‘Jonah’ is a new 9-week devotional series. Each week we’ll be studying a section of the book of Jonah and sharing some insights with you. We hope this series encourages you and helps you to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus (2 Peter 3:18).
1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said:
“In my distress I called to the Lord,
and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
3 You hurled me into the depths,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers swept over me.
4 I said, ‘I have been banished
from your sight; yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.’
5 The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.”
Having been swallowed by a large fish, and fearing death, Jonah recognises that he is in trouble. He doesn’t try to fight against it, nor does he attempt to improve his situation through the power of positive thinking. Instead, he openly expresses his thoughts and feelings to God (v2).
And yet, even in the midst of despair, there is a remarkable sense of hope. Jonah believes that God has banished him, but he says that he will “look again” towards his holy temple (v4). In his seemingly hopeless situation, Jonah recognises that God has brought his life “up from the pit” (v6).
Are you facing a situation that you believe to be hopeless? The Bible doesn’t sugar-coat suffering, but encourages us to express our thoughts and pain openly to our heavenly Father. The God who rescued Jonah from the depths of the sea is the same God who offers us true hope and salvation through the death of Jesus. His sacrifice enables us to find hope, even though we face hardship and suffering in this life.
Lord, I know that life isn’t always easy, and there are times when I feel I need to cry out to you for help. I pray that I would trust in the hope that you have given me even when I am going through periods of pain and suffering. Thank you for rescuing me from death and despair. Amen.