A Song of Thanksgiving (Jonah 2:1-10)

Jonah 2:1-10
Why are we thankful? Why give thanks? What are you thankful for? It is so important to continue to learn and grow in the value and discipline of giving thanks in our life especially during times of difficulties and also in a time we live in today when we typically have a mind set of being privileged and deserving of everything. Surely the book of Jonah is not the book you think of when you think of thankfulness. And yet, in our text, that is exactly what you find. We find the rebellious prophet is no longer running from God, but comes to an attitude of obedience and praying to God with gratitude. Jonah says, “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).
The Bible is clear that as Christians we are to be continually thankful whatever the circumstances are in life because of who God is and what He has done for us (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20). While it is easy to give thanks when the bills are paid, when things are good and everything is fine and not having to deal with great difficulties, it is also true that it is easy not to be thankful during these times. In other words it is as easy not to be thankful and not give God praise when things are going well. We either forget or really take things for granted. Remember that Jonah was in the belly of a big fish, but yet he was thankful. It was surprising to me that of all people Jonah would be thankful. But he was.
Thankful for:
1. Thankful for the thoughtfulness of God (v. 2,4,6). Behind everything that is going on in life, God is doing something. He is always working something out for you and I. He has our goodness and well being in mind.
2. Thankful for God’s help (v. 2). Not only is the Lord listening to our prayers but He comes and helps us.
  • Psalm 18:5-6 “The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.”
3. Thankful for the acts of grace of God. I am thankful that God has not given me what I truly deserve (v. 10). The focus on this passage is not what’s happening inside the fish, but what is happening inside of Jonah’s heart.
  • Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • Psalm 103:9-10 “He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”
  • God’s acts of His kindness and grace towards me is why I find myself extremely thankful. When we truly examine our life, we will see that there is so much grace flowing in you and me from our God.
4. Thankful for the nurturing heart of God. Everything that happens in our lives is for the reason of God wanting to nurture us, causing us to grow and to develop and mature.
5. Thankful for the knowledge of God. Thankful that God is aware of the imperfection in my life and yours. He sees absolutely everything and knows exactly what we need. He is actively watching over those He loves.
6. Thankful for the salvation of God (v.9). What an important lesson to learn for us, for you, for me. Salvation is not of our own works. It is not of our own efforts. Salvation comes from the Lord. Jesus Christ can change your life today, not tomorrow, but now. He can save you, redeem you and transform you now. He can make a difference right now in your life.