“And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.”
One could read the book of Jonah and say that Jonah got everything he deserved. He was the one who rebelled against God. He was the one who ran from the presence of the LORD. He was the one who paid a fare to go as far away as he could from where the LORD wanted him to go. It would be easy to sit in condemnation of Jonah as he found himself in the belly of the whale.
However, the greatest decision Jonah made when he was in the belly of the whale was to cry out to God. It didn’t matter why he called out, the fact that he called out to God was a sign of his repentance. The encouraging part about Jonah’s cry was that God heard him. It didn’t matter to God that Jonah was in affliction because of his own actions; it was the fact that Jonah was finally communicating with God that God liked.
My friend, everyone has affliction. I don’t know what your affliction is, but the response you should have in affliction is to cry out to God. Maybe your affliction is health-related; God still wants to hear you cry to Him for help. Perhaps your affliction is financial or familial related; God is the only one who can deliver you out of your affliction. Maybe your affliction is the result of doing right; your answer to relief from your affliction is to cry out to God. Let me share some thoughts with you about the importance of calling out to God in your affliction.
First, God wants to hear from you in your affliction. It doesn’t matter what the cause of your affliction might be; God earnestly desires to hear your cry. Some say that God shouldn’t be your emergency number to call on when times are bad, but God makes it clear that He wants to hear from you, even if it is only in emergencies. Your first cry in times of affliction ought to be to God. Many cry to doctors, lawyers, or sympathetic ears to see if they can mitigate their problems, but only God can lessen or change your situation in life.
Second, affliction is God’s way to get your attention. Don’t let your pride keep you from crying out to God in your time of affliction. It would be foolish of you to let your pride keep you from crying out to God in your affliction because you don’t want God to think that you are only calling on Him when you need Him. God likes it when you rely on Him, especially when you realize you need His help. God often sends affliction so that you must call on Him. The fact that you are calling on God in affliction is what He desires because it is an admittance to Him that you are no longer in control, and that your problem is too big for you to work out. God uses affliction to get your attention.
Third, don’t let the cause of your affliction keep you from calling on God. So, it was your actions that caused your affliction; that doesn’t matter to God. Stop letting the cause of your affliction influence whether you will cry out to God for help. God wants to help you in your time of affliction, even if the cause of your affliction is of your own doings.
My friend, God heard Jonah when he cried, and He will hear you if you will cry. Whatever your affliction is that you are going through, God will hear you and help if you will call out to Him.