When dealing with mechanics, I’m not so much a problem solver as I am a problem maker. I can take apart the pieces, but I don’t do so well when the time comes to put the pieces back the same way they were in the beginning.
Are you the same way? Sometimes we can scramble up the pieces in our lives and need extra help putting them back together. For those of us who feel challenged at putting our spiritual lives back together, what help is there from God in His word?
In the book of Jonah, the prophet utters a prayer to God. We read it in Jonah 2:2-9. Here, the reader will learn that spiritual problems can only be solved by spiritual solutions. Consider both the spiritual solutions of man and the spiritual solutions of God.
To begin, Jonah recognized the spiritual solutions of man. In Jonah 2:2 he first calls to the Lord. This is important because it implies that there is a greater, outside power beyond self. Second, he cried for help (2:2). This is important because Jonah states his problems through prayer (2:7). Third, the text shows Jonah looking again to God’s temple (2:4b). This is important as it suggests that Jonah had deviated from following God, and was now making a penitent turn to follow God again. Fourth, Jonah says that he remembered God (2:7), and fifth, Jonah claims that he will sacrifice to God with thanksgiving (2:9). In summary, Jonah reveals that every individual has responsibilities to perform certain actions in order to solve their spiritual problems; these can be summarized into prayer, repentance, sacrifice, and thanksgiving—all towards God.
In addition, Jonah recognized the spiritual solutions of God. First, Jonah notes that God answers prayer after hearing Jonah’s prayer (2:2, 7). This is important because it shows that God does not ignore his faithful children no matter how many times they mess up. Second, God is said to bring man up from the pit (2:6). This is important in that it shows that God answers prayer as He determines best. Finally, and most importantly, Jonah recognizes that part of God’s solution for man’s spiritual problems is salvation. “Salvation is from the Lord” (2:9b).
How would this world change if all people could have their spiritual problems solved? How much different would the condition of the church be were she diligently seek the power of God’s influence? How would your life be affected with conquered spiritual problems?
Jonah was stuck in more than “a rock and a hard place” when he said this prayer. He has revealed that we can all overcome the struggles of our lives, in that God will also safely deliver us to fulfill His purpose. Jonah was a mechanic in that he “fixed” himself by doing his part. As God does His part, let us all pursue Him through prayer, repentance, sacrifice, and thanksgiving in order to work through our problems.
Nathan McVeigh is a Masters level student at the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver with six years of humanities and Biblical text emphases. Nathan’s methods have yielded endorsed skills in mission work and Bible study. If you have ever been fearful of your answer to the question “how do I get salvation” and other Bible questions, please visit www.alivewithchrist.com/.