Glory Seed Devotionals, 2015: Year of Promise
Riding the Jonah Roller Coaster…
“From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God: When I was in trouble, Lord, I prayed to you, and you listened to me. From deep in the world of the dead, I begged for your help, and you answered my prayer…I had sunk down below the underwater mountains; I knew that forever, I would be a prisoner there. But, you, Lord God, rescued me from that pit. When my life was slipping away, I remembered you— and in your holy temple you heard my prayer.” (Jonah 2:1–2, 6–7, CEV)
You’ve never found yourself in the belly of a fish, you’ve probably never been deep in the world of the dead, and you’ve not sunk below the underwater mountains either but I’ll bet you’ve been where Jonah was. I know I have on more than one occasion. Even though I’ve pretty much gotten past the God, I’ll do it my way thing like Jonah yet because of the “mechanics of life” I will find myself there again, and again. And like I’ve done so many times in the past I’ll pray from “inside the fish” and like God’s done every time he’ll rescue me.
There’s one scripture I’ve used repeatedly and I’ll keep using it as often I as feel the need to because it seems that no matter how many times I’ve shared a bench with Jonah they are a beacon of hope shining in the belly of darkness, “…While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.” (John 16:33, CEV) I hope you never get tired of them either. When I close my eyes and experience them I can see the empty cross that once held Jesus and standing outside his tomb saying, “Gary (please use your name), cheer up because I have defeated the world you can too.”
I don’t know about you but there are times when I get tired of riding the Jonah Roller Coaster and I pray, “God, why is this happening to me?” And while God has his own reason for remaining silent I am beginning to experience life’s ups and downs as an ongoing progression toward perfection. And because there’s no such thing as human perfection (I understand “the ongoing progression toward perfection” as becoming as Christlike as possible.) God gives us the Holy Spirit who through Grace provides us with the “tools” we need to keep moving toward perfection, “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.” (Galatians 5:21-22)
God, thank you for being so patient and long suffering with us. We’d be in deep trouble without you!
Believe! Anticipate! Experience! Be transformed!
Grace and PEACE, Amen!
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“I pray that the Lord will bless your life and will be kind to you.” (2 Timothy 4:22, CEV)
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Scriptures marked CEV, “Scripture taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.”