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Summary: "Trouble Talk" It reminds us of our need for God. Sometimesit is a divine wake up call. Trouble calls us to 1- Talk with God 2- Turn to God 3- Trust God

A Messenger Called “TROUBLE”

Jonah 2

4-28-02

1. Jonah 2:1-2 “Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish’s belly. 2And he said: "I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction,And He answered me.

"Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice.

In the next few verses-- Jonah Describes Horror of his experience in fish’s belly

Talks about Despondency he Felt— Hopelessness of situation.

verse 7-9 "When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD;And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. 8"Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy. 9But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD."

2. Has anyone here ever had a “Jonah Experience”?

Have been a number of times God has had get my Attention—but My Jonah Experience= 21 yrs old.

Been Running from God 4 or 5 yrs.

Had put my life together in such a way—I thought had world by tail

One day—whole world fell apart

A messenger called “Trouble” Came KNOCKING at my DOOR

Do you know what I did? Exactly what Jonah did in verse 7

“…I remembered the Lord…”

It’s Easy to Forget God when life is going smooth.

Easy to pursue own purposes—own agenda.

3. Up until this time Jonah had mistaken idea about God’s Call on his life.

He thought it was something could take or leave at own choosing.

God had told him to go to Nineveh.

He had Evaluated God’s Plan

And Decided go in a Different Direction.

On his way, God sent a Messenger to speak to him:

The messenger called TROUBLE

4. Trouble always carries with it – a message from God- Trouble Talks

(when trouble comes into our lives—it’s talking)!

The QUESTION is: What is it saying?

What is the trouble in your life saying to you?

Is it mere happen chance OR is there something to be perceived & understood out of situation?

C.S. Lewis

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, But SHOUTS in our pain…” (1)

What is God trying to say to me?

Will I hear the message?

How will I Respond to the message?

When trouble comes it is first & foremost saying to us:

I. TALK with God.

1. James 5:13 asks a probing Question “Is any one of you in trouble?

God poses that Question to us this morning: “Is anybody here in trouble?”

The trouble may be Financial – Emotional—Relational

There are a great variety of experiences that can fall under broad scope of word trouble.

Is there trouble in your life?

2. I’m Glad Bible doesn’t just leave us with the question.

James 5:13 Follows up with this Answer: He should ____?what--pray.

There are a number of things we tend to do as Substitutes for that:

** Try Solve problem as best can and continue on

** Get Counseling

** Consolidate our Bills

None of those things are wrong—But are NOT what told us to do.

“Is any one of you in trouble?” Let him go to Psychiatrist? No

Visit his Banker?

Leave town & take Sabbatical?

The Instruction is – He should “Pray”

3. Trouble is our divine WAKE-UP Call to talk with God.

We can get into a spiritual slumber—and it’s hard to wake up.

When I was in Denver a couple of weeks ago, Jeanie called me at about 5:00 am. I was in a deep sleep—

So when I answered the phone & heard her say “Good Morning” before she could say anything else, I said “Thank you” & Hung up.

Have you ever Hung up on God?

When we do that He does exactly what Jeanie did—she called back.

God will keep calling until He gets our Attention—and that’s good.

Trouble = Attention-Getter!

If you’re in trouble—the Divine phone is RINGING.

4. God got Jonah’s attention.

There’s a cartoon in Leadership Magazine—and in the picture these guys on the boat have Jonah & are about to throw him into the sea. Down in the sea you see the fish-and fish is looking up out of the water and saying “Why me?” (2)

Have you ever found yourself saying those words to God-Why me?

Sometimes God is saying-“I want to talk with you,

I’ve got some things to say to you & you haven’t been listening”

5. A common substitute for prayer is “Worry”

(Worrying & Fretting are a terrible substitute for prayer)

Phil. 4:6 specifically tells us to quit worrying & start praying.

I’m amazed at how often I catch myself worrying instead of praying.

What a relief it is to simply take the problem to God in prayer.

Are you worrying about anything? This morning is excellent time to take that matter to God in prayer and let Him carry it.

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