Too often these days, we tend to be easily ruffled, annoyed, and just down right not feeling so well because of the world around us. Have we just become too comfortable with all of the advancements around us to understand what it means to suffer, sacrifice, or even WORK anymore?
“And the men in Ninive believed in God: and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least.” (Jonas 3:5)
Look around you. Your work, your home, your neighborhood, your local grocery store. Things clearly aren’t as they’ve always been.
The temptation could be to point fingers to those around us: the big-guys up top, the politicians, the leaders everywhere… but didn’t it really start inside our very hearts and minds? Did we get TOO comfortable? So comfortable that someone that was okay in doing just a bit more work (good or bad) decided they would swoop in and MAKE things just the way they want them?
We have leaders that would rather control than don the cloth of sacks and sit in the ashes in repentance. Sure we are responsible, but they are part of this picture, too.
“And the word came to the kind of Ninive: and he rose up out of his throne, and cast away his robe from him, and was clothed in sackcloth, and sat in ashes.” (Jonas 3:6)
We can’t beat ourselves up too much, but we also can’t ignore that we are responsible. Granted, in a world with GOOD leaders, we’d be getting words of sacrifice, repentance, and holy suffering… but instead we get a type of worldly suffering solely to appease the worldly beings.
“And he caused it to be proclaimed and published in Ninive, from the mouth of the kind and of his princes, sayings: Let neither men nor beasts, oxen, nor sheep taste anything: let them not feed, nor drink water. And let the men and beasts be covered with sackcloth, and cry to the Lord with all their strength, and let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the iniquity that is in their hands.” (Jonas 3:7-8)
There truly is a difference between pointless suffering based on the whims of the earthly leaders vs. holy suffering for repentance and focus on our eternal life ahead.
Fear not people – the Lord Jesus Christ has made his promise. Be in his good graces and what happens on this world can’t affect you.
Don’t be afraid to sacrifice, but do be focused in who you’re sacrificing for. Stop being so comfortable. Now is not the time for comfort. Now is the time for work, getting over this world, and working on bringing people to God.
Strengthen up. There’s a lot of work ahead. Praise Jesus!