SERIES: The Book of Jonah

TEXT: Jonah 1:7-16

MESSAGE: “When Fear Is Transformed”


VISION: “To be a church for our city that seeks new life in Jesus.”

  • Church IN the City
  • Church AGAINST the City
  • Church OF the City
  • Church FOR the City


“Christianity served as a revitalization movement that arose in response to the misery, chaos, fear, and brutality of life in the urban Greco-Roman world…Christianity revitalized life in…cities by providing new norms of social relationships able to cope with many urgent urban problems. To cities filled with the homeless and impoverished, Christianity offered charity as well as hope. To cities filled with newcomers and strangers, Christianity offered immediate basis for attachments…” — Rodney Stark


Q: How do we learn to love our city?


TEXT: Jonah 1:7-16


v.5 — (Sailors)“Afraid”


v. 10 — (Sailors) “Exceedingly Afraid”


v.16 — (Sailors) “Feared…exceedingly”


Q: How does God transform their fear into worship? With…(1. An Undeniable Reality 2. A Futile Attempt 3. A Great Exchange)


1. An Undeniable Reality (v. 7-9)


“And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9 And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”


“The words must have seemed to Jonah like a haunting echo from the past, exposing once more the guilt of his flight from God.” – Sinclair Ferguson


“I don’t believe in God, but I miss him.” — Julian Barnes


“Storms reveal to us that deep in our hearts we are all God knowers and God needers.” – Timothy Keller


“If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.” — C.S. Lewis


2. A Futile Attempt (v. 11-13)


Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them.”


“In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship…is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things…then you will never have enough…Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already…Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on.” — David Foster Wallace


3. A Great Exchange (v. 14-16)


“14 Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.”


“…it is God’s looking to Jesus which secures my salvation.” – Charles Spurgeon


“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” – Proverbs 9:10


TAKEAWAYS: Let’s ask some questions that can help apply this to our hearts…


Have you heard God’s Voice?


“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12


* What are you afraid of?


“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” — Mark 4:35-41


“Anxiety is always about the future and imagining a future without God. And that is a lie because God is always with us. Fear is going to a place where God is not and there is no such place.” – Laura Georgakakos


Are you willing to obey whatever God asks of you?




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