Read Jonah 1:17-2:10
Think of the lowest point of your life. Imagine how you felt, thinking to yourself that the world was crashing all around you. What was your relationship with God like at this point? When you were experiencing the worst emotional pain you have ever experienced, where was God? When your heart was as fragile as glass, where was He? When people get to this low of a point, God tends to take a back seat. You are doing whatever you can do to stay afloat. You’re fighting with every ounce of yourself to stay sane. It is so incredibly hard to put your faith in someone that you cannot see, when you are in the midst of a storm. What are they going to do about it? What can they provide? Are they even there?
Jonah was confronted with this same issue. Most of us are familiar with his story. God told him to go to Nineveh to preach the gospel. Jonah thought he had better plans and took a boat in the opposite direction. Due to the fact that you can never pull a fast one on God, He caused a huge storm to come which ended up with Jonah in the ocean.
What do you think Jonah was thinking at this point? Imagine being in the middle of the raging ocean…by yourself? As you’re fighting to stay above water, darkness all around, you think to yourself that only you are to blame for this situation. God told you to do something and you chose against it. Imagine getting to the point where you give in to the ocean and take your last breath as your head slips below the water.
Despite all that Jonah had done, God provided a huge fish to come and swallow Jonah to keep him alive. Talk about a silver lining! Jonah 2 contains the prayer of Jonah from the belly of the fish. Keep in mind that this is probably not the most luxurious fish stomach. He’s most likely cramped into little more than the fetal position. Stomach acid is probably eroding his clothes, if not parts of his body.
It is in this setting that Jonah repents.
Halfway through his prayer, you see a shift. He goes from describing his horrible circumstances, his brush with death, to stating all the ways that God provided in the midst of it.
How often to you find yourself praising God in the midst of a storm? Will you praise Him and trust that He has the interest and the ability to deal with your problems? It was when Jonah trusted in the Lord, truly trusted, that he was delivered from peril.
It may be hard, but God deserves your praise, more than ever, in the midst of trials. You never know, deliverance may be right around the corner.
21 DAY PRAYER CHALLENGE
For the full challenge, go here!
Day 14: Journal
Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself a journaler, take time today to, in the quiet and distraction free environment that you have created this past week, write out your prayer to the Lord. There’s just something about writing something down!