When Things Get Worse
“Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish, saying, “I called out to the LORD, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.
For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.
When my life was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the LORD!””
(Jonah 2:1–9 ESV)
Last week our family was rocked with a bad report.
The report was bad enough to rock anyone by itself, but it came on the heels of a series of bad reports that had already left us reeling.
I’ve been offline more than on… sometimes you get hit so hard that there is little left to say or any energy left to say it.
I’m telling you this in order that I might explain something else.
What do you do when things are as bad as they can get…then they get worse?
You trust in the sovereignty and mercy of God.
Jonah was the disobedient prophet who ran from what God had asked him to do.
This resulted in him ending up on a boat that was about to sink because God created a great storm.
Knowing that the storm was aimed at him, he had the boats crew throw him overboard, where he was swallowed by a great fish.
From the gut of the fish he prayed the prayer above.
Here’s what I want you to see…Jonah was a Calvinist.
At the very least, he believed in the sovereignty of God.
The men who cast him overboard were simply the hands of God.
“For you cast me into the deep”
The storm was from God.
“all your waves and your billows passed over me”
Even the fish was from God.
“yet you brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God”
You’re never separated from the love and mercy of God…He’s just a prayer away.
“I called out to the LORD, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.”
The answers to your situation are all in Him.
“Salvation belongs to the LORD!””
My friends, I don’t know why God has you and I were we are today.
Hard times and bad reports come to the best behaved of Gods people.
I do know and believe that He is sovereign and good and merciful and nothing has befallen us that hasn’t passed through a nail scarred hand.
I know that His answers come in unexpected ways…Jonah was not praying that a fish would save him from drowning.
That way of rescue never crossed his mind.
Your rescue may be something you cannot conceive of on your own as well.
Trust in Him, rest in Him…and He will deliver you.