God Is Patient
"And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee." (Jonah 3:1-2)
When God told Jonah to go and preach in Nineveh, Jonah ran away. The Bible says that Jonah fled to the harbor and found a ship heading in the opposite direction of Nineveh. There was no way he was going to preach the Word of the Lord to the people of Nineveh.
The Ninevites were cruel people who tortured their enemies. Jonah wanted God to destroy the Ninevites. He knew that if he preached God's Word, the Ninevites would probably repent from their wicked ways. So Jonah said "no" to God and ran the other way.
But God did not give up on Jonah. While Jonah was aboard the ship, God sent a raging storm. The sailors threw Jonah overboard because they thought he had caused the terrible storm. But God sent a big fish that swallowed Jonah whole. God heard Jonah's prayer in the belly of the fish, and the fish spit Jonah up on dry land. Then the Word of the Lord came to Jonah again and told him to go to Nineveh and preach.
When Jonah said "no" the first time, God could have said, "Forget you, Jonah! I'll just find someone else!" God can do anything He wants to do, and He could have found another prophet to preach to Nineveh. But God wanted Jonah to go. So God patiently waited on Jonah. He sent a raging storm to get Jonah's attention, but Jonah did not repent. Instead of repenting, Jonah decided it would be better to die in the sea.
But God still wanted Jonah, so He sent a big fish to swallow Jonah. Finally, Jonah cried out to God, who sent him back to Nineveh to preach to the people. God wanted Jonah to learn a lesson. God wanted Jonah to obey Him, and He patiently waited for Jonah to obey.
God is patient. He wants you to follow Him and obey Him. When you say "no" to God, He doesn't always punish you right away. He waits for you to obey. He is "a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness" (Jonah 4:2). Sometimes He might have to send a hard time to get your attention, as he sent a storm to Jonah. But He wants you to become more like Him, and He patiently waits for you to do so.
God is patiently waiting for you to follow Him.
» What does God want me to do today?
» Am I following the commands He has given in His Word?
» Am I saying "no" to God?
Truth In Real Life
“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”
Oswald Chambers was born into a pastor’s household in Aberdeen, Scotland, on July 24, 1874. When he was in his teens, after hearing Charles Spurgeon preach, Oswald was walking home with his father. He told his father that, had he been given the opportunity that morning, he would have trusted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. His father stopped walking and led him to the Savior right there on the sidewalk.
At first, Chambers had no plans to enter the ministry. Instead, he studied at the Kensington School of Art, and then he attended the University of Edinburgh, where he studied fine arts and archaeology. While in college, he felt called to the ministry and transferred to a school where he could study the Bible. Unfortunately, he became bored with the Bible and thought it was “dull.” He did not feel that God was really with him anymore. He would continue to feel this way for four long years before discovering his true problem.
What was wrong with Oswald Chambers? He realized that he had been seeking God’s blessing and power so that he could live a happy and wonderful life – not so that he could please God. Once he realized this total selfishness, his attitude changed; and he began growing in his love for Jesus Christ and the Bible again. He traveled the world and told everyone about the Gospel. He started a school and shared many wonderful devotionals whenever he was invited to speak.
His wife took careful notes on each of his devotionals and made the decision to publish them into a book after Oswald Chambers died. The book is titled My Utmost for His Highest. Thousands have grown closer to God with the help of this God-centered book.
Do you enjoy your Bible reading, or do you find it boring? What might be wrong with your heart’s priorities?
Jeremiah 15:16 – Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.