Message From Matt – July 10

If you like watching TV shows,  you know that sometimes your favorite show will end an episode with an unanswered question called a “cliffhanger”.  This is where a climatic part of the show cuts off just before letting you know what happens next, making you wait another week before you get the answer.  It makes for intriguing TV but honestly I always hated how those shows ended!  I wanted to know what happened right then and there and not wait!
The Book of Jonah ends this same way…like a cliffhanger (see Jonah 4:11)!  Being transparent here, I don’t like how the book ends.  It ends without us knowing what Jonah’s response is to God’s question. God asked Jonah if he had a  right to be angry about his shade withering away and at the same time not caring about the thousands of innocent children that would be killed if Jonah got what he wanted.  We don’t know what Jonah’s reply was!  It doesn’t show if Jonah had a change of heart!  It doesn’t show if God had any further punishment on Jonah for his attitude! It doesn’t tell us anything else but leaves us with unanswered questions!  
You already know this but let me say it anyway…unanswered questions are very frustrating! 
We often have seasons in our lives that we are looking for answers to questions only to have those answers put on hold!  Each time this happens, it is like we are waiting for the answer but it rarely comes when we want it.  What is intriguing of the make believe TV show is replaced with impatience, frustration and doubt in our real lives! Since one day is as a 1,000 years to God (2 Peter 3:8), waiting is not an issue for Him! But since waiting one day seems like a 1,000 years to us…it’s a big deal!!
If this is you right now and you are waiting for an answer from God on something, I want you to take heart!  God is still working while you are waiting.  
In fact, the Bible is very clear about His work in the waiting periods…
  • He will renew your strength while you wait – Isaiah 40:31
  • He has great thoughts toward you – Jeremiah 29:11
  • While we wait we can have hope in His Word – Psalm 130:5
  • That those who wait on the Lord will inherit the earth – Psalm 37:9 

There is enough biblical proof that God is working His purpose in and through you while you are waiting that we should have plenty to rejoice about! 
If you’re frustrated today, don’t give up!  Don’t throw in the towel and think that God has forsaken you (Hebrews 13:5). Don’t surrender to the enemies’ mind games while you wait!  But believe that God is working all things for His glory and your good!
Although we don’t read what Jonah’s initial response was to God’s final question, we do know that God used Jonah, even with his sinful behavior, to see an entire nation turn to God!  Maybe in your wait, God is going to use you and this experience to impact someone with the truth of His Word!