by PamFord Davis
1/09/2012 / Devotionals
We are acutely aware of changes in temperature in our environment and avoid discomfort through the aid of central heat and air. In the summer, we cool down with a quick shower or dip in the pool; in winter, we snuggle up in front of a fireplace and expect our electric blanket to keep us warm all night. Nobody wants to reveal our excessive heat discomfort through sweat or openly display we are wimps by donning hats and gloves in the winter. There is one thing we all have in common, we complain.
The Prophet Jonah gritted his teeth, clenched his fist and kicked up the dust as he unwillingly carried out God's mission in the city of Nineveh. God was seeking repentance from the wicked people of the enemy city; Jonah seethed with contempt against a people who had terrorized his nation, Israel. He longed for God to send fires of judgment upon their heads; instead, God sent blazing sun upon his. Jonah felt both the fires of resentment and relentless heat. The Lord stepped in.
"And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceedingly glad of the gourd (Jonah 4:6 KJV)." See Jonah 4:7-11 for "the rest of the story." Heat comes in many forms; sometimes it is adversity. God turns up the heat and we discover Him as our source of joy. "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Matthew 5: 11-12 KJV)."
Jonah had been "exceedingly glad" because God made him comfortable, God's children can be "exceedingly glad" because persecution makes us uncomfortable and reminds us that we are not alone. God's people have always faced opposition and endured varied forms of persecution, felt the raging heat of rejection, agony of abandonment, misery of mockery and sorrow of severed relationships. The Father did not save us to make us comfortable; He comforts us in the midst of heated battle and blankets us with a covering of grace during cruelty's bitter cold.
Freelance writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Devotional writing is her first love. Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Devotions for the Deaf, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Coosa Journal and more. Devotions included in Tyndale Publisher's 'The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter' by Mary Hollingsworth.
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