Memorise: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. -2 Peter 3:9
Read: Jonah 3:5-10 (KJV)
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Bible in one Year: 2 Kings 10:1-11:20, Luke 9:28-50
When the Bible in 1 Corinthians 13:4 says that love suffers long, it aligns with the character of God and confirms that God is love indeed. Our God is a longsuffering God. It is His longsuffering that has kept the world intact till now; otherwise He would have destroyed it many times over. It is however unfortunate that man tends to take the longsuffering of God for granted. Many have lost the opportunity of being forgiven because they failed to repent until death caught up with them. I was praying for a king who was sick in one city in south-west Nigeria, and the Lord told me to ask him to repent of his sins if he wanted to be healed. He was reluctant to do so, and he refused to repent until he gave up the ghost. The Bible in 2 Corinthians 6:2 says:
“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”
One city that enjoyed the longsuffering of God and put it to good use was the city of Nineveh. The longsuffering of God kept this great city alive while God gave them time to repent. When this longsuffering started waxing thin, He sent Prophet Jonah to warn them to repent. The Bible in Jonah 1:1-2 says:
“Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.”
What a gracious and merciful God He is! Thank God that heeded His warning and repented; from the king of the least person in the city. The longsuffering of God is demonstrated in the fact that even Jonah was running away from the great responsibility of warning this city, God still put up with them until His warning go to them.
To someone reading this devotional today, I want you to know that the purpose of God’s longsuffering is to give you the opportunity to repent and not be destroyed. I therefore encourage you to give your total life to Jesus Christ and stop postponing the day of your salvation, because tomorrow may be too late. Jesus is standing at the door of your heart; I encourage you to open it to Him so that He can come in with His forgiveness, salvation, healing and all-round peace.
Action Point: Examine your life and see where you need to turn a new leaf, and do so today.