Reaching upward with a Thankful Heart

Back to the basics is where Jonah takes us this morning.  Jonah was running from God as God wanted him to go to the people of Nineveh and preach repentance.  Jonah did not want to go, so he caught a boat and ended up overboard swallowed by a whale.  From the belly of the fish Jonah prayed:

jonah_distress“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.  Jonah 2:1      Jonah knew the Lord was listening and he poured out his heart.  He ended his prayer this way:

jonah thanks“Those who cling to worthless idols
    turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”  Jonah 2:8-9    Jonah realized that God had a message for the people of Nineveh that involved salvation from their idol worship.  He repents and resolves to follow God.  Here’s what happened next:

 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.  Jonah 2:10   God heard Jonah’s repentance and resolve to follow Him, so God delivered Jonah.

What message of thanks is there in this prayer for you and me?  In his time of great distress, Jonah realized that God was Sovereign over all things, God had a plan of redemption that required repentance, he needed to repent, and joy and thanksgiving would result from following God.   Do you know these basic truths?  Do you know that God is in control of all things?  Do you know about Jesus, God’s plan of redemption?  Have you experienced the joy that comes from repentance?  Have you followed God and found so many things to be thankful for?   Think on these things and pray a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s mercy and love towards you.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAReaching upward with a thankful heart, being assured that God hears our prayers.


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