In the Belly

We had a guest preacher at our church this weekend he is the elder of our sector Pastor Francisco Quezada. His message was really insightful and inspiring. The idea of his sermon was that God uses different circumstances to teach us to worship him and that no matter how bad the circumstances may seem that God is still in control of the circumstances. I thought I would share with you the awesome illustration he used to give strength to his message and share with you some of my insights. Most of you are familiar with the story of Jonah and the whale if your not here is a quick refresher. Jonah was sent by God to the city of Nineveh to preach repentance because of their wickedness but Jonah refused the will of God and tried to escape on a ship. The bible says that God caused a great storm  a tempest to arise and that the storm was so great it was about to sink the ship that Jonah was on. The men on the ship were fearful for their lives so they cast Jonah into the sea. This is the part that is really inspiring. It says that God prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah, the elder preached that God is the God of our circumstances and that like Jonah God will often prepare circumstances for us when we refuse His will in our lives. Circumstances that wont kill us but thatwill cause us to worship Him. He said that God had prepared the stomach of the whale so that it could be habitable by Jonah although it was very uncomfortable, although it was a circumstance Jonah did not want to be in, Jonah would not die because God was in control of the circumstance. Often times when we fight the will of God we encounter circumstances that feel like they are going to destroy us but as long as we are a child of God and as long as we really love Him, He will not allow anything to kill us. The bible says that Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and that for three days he prayed and worshipped God. Have you ever felt like that? Like the affliction, the problem the circumstance is so great that you have no other options left but to pray, to cry to God, to worship and hope God delivers you? Have you ever felt like that? Maybe your in the belly of the whale and you dont know it! The bible says that Jonah literally felt like he was in hell, “…out of the belly of hell cried I…” (Jonah 2:2). What was God trying to teach Jonah in these horrible circumstances: He was trying to teach Jonah two things: To worship Him in midst of affliction  to be obedient to His will no matter how strange, awkward or uncomfortable it may feel (Jonah did’nt want to go to Nineveh because he was a Hebrew and the people of Nineveh were gentiles). So the bible teaches us that Jonah worshipped for three days and that from the belly of the whale his prayer reached into the holy temple of heaven. No matter how low you may feel, no matter how terrible your circumstance may seem if you pray in faith and worship God you prayer will reach God in heaven. And on the third day God spoke to the fish and the fish vomited out Jonah on dry land, not in the deep of the ocean, not into another circumstance but on dry land into the will of God. Worship God in your circumstance and learn what God has been trying to teach you and the day will come when God will speak to your circumstance and your circumstance will have to vomit you up, it will have to let you go. My prayer is for all those who find themselves at a low point in their lives and in their walk with God, may God speak to your circumstance, your low point. When Jonah had learned to do the will of God; God changed Jonah’s story from a story of shame to a story of Glory. Jonah is the only prophet who is a type and figure of Jesus Christ in the aspect that like Jesus, he was in the belly of hell for three days and on the third day, like Jesus he rose again. God can change your shame into glory. If you don’t know what to read this week in the bible try reading the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. How does your life relate to Jonah? God Bless.

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