Personally, I wrestled with whether I was going through this deep trial as punishment for some sin I had committed; or something I had omitted. We have all probably had those moments where we questioned why adversity had to happen in the first place, most of us at least thought we had our religious t's crossed and i's dotted. Unlike Jonah, our circumstances are not punishment for something we did wrong. We are not off course - and we must learn to rest in His peace and embrace His love for us once again.
But Jonah had run the opposite direction to avoid what God had told him to do. He found himself in the deepest, darkest parts of the earth...the belly of the whale. Now no matter how he got there - it was dark, smelly and scarey. Yet from this place - a place that had to appear hopeless; a place Jonah though would be his end - Jonah cried out to God.
Jonah 2:9 is the last part of Jonah's prayer of repentance. He makes a strong declaration as he says: but I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving... He was determined even in the hopeless darkness to have a heart of thanksgiving. As dark as our lives may be, whether we understand why these things happened or not; no matter how hopeless we think our situation is - we must determine to have a thankful heart...a heart of praise. Today take a moment to praise God for who He is, for our circumstances do not change God. Our thoughts and ideas about God may be thoroughly challenged in our adversity - but He is still God! Let us lift our voice to Him today and honor Him because He is still our God.