Recently, I wrote a post about believing in the impossible and trusting that God is moving in ways that are unbelievable.
This can be a real struggle when you deal with people. Especially when you see God work miraculous things in another’s life and they still refuse to acknowledge all that He has pulled them out of. It can be frustrating, or at least to me at times, when you see God’s hand move and people still adamantly reject Him.
I have been working on overcoming this frustration feeling lately as I deal with such a person that has such amazing potential and God has brought them out of so much but they continue to make bad decisions and want nothing to do with God.
But the Lord, in His loving way, continually has been showing me how I cannot change people, only He can. I can get frustrated, but not angry. Most of all, I need to pray for this person and continually show love and compassion, even when they do stupid things.
God is not a God of second chances. Yes you heard me right. He is not a God of second chances. He is a God of INFINITE chances.
In our human minds, we don’t often give people too many chances when they make a mistake. We tend to give up on them thinking they will never change. But what does God do? He gives us chance after chance after chance! He gives us as many opportunities as possible because He wants EVERYONE to accept His love and salvation!
“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:3-4 NIV
I’m sure we all know the story of Jonah. How he refused to go to Nineveh, got swallowed by a whale and then finally does what God asks. I think sitting in a disgusting belly of a whale would convince anyone just to do what was asked of them!
But I want to talk about what happened after he went to Nineveh. The people changed from their evil ways. They repented and God forgave them!
But what does Jonah do? He sits on the hilltop and waits for God to smite them because he is convinced that they truly didn’t change and God wouldn’t give them another chance.
As he watches and waits, the sun gets hot so God gave him a plant to shade him from the sun.
God showed compassion on Jonah even while Jonah showed none for the people of Nineveh. And then when the plant that gave him shade died, Jonah showed more compassion for the plant than he did for the people!
Jonah was so convinced that the people of Nineveh couldn’t truly change. He believed that God couldn’t show mercy to those that had been against Him and rejected Him so much for so long.
Sometimes it’s so easy to look at others and think they’re never going to change.
I should know better because I have seen God miraculously change others in amazing ways, but sometimes it’s easy to forget and God is reminding me every day of His love for all and his great forgiveness for everyone. And that anyone can change.
We have all failed. We have all fallen short and sinned. But God has mercy on each of us and easily forgives when we call on Him.
Sin is sin. Doesn’t matter what it is. God equally forgives those who call on His name, just like He did for the people of Nineveh.
Let’s not be like Jonah, figuring people can’t truly change. Giving more compassion to a dying plant rather than the people around us that God intricately created with a purpose.
He loves us all. Christ died for us all! And He continually shows us the love He has for us in our lives every day. And even if others don’t see it right away, God gives us infinite chances to realize the grace He’s given us!