A Mixed Up Minister?
What insights does the book of Jonah have for ministers today?
Led by The Revd Tom Stuckey, a former President of the Methodist Church.
When The World Takes The Wind Out Of Your Sails
Earlier this year my Mother died after a long battle with cancer. It was shortly after the funeral that I read again the instructions with which the Apostle James opens his letter: ‘Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds…’ (James 1:2) ‘James,’ I want to shout, ‘you cannot be serious! I’m grieving. I’m in pain. I’ve got worries and burdens like you would never have imagined. And now you tell me to consider it all pure joy!’ Sometimes life can be tough and full of pain and Christians are not immune to any of that. Being a follower of Jesus is not the guarantee of an easy life. So, how should we respond when suddenly the world knocks the wind out of our sails?
James Moore is a preacher in the United Methodist Church in Texas. According to the front cover of this book, he has sold over 1 million copies of the various titles he has written. It’s not hard to see why. He writes in a very readable, easy and accessible style. Although sometimes he may be a little simplistic, nevertheless he is thought-provoking and challenging.
At times his background as a preacher shines through, and it feels as if you are reading a series of sermons. You also have to accept the Americanisms and the frequent illustrations drawn from American culture. However, preachers looking for ideas for sermons, particularly over the Easter period, will find useful material here. So will leaders of bible-study or home groups, as the book contains a section of ‘discussion guides’ at the back, with questions based upon each chapter of the book.
Life will, at times, knock the wind out of our sails, but as Christians we need to remember God’s promise to never leave us or abandon us. Whatever we go through, we go through with him at our side, holding our hand and giving us the strength we need when we need it.
‘Consider it pure joy,’ then, James? Well, I think we all might still find that a bit hard at times, but this book is a gentle reminder to us of the great Biblical truths of God’s faithfulness and constant love.