“Que Sera, Sera.
Whatever will be will be.
The future’s not ours to see.
Que Sera, Sera.”
There is a brass plaque in the Church of St. Nicholas, in England that says “Que Sera, Sera,” The plaque dated 1559 seems strangely to be an English saying translated into Spanish meaning: “What will be, will be.” This somewhat depressing, fatalistic worldview was a song that made it to No. 2 on the pop music charts in 1956 when Doris Day recorded a song by that same name for the Alfred Hitchcock movie: The Man Who Knew Too Much.
In chapter 4 of Jonah, the prophet reveals that he was “a man who knew too much” about God. He knew all too well that God might forgive the enemy city of Nineveh if they were given a chance to repent. He knew that God was merciful and compassionate and so he tried to change God’s mind, or at least thwart God’s plans. Can that be done? Can God change his mind? Can we influence God’s plans and change history? Or is it true, that whatever will be will be, the future’s not ours to see?
Come and encounter Christ as we begin chapter 4 in the book of Jonah this Sunday as Pastor Brad preaches on:
The God Who Relents
It was a time of deep confusion and pain in my life. My family and I were “out of the game.” I had left a ministry position with a great feeling of failure and regret, wondering if we would ever return. We were down and out, living with family and trying to figure out which way was up. I was doing odd jobs and painting houses. I remember clearly, standing on a ladder listening to a radio interview with an “Angel Investor.” He was a big money guy who invests in new tech start-up companies. He just kept saying that the best people to invest in are people that have already failed and are starting again. I thought that seemed a little counter-intuitive. He insisted that giving second chances to people who were on the “come back” was the best bet. He had seen it again and again.
This was the beginning of God’s work to soften my hard, bitter and broken heart to His purposes. Was He still willing to invest in me? Was He still willing to forgive me? I felt like the only one who had ever failed this big.
Later in that same season I sat at breakfast with a gathering of older retired gentleman. Each of these men was someone I respected and honored as a man of accomplishment and great faith. And to the man, each went around the table and talked of their “big failure” and how God had given them a second chance (and a third and fourth). They talked also of the people in their lives who had forgiven and bet on them again. The list of wives, bosses, partners and children was breathtaking.
This is the gospel: that while we were dead in our sins, Christ died for
us. While we are out of the game, God is still pursuing. While Jonah was down and out in the belly of the whale, nothing was out of God’s control. He was still composing a story that would include second chances for Nineveh and Jonah. He is still writing His grace and patience onto your life story too.
~ Pastor Brad
Come and encounter Christ as we look at God’s second chances this Sunday as Pastor Brad preaches on Jonah 3:1-10
God’s goal in affliction is to awaken. Trials are a necessary part of life. Sometimes they come as a result of our own doing. And sometimes, it may be due to something outside of us. But either way, they have a way of crashing our life when we least expect it.
Trials reveal a lot about us. It exposes our brokenness and helplessness. It teaches us humility. And more often than not, God does not change the circumstances or those situations we find ourselves, but always through it, He changes us. God does not always lift people out of their station, He Himself comes into it. He does not pluck them out of the darkness. He becomes the light in the darkness.
As mentioned, the story of Jonah is a story of God’s sovereignty. It’s about God’s presence with us in our darkest moments. The story of Jonah is about the goodness of God even when we are at our worst. When our prayers are broken and when those prayers arise because there’s no other way and has become our last resort, even then, God hears our prayers.
Come and encounter Christ as we look at the book of Jonah this Sunday as Pastor Daniel preaches on Broken Prayers – Jonah 2:1-9