Listen to the words of Jonah: “Thou hadst cast me into the deep…the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me…the depth closed me round about…I went down to the bottoms…the earth with her bars was about me for ever” (Jonah 2:3–6).
Jonah had hit rock bottom, entombed in the belly of a whale. He was in a battle for his life—filled with despair, shame and guilt. He was heavy of heart—literally as low as a person could get. He thought God had abandoned him.
So, how did Jonah get out of his pit? Simply put, he passed the test! “When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord…I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving…” (Jonah 2:7, 9).
Jonah didn’t receive any word of deliverance. He was in a hopeless situation, with everything about him dark and gloomy. He was ready to faint. Yet, when he came to such a point, he said, “I’m going to thank the Lord!”
In the midst of all his troubles, Jonah entered the Lord’s presence and offered up thanks! God answered, “That’s what I’ve been waiting to hear you say, Jonah. You’ve trusted me in the middle of it all. You just passed the test!”
Scripture says, “The Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land” (verse 10). With one command from heaven, the fish spit Jonah onto the shore. And that burdened man must have rolled onto the beach shouting, “I’m free! I’m free!” He probably danced as he pulled the seaweed from his hair—because he was already at the altar of thanksgiving!
When you have no place to turn, turn to thanksgiving. Thank the Lord for his forgiveness—for releasing you from all past sins. Thank him for delivering you from the teeth of the lion…for giving you a new home in glory…for all his past blessings, for all his promises, for all that he is going to do. In everything, give thanks!
“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High” (Psalm 92:1).
“Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50: 14-15).