Everything in the Bible is there for a reason. There is a life application encouraging us what to do or warning us what not to do. Whenever you read or study a story, think about what the lesson is for you to live a better life.
You might think there is no lesson in every story, but there definitely is. Usually the life application is apparent, and you have no problem detecting what it is. Sometimes the life application is not a direct one, and you will find it more challenging to see. While you might not see the lesson right away, keep meditating on it, and God will give you the revelation sooner or later.
If you have a closed mind and don't want to see the lesson, then the lesson won't come through. However, you will more than likely see the lesson when your mind is open to accept it. Think about these three stories, and see if you can readily recognize the lessons.
Is Jonah's story your story? Has God told you to do something and you went in the opposite direction instead of doing what God has commanded you to do? Read the short story of Jonah even if you know the story already. There is something there that you might have missed, and God wants to teach you something from the book of Jonah.
What about the story of Job? Is there a life application there for you? You might say you are not rich with cattle and sheep and servants like God. That might be true, but there is more to the story of Job than what he had. Job's lesson came at the end of the book after Job prayed for his friends. God might want you to learn a similar lesson before you go through what Job went through. However, the lesson Job learned still might be one you need to learn.
What about Jesus' first miracle? Is there something God is trying to teach you from that story? Read what happened when Jesus performed His first miracle in John 2:1-11. Surely, there is something in the story that speaks to you and your situation.
No matter what story you read or hear the minister preach, know that there is a life application or lesson there for you. If you fail to see it, then you might not have been paying close attention.