God Will Never Give Up on You.

Years ago my son Jonathan, who was 3 or 4 at the time, got lost in a hotel. He loved to push the button for the elevator, and on this particular day, he ran ahead of me down the hall.

I called after him, “Now Jonathan, wait for Dad! I’m almost there.”

Just as I turned the corner, I saw the doors of the elevator close with Jonathan inside, alone. I panicked and pushed every button until finally the elevator doors opened again. But by then, there was no Jonathan. I raced down to the lobby, where the desk clerk was on the phone.

“Ma’am, my son is lost somewhere in this hotel,” I said to her. “Please call security! Call SWAT! Call the Green Berets! Call the Navy SEALs! You have got to help me find my son!”

She was still on the phone. “I’m sorry, sir,” she whispered. “Just hold on.”

But I couldn’t hold on. I was in pursuit of my son, and failure wasn’t an option. I ran back to the elevator and pushed every button. On every floor, I called out Jonathan’s name. Finally I found him, five floors up. He was just standing there in the hall.

In the same way, God is pursuing you. Maybe you think he is out to ruin all your fun, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible tells us that God is good. As Psalm 106:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (NIV, emphasis added).

Have you ever tried to run from God because you thought he wanted to mess up your life? The Bible tells the story of someone who did this. His name was Jonah. Usually when we hear that name, what also comes to mind is a whale. We may even dismiss the story of Jonah as a myth. But it’s a true story, validated by no one less than Jesus Christ himself. He said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40 NIV).

As a matter of fact, the Bible doesn’t actually use the term whale. The technical translation would be “sea monster.” It doesn’t matter whether there is a fish in existence today like the fish that existed then. All we have to know is that it once existed. And whatever that beast was, God used it to swallow the man who tried to run from him.

God always will have the last word. He had said to Jonah, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me” (Jonah 1:2 NIV).

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This tells us that not only is God good, but he also is loving. The Ninevites, the people to whom Jonah was called to preach, were wicked. Historical records include graphic accounts of the cruel treatment captives received at the hands of the Ninevites. They would burn boys and girls alive. They would torture adults, tearing the skin from their bodies and leaving them to die in the scorching sun. Yet despite the wickedness of these people, God loved them.

Jonah’s hope was that God would judge Nineveh and destroy them. He was a patriotic Israelite. His fear, which was effectively justified, was that God would forgive Nineveh. That’s why he didn’t want to go. So he found a ship going in the opposite direction.

The book of Jonah tells us, “After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord” (1:3 NIV). That’s how it is with sin. It will take you farther than you want to go, it will keep you longer than you want to stay, and it will cost you more than you want to spend.

As Jonah was on his way to Tarshish, a storm came. But this wasn’t just any storm; it was so hardcore that even the sailors started to panic. They were no strangers to rough seas, but they had never seen anything like it. In a way, it was a loving storm. God was allowing it to get Jonah’s attention. Jonah had a choice. He could have stayed in the gut of that fish, but he decided to turn to God.

Maybe you’ve had a crisis in your life recently. Maybe you’ve had a close brush with death. You got a scary call from the doctor about some test results, or something happened that reminded you of your mortality. C. S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Sometimes God can take pain, or a storm in Jonah’s case, to get our attention and show us that we need him.

God loved the Ninevites, and he gave them a second chance with the message Jonah delivered. I want you to know that God loves you, too. And no matter what sin you have committed, he will forgive you. But you need to turn from that sin and make a commitment to follow Christ.

I’m no prophet, and I have never been swallowed by a fish, but I do have a message: There is only one lifeline that God has dropped from heaven for us to be forgiven of our sins. It is his son, Jesus Christ, who was born in a manger, died on the cross, and rose from the dead three days later. He now stands at the door of your life and knocks. And if you will hear his voice and open the door, he will come in. That is your answer. That is your only hope.

God’s plans for you are better than any plans you have for yourself. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 NKJV). In other words he was saying, “I came that you might have a life that is full and rich and meaningful.”

God loves his kids so much that he will not let them go. He is pursuing you today. Are you running from him?

Taken from my weekly column at World Net Daily.

15 thoughts on “God Will Never Give Up on You.”

  1. Jo Ann Wyatt says:

    Oh Greg you would never know how much your messages have meant to me this past month. My husband was recently diagnosed with dementia. I am having a difficult time adjusting to it. sometimes I think God doesn’t care even if I now better.
    Thank you for loving me, even if you don’t know me.

  2. Maria Arevalo says:

    Thank you for the word simply, as your Father Pastor Chuck taught. Love your teachings, miss him terribly. Be well, be blessed.

  3. John 3:3 says:

    Just like the lust of the flesh and for sin I need to lust after God and hold on to
    Him with all my strength, because all the demons from hell are after me to get me to
    fall back in sin and turn again from His will.
    LORD please keep me one day at a time today in constant contact.
    I love you, your grace and salvation!

  4. Hernando Angeles says:

    Pastor Greg,
    Thank you for your endurance, you never give up on sharing the gospel to people. The Lord bless you and I pray the he will keep you safe and your family and God will give you strength as you spreading the gospel here and abroad. God bless you!

  5. Robert says:

    Dear Pastor Greg. Thank yo for sending the blog on God never giving up. I’ve felt God tugging at my heart to share the Good News with others. It is difficult for me because I’m a very private person; however, God has been asking me to talk with my Dad about salvation and the Good News. My dad is very political and puts his faith in politics. My dad is in his 80’s and I feel his focus should be more on salvation than politics but fear keeps from talking to him.

    No disrespect to you or your blog because I know you are a very busy and popular man, but it’s disappointing to receive computer generated emails from you. It would be awesome to have a personal conversation with you.

  6. Maria Huby says:

    Just pray for me pastor I had repetented and I know Jesus loves me I am waiting upon his time on me !!

  7. Chester Babcock says:

    Very much enjoy Pastor Laurie’s messages. Hope you realize that some of older folks don’t have or want all the fancy gadgets. How do we go about getting some of you’re material on hard copies or perhaps messages on CD. ? I know this is probably unheard of, but really, thats is were some of still are. thanks

    1. Brian Jackson says:

      Chester, you can find books, CDs, and DVDs at store.harvest.org.

      You can also call our call center with your request 800-821-3300, or write to
      P.O. Box 4000
      Riverside, CA 92514

  8. Paul Knudsen says:

    Thank You.

  9. Saraj says:

    Pastor Greg I listened to you talk today 20/8 via Daystar Chanel on Sky TV. Your message spoke deeply to me, I’ve hardly been to church or in fellow with other Christians since my break down some 17 years ago. I’ve suffered so much pain physically and emotionally because of past sins and lost sight of the fact that my sins have been forgiven. Today I recommitted my life to our Lord, I thank him now for introducing me to you this afternoon, I live in Somerset England x

    1. Jason says:

      Sarah, bless you. God loves you. You’re on the right track. Stay positive and let God work in your life. Past sins are just that..in the past. Be a blessing!

  10. Chuck & Linda Hll says:

    My wife Linda and I attended Harvest Christian Fellowship, in Riverside California , from 1980-2007. The best Christian Church, Christian Praise Music, we ever experiencied in our lives. I ( Chuck) worked at Patton State Hospital as a Recreational Therapist for about 15 years; Linda worked as a R.N. in Redlands where we lived , For a variety of reasons, we moved to Joplin, Missouri in 2007. We’ve ner found another Church like Harvest since, but we attend a Baptist Church.

  11. Pat LaPointe says:

    I like your writings very much, Pastpr Laurie.

  12. Hope says:

    God has spoken to me through this message in so many ways. When i was younger I’d always pray “God don’t give up on me please” because I feared God would reject me due to my sin. However through this message, God showed me that he will never ever give up on me for he loves me more than anything and His grace is sufficient enough for me, always. To quote Mike Donehey, “Jesus is enthroned in Heaven and He chased us all the way down into hell, He’s with us, always there’s not a place where we can go where He is not”

  13. Carmela Lombardi-Munizza says:

    Pastor Greg, u have written wonderfully about the importance of obeying God, the folly of trying to flee from Him, and the His great unconditional beautiful love for us all!!!! Thank u for blessing our day with these reminders! In Christ, Pam

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