Remember the story of the prophet Jonah?  God called him to warn the people of Ninevah to repent or face destruction.  But Jonah would’ve rather died than obey God’s command.  Jonah didn’t want the Ninevites to repent and receive God’s forgiveness.  Instead he wanted God to destroy them.  So, instead of going to Ninevah, he boarded a ship headed in the opposite direction.

Do you remember what happened next?  Jonah ended up in the belly of a great fish.

It’s difficult to begin the process of forgiveness once bitterness has set in.  Only after God put Jonah in this dark place did Jonah surrender and beg God to preserve his life.  Then God redirected Jonah’s course.  Even then, Jonah wasn’t happy when the people of Ninevah responded to his message and repented.

Are you like Jonah, tempted to drag your feet when he calls you to do something?  Maybe you even pout when life doesn’t go as you’d like it to.  Are you possessed with the desire for revenge to the point of destroying your own life?  Bitterness will destroy your peace, take away your joy, and impede your spiritual growth.

But God is patient with you, just as he was with Jonah.  Instead of running from God and trying to avoid the pain of spiritual growth, you need to run to God, who is in control and who is trustworthy.  He will walk with you all the way, step after painful step.

Steve Arterburn

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