Sunday, 29th November 2015
Pastor Kathy Poon
It is very common for us all to experience some kind of hardship in our life. Today Pastor Kathy used the prayer that Jonah did when he was in the fish 3 days and 3 nights (Jonah 1:17-2:10) as an example to teach us how to turn hardship into worship.
1) Cry out – Voice
2:2 – “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”
The first thing that Jonah did in his distress was to call to the Lord for help. Pastor Kathy also gave the example of how Israelites brought down the wall of Jericho through a great shout. What is the city of Jericho in your life that makes you feel overwhelmed? Call to God now and ask for help.
2) Look up – seeing
2:4 – “I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’”
This indicated a turning point for Jonah where he turned his eyes away from his troubles and was able to see God. Pastor Kathy shared a quote from Corrie Ten Boom to encourage us:
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.”
2:7 – “As my life was slipping away, I remembered you, Lord ……”
Just as how Jonah remembered who his God is during his hardship, we also need to remember who our God is, rather than focusing on the things that we can’t break through. It is important for us to remember and proclaim the seven compounds names of Jehovah:
1. Jehovah–Jireh : The Lord, Our Provider
2. Jehovah-Rapha : The Lord, Our Healer
3. Jehovah-Nizze – The Lord, Our Victor
4. Jehovah-Shalom : The Lord, Our Peace
5. Jehovah-Raah : The Lord, Our Shepherd
6. Jehovah-Tsidkenu : The Lord, Our Righteousness
7. Jehovah Shammah : The Lord is Present
4) Praise & Thanksgiving
2:9 – “But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise and I will fulfill all my vows.”
It was through this praise and worship, and offering himself to God, that God saved Jonah from the fish (v10). Acts 16:25-26 also shows us a similar story where apostle Paul and Silas’ praise and worship made the prison doors open and the prisoners’ chain come loose.
John 12:24-25: “Very truly I tell you, Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
As the verse above says, we may not see the fruit of our hard work immediately, but as long as we are willing to lay down and offer ourselves to God, our labour will not be in vain.