Listen to the words of Jonah: “For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me; all your billows and your waves passed over me. … The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; the deep closed around me. … The earth with its bars closed behind me forever” (Jonah 2:3-6, NKJV).
Jonah had hit rock bottom, entombed in the belly of a whale. He was in a battle for his life and filled with despair, shame and guilt. He was heavy of heart, literally as low as a person could get. He thought God had abandoned him.
So, how did Jonah get out of his pit? “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer went up to you, into your holy temple. …I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving” (Jonah 2:7,9). Simply put, he passed the test! Jonah didn’t receive any word of deliverance. He was in a hopeless situation with everything about him dark and gloomy. He was ready to faint, yet when he came to such a point, he said, “I’m going to thank the Lord!”
In the midst of all his troubles, Jonah entered the Lord’s presence and offered up thanks. God answered, “That’s what I’ve been waiting to hear you say, Jonah. You’ve trusted me in the middle of it all. You just passed the test.”
Scripture says, “So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land” (Jonah 2:10). That burdened man must have rolled onto the beach shouting, “I’m free! I’m free!” He probably danced as he pulled the seaweed from his hair because he was already at the altar of thanksgiving.
When you have no place to turn, turn to thanksgiving. Thank the Lord for his forgiveness, for releasing you from all past sins. Thank him for delivering you from the teeth of the lion, for giving you a new home in glory, for all his past blessings, for all his promises, for all that he is going to do. As scriptures says, “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Psalm 50:14-15). In everything, give thanks!