"God Is Merciful"
How many times do we fail? In a month, a week or even just a day? I know my failures and shortcomings seem never ending sometimes. When will I get it right? Will God lose patience with me? I'm not always patient, I have a temper (especially when I'm hungry), and the list could just go on and on. It could seem pretty hopeless.
But here's the good news - no the super, great, fantastic news - God is merciful.
Take the city of Ninevah. It was a wicked, wicked place. The kind of place that many of us would just say needs to be wiped off the map. They don't deserve His mercy and probably wouldn't accept it anyway, so let's just be done with them. Jonah certainly seemed to feel this way.
God just doesn't see it this way. He gives them a chance to change and sends someone to warn them of His impending judgement, to open their eyes to their sin. And you know what? They repent.
They turn from their evil ways and make every effort to make sure that God knows they've changed. And He shows them mercy. He changes His mind and doesn't destroy them. That's nice, right? But maybe you're thinking God may have been feeling particularly merciful that day; I'm such a mess that He's going to give up on me.
Here's the cool part - this wasn't a one time thing. We see His mercy again and again and again in the book of Jonah alone. Read more of the Bible and you'll see His mercy written all over it's pages. He's so merciful, in fact, that he gave His Son for us! To save us!
We're going to mess up. It's just going to happen. But God knows that, and He'll be there to pick us up and help us put the pieces together and try again...and maybe again and again and again.
I'm so thankful for His mercy. Failure is tough and disappointing, and there may be some consequences, but there's great comfort in knowing He'll always be there for me. His mercy NEVER fails!
Don't give up on yourself. God isn't going to give up on you.