Summary: We too often believe the lie that things are meant to destroy us. Whether a violent storm or big fish what we think is meant to destroy us is actually designed by God to develop us.
Intro: Think about this as we look at chapter 2 of Jonah. What did Jonah deserve? He deserved to be a man taco for a big fish. What did he get? God’s mercy. Jonah had already received God’s grace. God did not completely destroy Jonah or the Ship in the violent storm. God as a holy God brings a storm of correction to Jonah’s life. Notice that God never left or abandoned Jonah. In that Jonah is experiencing God’s mercy. Why did God use the fish to rescue Jonah? God wanted Jonah to turn back toward Him. When Jonah took his first step of disobedience he took his first step toward correction. God didn’t want to destroy Jonah he wanted to redirect him. God doesn’t want to destroy anyone. He wants us through the tragedies, trial, and even triumphs of our lives to turn toward Him.
I. Jonah’s prayer in a time of trouble (Jonah 1:2 “I called to the Lord in my distress
Why was Jonah in the belly of a big fish? A decision! A decision to disobey God. Remember from last week that our decisions have consequences not only for us but also for everyone around us. Jonah finally stopped ignoring God. In his misery from the pit of hell he cried out to the Lord Why do we have to be in trouble before we acknowledge God? Why do we allow ourselves to get in a financial bind before we call to God how to spend our money? Why do we wait until our marriages are in distress before we ask God to be involved?
We mistakenly think that when things turn stormy or stinking (as in the fish) that God has abandoned us. No! Often he is trying to say, Hey I’m here!! Turn around. We ignore His call because we aren’t familiar enough with His voice!
Why did God according to 1:4 bring the violent storm on Jonah and the ship? 1.17 said that God appointed the big fish to swallow Jonah. Why? Sometimes it takes terrible affliction to drive us to God.
What often seems to devour us is actually designed to develop us.
With Job the affliction was to reveal Jobs self-righteousness, with Jonah it was to move him from rebellion to repentance. (What is repentance)
A) Acknowledging God
2.2 “I called to you.” 2.4 “I will look to you once more.” Repentance begins by acknowledging God and turning toward Him. When we do like Jonah and head away from God’s direction we are ignoring God. God gives direction in His word for every area in our life. Are you ignoring God in any area? Prayer is not only powerful it is precious. It is a gift of God’s grace that we can call on Him wherever, whatever.
B) Agreeing with God
1) Salvation – Turning toward God and trusting that Jesus finished it all at the cross
2) Confession – Romans 10:9-10 “Believe God raised Jesus from the dead and Confess Jesus as Lord.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”