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Rock Bottom sermon : Escaping the Depth of Despair;What to do when life takes you under (2-4)

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Title: Rock Bottom: Escaping the Depth of Despair

Text: Jonah 2

Theme: My greatest failures can be God’s finest moment!

Goal: Our loving God cares about you wanting wants to give you a second chance.

Me: orientation: (find common ground with the audience)


Despair: situation where you feel, somebody or something causes hopelessness.

Jonah was called to be used as a redemptive channel of grace to Nineveh.

The only problem was he didn’t want to do it.

He decided to go in the opposite direction; God caused him to be swallowed by a great fish… that is where we pick up the story.

Have you ever been called to do something you didn’t want to do?

We: Identification (Make it clear that you struggle)

Well in our lives there are many times when we can be swallowed up in despair. They can be sinful, failures, loss.

·        Death of child or spouse

·        Break up of marriage

·        Loss of career

·        Financial ruin

·        Health issues.

·        Destruction of a dream

·        Doing life on my own terms


God: illumination (The goal here is to resolve the tension by pointing people to God)

1 [a]Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish. 2 He said,  “I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble,
      and he answered me.
   I called to you from the land of the dead,[
      and Lord, you heard me!


I.            Doing life on my own terms , end up in the belly of a whale.

A.     The moment he stopped running God came to him.

·        Series of bad steps… end up there. Few selfish choices end up in the belly of a whale.

·        God told him east but he went west.

·        My way or God’s way

·        Dream & goal: whole life dying

·        Marriage

·        Money

·        Job

·        Whole life

·        We have all been there because we have failed.

·        One misstep creates others..

B.    I know what I need to do, I don’t consult God.

·        We live life on our terms

·        ( what about emotional distress)

·        How do you know… you are in darkness


·        I can’t see anything, can’t see God. Can’t see a way out, what to do next. Can’t see the future. Need light to be shed on the situation.

·        Can’t see anything…

·        Light needed for hope



·        Bars… close

·        Gastric juices taken the hair off the skin and bleached skin.

·         Every way you turn you are trapped. Boxed in. You did it your way to solve it but you can’t solve it.

·        Feel trapped in life

(door, hope meaning fulfillment)

·        Realize you can’t change it or solve it.



·        He was facing certain death, lead to one thing

·        He had built his coffin, with his decisions

·        Marriage, dreams, career hope go to die

(I wonder sometimes whether we are simplistic. We like to black and white the problems. Salvation moves through redemption and healing of us.)

·        Failure sins mistakes turn it around

II.          Greatest failures

A.     Not a bad place to be (God can turn things around.

·        This is where we turn around (God can turn us around)

·         Sometimes hope has to die

Matthew 12:38-41

38 One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.”

 39 But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

·        The sign here is out of death can come resurrection.

·        Second chance

·        Jesus brings new life… resurrection

·        Sign of Jonah… resurrection.

·        God resurrected his purpose in Jonah’s life. Loves to resurrect dying  marriages, dreams, ministries etc

My greatest failures can be God’s finest moment!

·        Hope

·        Dreams

·        God can take my greatest failures… use them

·        Many ministries were started with failure. People going through something helped others.

·        Turn to me I can turn them around.


III.        Four things we need to do:

Prayed for God’s help: out of affliction not affection

God answers out of grace

Learn to depend on him.

Accept God’s discipline

Hebrews 12: 5-7a A love God disciplines those he loves

You have issues God uses stuff because he knows what we need.

Redirecting your path so you will find fulfillment

Jeremiah 29:11

Trust God’s promises

Keep your commitments

Keep my commitments

Live same way as I did before

Committed by haven’t done… time to do it.

You: Application (tell people what to do with what they have heard)

Our loving God cares about you wanting wants to give you a second chance.

Jonah’s despair came from disobedience to where God was calling him. While we realize this is only one form of despair we can focus on how a loving God can move us from these depths to new hope.

·        My greatest failures can be God’s greatest moments.

·        Out of death can come resurrection

·        Turning to God is the beginning of resurrection

We Inspiration is an emotion identify, vision casting

There is never a life so ruined that he can’t redeem

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