When You Feel Hopeless:
Getting Back Up When You Hit Rock Bottom
Jonah 1 - The call of Jonah, son of Amittai
Jonah 2 - Jonah’s prayer
Jonah 3 - Jonah’s Warning and The Lord’s Compassion
Jonah 4 - Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion
Jonah 1:17—2:10 NIV 1:17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 2:1From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2He 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. 7 “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. 8“Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. 9 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.’” 10And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
I. Jonah’s problem
A. The wickedness of Assyria
B. The mistreatment of Israel
C. Apostasy in Israel
D. The seeming triumph of evil
E. Even the best of us may have “issues.”
II. How Jonah felt
A. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed.
· Depths/Deep waters - vs. 2, 3
B. Sometimes you feel you cannot go any lower.
· The roots of the mountains - vs. 5, 6
C. Sometimes you feel out of control.
· Everything was churning around me. v. 3
D. Sometimes you feel God has failed you or even forsaken you.
· I am banished from your presence. v. 4
E. Sometimes you feel things will never change.
· I am barred in (imprisoned) forever. v. 6
F. Sometimes you feel trapped by crushing fear. vs.1, 2
· In my distress…
III. Working through Your Hopelessness
A. When you hit bottom — look to God. (v 1)
B. Cry out to God (v. 2) - (effectual, fervent; cry out to God; hear my complaint. Let your passion be humble, not anger).
C. Express your complaint - 2:1-6 (a “systematic presentation”)
D. Express your gratitude - 2:6-10
E. Create a prayer list that is specific. This enables you to speak to God, and God to speak to you. Remember this — GOD PROMISES TO DRAW NEAR TO US WHEN WE DRAW NEAR TO HIM (James 4:8).
F. Reject quick fixes, move past them to accept God’s Grace – v. 8. (Paul’s thorn reflected a process of consistency and submission.)
G. Express Gratitude in advance - v. 9
H. Return to your mission - v. 9
Christian Life Lessons
1. Truth #1 - God knows you. (The son of Amittai)
2. Truth #2 - God loves you. (You are adored.)
3. Truth #3 - God has a plan for you. (You are chosen.)
A. Remember there will be moments you love the plan.
B. Remember there will be moments you don’t know the plan.
C. Remember there will be moments you hate the plan.
4. Truth #4 - Life is full of seasons. They will pass.
5. Truth #5 - You are not defined by your worst moment.
6. Truth #6 - We seldom defeat Hopelessness alone.
Remember Elijah - he was a person just like you, but he prayed.
Remember Jonah -he wrestled with tough circumstances, but he obeyed God.
Remember Asaph - he thought he had served God for nothing, but he got back to the sanctuary and let God heal his thinking.
Remember that person in your life who has gone through pain themselves, but they lived to tell about it — and to give God glory.