Calm Your Storm

Calm Your Storm by Kirk Hunt

Therefore they cried out to the Lord and said, “We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.” So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging.

Jonah 1:14–15 NKJV
Please also read Jonah 1:1–17

Rank pagans trembled while God’s prophet stood in calm stillness. The deck pitched violently as the storm continued to rage, threatening the lives of all aboard. To restore calm, all the sailors had to do was throw a man overboard.

Jonah, a prophet of God, had attempted to flee from his calling and assignment. God had sent him to Nineveh (see northern Iraq) but Jonah willfully tried to sail to Tarshish (far eastern Mediterranean). The storm that enveloped the ship was only a small reflection of God’s judgment and displeasure with his disobedient man.

What task has God given you? Are you working toward your assignment or trying to run away? Following God’s purpose will lead to calm and peace. Sin and rebellion will generate storms and turmoil in your soul. And the people around you may have to suffer along with you.

God’s purpose is rarely the easy way, but there is always joyous calm on His path. His love for us is great and He wants us to experience the blessings of obedience. And there is love in His correction. He will patiently and lovingly discipline you as long you think it is necessary.

Father-God loved Jonah too much to let him continue in sin and disobedience. The sailors were ready to be obedient and save the ship and their lives. Finally, Jonah decided he was ready to throw his sin and rebellion overboard. Are you ready for calm in your soul?

Think: What do I need to throw overboard to restore God’s calm in my life?

Pray: “Lord, help me throw distraction, sin and error out of my life.”

 

Copyright © January 2020, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

See With His Eyes

See With His Eyes by Kirk Hunt

Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.

Judges 16:21 NKJV

After all of the damage Samson had inflicted on the Philistines, they took poetic revenge. They put out his eyes, which led him once and again, into error and sin. Then, the burner of fields made flour for his enemies (for the rest of his life).

Walking in a circle, in the darkness, Samson had time. Time to think. Time to remember. Time to get serious with God.

Mortal men or women might have left Samson alone and defenseless, in the hands of his tormentors. God instead came close, then embraced and spoke with the man he still loved. Despite his rebellion and disobedience, Samson remained God’s beloved son.

Samson’s eyes were not restored, but his relationship with God was healed. Alone among his enemies, he dwelled securely in the hands of the Most High. A good father loves all of his children, not just the well-behaved ones. A father loves most when he disciplines his children.

Look at yourself through God’s eyes. He sees your sin. He sees your error. Still, He loves you. As you serve your sentence, He looks out for you, even when you cannot (or will not) look out for yourself.

Samson served his prison sentence with Father-God at his side. His eyes never looked away from Samson. His eyes will never look away from you. Are you looking to Him?

Think: Despite my circumstances I can have relationship with God, if I choose Him.

Pray: “Lord, forgive my sin. Help me to draw close to you.”

 

Copyright © January 2020, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

He Did Not Know

He Did Not Know by Kirk Hunt

And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.

Judges 16:20 NKJV

Samson woke up and engaged with his enemies, but he did not know. As a man of God, he should have known that God’s Spirit and power had left him. His education and experiences should have told him that he was being set up, again, by a betrayer. He ran headlong into a trap and defeat.

Samson’s humiliation (and mutilation), at a minimum, should have impossible or at least more difficult. Instead he has become a byword for wasted potential and squandered opportunity. A man born a Nazarite ignored his upbringing. Intended for greatness in God, he ended humbled in prison.

Samson used God’s power and strength through God’s mercy and grace. God is full of love and tenderness for us, but He is also a God of justice and judgment. God eventually moves against deliberate sin and error. Psalm 103:9 warns us: He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.

So God withdrew from Samson. He allowed Samson to operate without Him. Deliberate sin and disobedience is a way of telling God you do not need Him or you know better. And Samson learned the truth.

We have all sinned and fallen short. After your error, do you repent and try to do better? Do you deliberately sin again and assume God is still with you? You may not know the truth when you start, but you will know at the end.

Think: Do I know the truth of how close I am to God?

Pray: “Lord, forgive my sin. Help me to be Your obedient child and know Your truth.”

 

Copyright © January 2020, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Clothed By God

Clothed By God by Kirk Hunt

Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Genesis 3:21, 24 NKJV

The forbidden fruit had been eaten. Adam and Eve had lost their place in warm, safe Eden. Despite their sin and error, Adam and Eve had not lost Father-God’s love. With His own hand, God expertly tailored clothes then carefully dressed His children. They entered a cold, dangerous world clothed by a loving God.

No matter what you did wrong, Father-God goes right on loving you. You may be living through the consequences of your sin or error, but He has not separated Himself from you. You may be weeping over lost Eden, but the entire time He is personally preparing and equipping you for what comes next.

Just because you are by yourself, God has not left you alone. However empty your hands, God has provided, is providing and will provide for you. His love is too strong to throw you away. His love is too tender to leave you exposed.

He is a God of love, even when He chastises us. He is a God of provision, so His intention for us is never emptiness or lack. Even when he lets us live through some of the consequences of our actions, He is still close by.

His mercy protects us from full justice. We are still sons and daughters because of His grace. A warm coat is a sign of love, no matter how few the colors.

Think: God is close by, providing for me.

Pray: “Lord, thank You for what You provide.”

 

Copyright © January 2020, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.