I like the story of Jonah. It’s an easy read. But let’s not miss the mercy and compassion of God toward the sinners in this book.
Looking closer, I noticed the anger of Jonah and tried to peer into his heart a little deeper. He was a prophet and feared God, but he wanted God to judge these men. They were cruel and violent, so when told to go, he knew God just might save this undeserving people. Jonah wanted no part of it.
I’m just like Jonah. I have hatred in my heart toward those who are cruel. I believe that some people just don’t deserve God’s goodness. I know he is merciful and compassionate. I just don’t want him to show these people any love or forgiveness. If he does, I don’t want any part of it. I know I should love my enemies and pray for those who spitefully use me, but truthfully, I would be angry if God was kind and forgiving to them.
Then I hear him say, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Romans 9:15). I realize I am a great sinner and I’m glad that God showed me grace and not judgement.
What about you? Is there someone who has caused you great pain in your life? Do you find it impossible to pray for your enemy? Let me hold your hand and let us pray to our God together so that he would help us to do the impossible.
Lord Jesus, thank you for dying and paying for my sins. You have shown me great mercy and kindness. Help me by your Spirit to pray for those who have hurt me. Amen.
Go Deeper — Read the story in Acts 9 about a great persecutor of the Church who was shown great mercy. How would you have felt meeting him, knowing what he had done to believers in the past?
Read Further — Forgiving is not an easy thing. Here are 7 Steps to Forgiveness.
Photo Credit: Jorge Lopez