a ship to the city of Tarshish and ran away
from the presence of the Lord.

At this point in the story, Jonah is deliberately disobeying what God had called him to. So, God
took some measures to get his attention.

While Jonah was on the ship to Tarshish the Lord caused a violent, windy storm and essentially
threatened to destroy the ship. All of the mariners were afraid and cried out to their respective
gods, but Jonah was fast asleep in the depths of the ship. The captain woke him up and
commanded him to call out to his god for help.

After calling out to their gods, the mariners realized that Jonah was the reason for the storm they
were in. Then Jonah tells them to throw him into the sea because he knows the sea will quiet
down. So the mariners picked up Jonah and hurl him into the sea, and the sea ceases from its
raging.

Once Jonah is in the sea, the Lord appoints a great fish to swallow him and Jonah was in the
belly of the fish for three days and three nights. Then, Jonah prayed to the LORD his God
saying, "I called out to the Lord , out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I
cried, and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the
flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. Then I said, 'I am driven
away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.' The waters closed in over
me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of
the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up
my life from the pit, O Lord my God. When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake
their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have
vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!"
' - Jonah 2:2-9 ESV

After Jonah prays, the fish spits him back up on dry land and he goes to Nineveh to do what the
Lord originally called him to do.

I think it’s important to note that Jonah could have been angry because he was in the belly of a
fish. Also, God could have very easily been angry with Jonah for running away. But instead, the
exact opposite happens in both scenarios. Jonah prays to the Lord with joy and thankfulness, and
God still invites Jonah to do what he was called to.

We can struggle and love God at the same time, and I think the story of Jonah shows what that
means. He literally ran in the opposite direction of what God had called him to and then one
chapter later he was praying to the Lord with thanksgiving and praise. Jonah was the opposite of
perfect and yet God still chose him to call Nineveh to repentance. In the midst of his
disobedience, God saved Jonah from the depths of the sea and brought him back to the place he
was originally supposed to be.

I think we can wholeheartedly trust God because He understands every part of who we are. He
understands that we struggle. But He also understands that there is this desire inside of us to love
Him as best we can. He is deserving of our trust because He is the most compassionate, gracious,
and loving being to ever exist. We are fully accepted by Him just as we are and we didn’t do a
single thing to earn that.

His grace covers us, whether we are fleeing to a far off city or praising His name in the belly of a
fish and I pray that we would realize just how deeply Yahweh desires to know us and be known
by us.

“Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! My innermost being will praise you, Lord! I will spend my life
praising you and singing high praises to you, my God, every day of my life!”
- Psalms 146:1-2 TPT

Author | Elizabeth Sprinkle

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