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Don’t Settle for False Fixes – Rick Warren

“All who worship worthless idols turn from the God who offers them mercy.”

Jonah 2:8 (CEV)

When we’re in trouble, we’re often tempted to find some sort of quick fix—or at least something that will relieve our stress.
People’s families may be falling apart. Their finances may be falling apart. Their careers may be falling apart. Their health may be falling apart. With their backs against the wall, they try everything imaginable to solve the problem. Everything, that is, except asking God for help.

We need to reject any attempts at a false fix, and instead turn to God for help.

Jonah had time to think about this when he was stuck in the belly of a big fish. Here’s what he prayed: “All who worship worthless idols turn from the God who offers them mercy” (Jonah 2:8 CEV).

Today we don’t carve idols. But we still have them. Some of us idolize our cars. Others of us idolize our homes or our clothes. Sometimes people idolize fortune, wealth, or fame. Anything we place above God is an idol.

The only solution for our problems is the grace of God. Anytime we turn to something else, we’re turning to an idol.

Years ago my family was on vacation, and because I like learning about rocks and minerals, we went into a store that sold the kinds of rocks people collect. There was a whole section of quartz crystals that supposedly could solve a variety of problems. For instance, the descriptions claimed the crystals could provide contentment and confidence or supposedly create a protective shield or even give you some sort of psychic intuition.

But I knew they wouldn’t help me with any of those things.

In fact, the crystals and the promises about them reminded me of Romans 1:25: “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator” (NIV).

When you choose to believe something, other than God will solve your problems, you’re placing your trust in an inanimate object. You’re serving a created thing rather than the Creator himself.

When Jonah was at the bottom of the ocean in a big fish, he didn’t turn to an idol. He trusted God to help—and God came through.

God will do the same for you.

Talk It Over

What idols do you find most tempting to “worship” when you’re feeling hopeless?
What’s the most difficult part about giving up your idols?
What idols seem the most common in your community?

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