Then Jonah prayed to the LORD His God from the stomach of the fish. Jonah 2:1
Jonah had been running hard from what God asked him to do. He couldn’t stand the people of Nineveh. He resented them…was afraid of them. Yet…God had asked Jonah to go share His message with them! How could you, God? He didn’t want those Ninevites to be rescued by God and…He was afraid of what they would do to him.
Jonah ran from the assignment and…from God.
God stopped Jonah and put him in some hard circumstances! Have you ever been put in hard circumstances as the direct result of your own rebellion…your own sin or the sin and rebellion of someone you love? Looking back do you see that being caught…being put into painful circumstances was not only a discipline, but a rescue?
Where would Jonah have been without that big fish? He would have drowned!
Where would you or your loved one be right now, had you not been caught and thrown into painful circumstances that stopped the continuing destructive path? Maybe you haven’t seen the good that is going to come out of your particular stinky, dark fish belly yet. If you have, you know the benefit of the chaos that was thrown into your life. If you haven’t but you are praying and seeking God’s direction, mercy and grace for yourself or your loved one…you will one day see how this present intervention and pain is actually a rescue from some level of destruction.
That…is why we can thank Him by faith for what is hurting us so badly today. It is why we can trust Him for each of our tomorrows. Will we still hurt? Yes! But in the middle of our fish belly, if we will cry out to God…our hope will be restored again and again, as long as we continually choose to trust His hand and His heart.
What is your fish belly? Are you feeling hopeless or like it has all gone on too long to ever make any sense?
Pray that He will open your eyes to see what He wants you to see. Pray that He will enable you to trust His hand and His heart. Pray for strength. Read His words and ask Him to show you His hope.
Remember, His mercies really are new every morning…and all day long…if you continuously seek and receive His outlook and…His hope!
James 1:2-8 (NIV)
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
Romans 5:2-5 (NIV)
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.