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The prophet Jonah was in a bit of a tough spot. He disobeyed God’s call and soundly slept in the hull of a ship. God hurled a disciplinary storm upon the ship’s sea and before Jonah knew it, he was thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish. He needed rescue. His problem was far too big for him to solve on his own. Miraculously, he didn’t die, but survived in the belly of that great fish for three days and three nights.

“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, ‘I called out to the Lord, out of my distress and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice…’ Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!”
Jonah 2:1, 8-9, ESV

Paul wanted the Thessalonians to also know that their salvation belongs to the Lord. It was His doing, not their own. He loved them, chose them to be saved, sanctified them and called them.

“But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”
2 Thessalonians 2:13-15, ESV

God also wants you to know this same truth about your salvation. You can no more save yourself than Jonah could. It’s his doing, not your own. You are loved, chosen, sanctified and called by God to salvation. This isn’t a truth to be resisted, but one to rest in. Take a moment to rest in the reality that salvation belongs to the Lord…

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