Summary: We need to be desperate for the will of God or else we will be desperate for the things of this world.
And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
“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. 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. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. 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. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.“ (Jonah 1:11-16)
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines desperate as: being moved by despair, suffering an extreme burden or anxiety, extreme intensity, involving or employing extreme measures in an attempt to escape frustration or defeat.
There are many different causes for desperation in the days we live in. There is emotional, physical and spiritual causes for desperation and a specific type of desperation for each of these three major causes. There are both good and bad types of desperation. This morning I would like to take a few minutes to talk about what happens once we are desperate, and how that will determine our destiny.
Many times in our lives we enter a storm, we have heard it said here at the Lighthouse that it is typically every 40 days until we hit a new storm. It is during the storms of our lives that we see both our lowest lows and our highest highs, regardless if we are a new convert or an experienced saint, we all face storms in our lives and more importantly we will have to answer a question in each storm. How will I handle my desperation, and where will it take me?
From our text in Jonah we need to keep in mind that the sailors on the ship were professionals. That is how they made their living, sailing from port to port. And having been a sailor for any given time, they would have to realize that going from Joppa to Tarshish was going to be a hard journey. Here are constantly storms brewing near Tarshish, in fact there are references in other parts of the Bible that indicate this. Psalms even mentions ships being destroyed by the winds near Tarshish. With this being said, the sailors knew what they were doing and they knew that this storm was too much for them, they were desperate for an escape. They begged the preacher for information on how to save them. They tried everything they could and then they followed the plan the man of God gave them and they were saved. Their desperation brought them to the man of God and ultimately saved their lives. They didn’t serve God before this point, but they dropped their idols and began serving Him afterwards!