Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Jonah 3:9 -- On Hope, Optimism, and Positive Change

"Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?"
Jonah 3:9

This is part of the story of Jonah and the city of Nineveh, in which God did spare Nineveh.  I think that we sometimes get caught up in predictions of doom and thoughts of consequences that we forget to factor in the miracle of repentance, and instead just stop trying, figuring that if the future looks so bad and our own choices have already condemned us, then why try anymore?  Except here is the lesson of Nineveh which teaches us otherwise.

They were condemned, and they had sinned, and yet they studiously and sincerely repented.  They dedicated themselves again to the Lord.  And the Lord spared them.  ... And sincerely, before that, he sent someone to warn them (which is probably pointless if the doom can't be averted), and he gave them time to repent.  He could have just disintegrated the whole place, but instead he waited, and he gave them time to change.

God does the same for us.  He warns us, and he gives us time to repent.  He even helps us to change (if we ask him to; never forcing us).  Today, let's learn the lesson of optimism and hope that Nineveh teaches us.  Let's not focus on the bad things that might happen or that have happened.  Let's focus on now, and the miracle of repentance.  Let's be willing to change rather than give up.

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