Summary: This sermon looks at the Christian life and calls us to appreciate and be thankful to God even through adversity and to be consecrated followers of the Lord.
Jonah chapter 2: 1-10.
“ Testimony of Thanksgiving “
There is one thing that all Christians share in common with Jonah and it can be found here in chapter 2. A testimony of thanksgiving to the grace and mercy of God towards them in saving them. Can you like Jonah echo words of thanksgiving for what God has done in your life in the midst of extremity?
This testimony is a thanksgiving psalm which was a musical poem, prayed in gratitude after deliverance after some danger or hardship as a way of thanking God for showing his mercy towards them. Jonah was simply communicating to God in a common manner and form of worship of his day via this thanksgiving psalm.....in which he expresses gratitude for the mercy shown to him. Thanksgiving psalms which are individual in nature (8,21,30,32,34,40,66,92,103,108,116,118) also found in a corporate way (65,67,75,107,124,126) Outside of the psalms. 1 Sam 2 v1 –10 Hannah’s prayer.
This testimony of thanksgiving is in regard to his deliverance has five clear steps
1. Statement of appreciation v2
2. Description of the misery v3 -6a
3.description of his appeal 6b -7.
4. Indication of the rescue 6b.
5. A vow of gratitude and continued worship v8-9.
1. V2 living a life filled with appreciation.
Here we see it opens up with appreciation to God v2 in my distress I called to the Lord out to God and we see the answer in his deliverance (v2 He answered me) from certain death for Jonah, one that all true Christians need to echo and confirm. 6b But you brought my life up from the pit O LORD my God.
• At the beginning of Sept 2007 Leicester city played Nottingham forest in the Carling cup Nottingham forest were leading 1-0 at half time as the teams retired to the dressing rooms Clive Clarke a Leicester city player had a heart attack and nearly died but for the physio and backroom staff who were able to treat him on the spot . The Leicester players and staff were so shaken by the event that both clubs agreed to abandon the match.
• This week 18.9.07 the match was replayed in an act of appreciation the Leicester team agreed from the kick off that Nottingham forest should continue with a goal lead so from the kick off they allowed the Nottingham forest keeper run down to the opposing net and put the ball in the back of the net . The crowd erupted in an act of applause and appreciation. This act was reported in the national media.
• How much more should we show our appreciation to the amazing act of kindness that God has shown to each one of us in Christ, in allowing us into a relationship with him through the penalty that Jesus took for us, should we as a Church of God’s people be demonstrating our appreciation and applause to God today?
So often wounds to other’s don’t come by what we do/say but sometimes by what we don’t do and say. Today is our given opportunity to showour appreciation to God in worship. Lets give God applause today for what he has done in our lives. Thanks be to God!
2. V3- 6 living a life through extremity points.
There are bound to be times in our lives when we will find ourselves in a tight spot. These times we will often become times relived in our minds never to be forgotten experiences, living realities: Dealing with issues like bereavement –sickness- loneliness – depression – abandonment - untold tragedy feeing low and abandoned especially if we are out of the will of God.
What do we do in the midst of these times? Do we curl up into a ball? Bury our feelings all inside? Just wallow in self pity? Become angry and blame God for our predicament? For God had put Jonah into that place? V3 You hurled me into the deep
• break stick illustration before congregation – point out extremity point sometimes we need to be broken before the Lord can even begin to use us for His Glory.
We too will go through extremity points – God will often use these extremity points to draw you closer to Himself, they become turning points of Salvation.... What circumstances did you come to know the Lord? What were you going through at the time? (Tony Antony Testimony)
EXTREMITY BECOMES DEEPENING POINTS: Also at these extremity points the true character of a child of God will often manifest itself rather than falling apart, they will become deeping points of trust (surrender) upon God.
This was the case for Jonah.... who finally surrendered his life to God and his circumstances. And looked to God in prayer 4b - have been banished from your sight, yet I will look again to your holy temple. 7 When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. It was in the situation that Jonah cries out to God again - God delivers a sign is given to him (The fish)