Explore God's Word Daily

A daily blog on Christianity.com

Up, up, up

"When you've hit rock bottom, the only way is up." That statement contains more error than truth. Rock bottom may be where we'll stay. Suffering may be all we'll ever know. We can't ever blithely assume that the only way is up.

Read Jonah 2 v 6b-10

Faith in the dark

The bookends of this second part of Jonah's prayer are v 6b and v 9b.

  • - How does Jonah think he'll get out of the watery predicament he's in?
  • - Why is this remarkable faith (remember where he is!)?

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APPLY

  • - Do you trust God before He's helped you with a problem or rescued you from a difficulty--or only afterwards?

If you're currently in a time of crisis and in need of God's help, make a conscious commitment to trust God for salvation rather than trying to save yourself, or simply hoping time will heal your wounds.

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TIME OUT

Read Ephesians 2 v 1-10

  • - How is the shape of what God has done for us through Jesus similar to Jonah's experiences in Jonah 1-2?

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The same old problem

  • - Who is Jonah looking down on in verse 8?

Even as he prays, he despises the pagans again! He seems to be saying: "Those stupid pagans worship idols, so can't be saved: but I (v 9) know that the LORD rules and rescues. I'm not as stupid as the pagans, like those sailors."

  • - But as Jonah prays in the fish, what are those sailors doing (1 v 16)?!

They're doing the very things that Jonah's promising he'll do when he's delivered from the fish (2 v 9)!

  • - Jonah says: "Salvation comes from the LORD" (v 9). At this point, what does he understand about God's saving purposes?
  • - What does he still not grasp?

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PRAY

Lord thank You that You are a God who saves. Thank You for saving me. Help me to trust You with all my life, during the dark times as well as once You've brought me out of them.

Lord, help me to long for and look for others finding Your salvation as much as I enjoy being saved myself. Help me never to think anyone is beyond Your mercy. Amen.

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For now, let's leave Jonah to clean off the fish vomit (2 v 10). We'll see soon enough whether this ordeal has affected his heart as much as his personal hygiene!

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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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About Explore God's Word Daily

Explore God's Word Daily helps you open up the Bible to be refreshed and encouraged in your walk with God. "Explore" is the daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company (www.thegoodbook.com). Contributors include: Dr Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York; Mike McKinley, Senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church; Tim Chester, author and pastor of Crowded House, Sheffield, UK; Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister at All Soul’s Langham Place, London, UK. Editors: Tim Thornborough and Carl Laferton.

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