“When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city:


‘No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.’

When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord about it: ‘Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.’

The Lord replied, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about this’?” Jonah 3:6-10; 4:1-4 (NLT)


Jonah had been on the run from God. When God told him to go in one direction, he chose to do the opposite, resulting in being thrown into the sea by a group of sailors only to be swallowed up by a fish. While Jonah was on the run, God kept providing specific provisions to get him back to where he needed to be. This fish spit him up on the shore near Nineveh after Jonah decided to be obedient. The people in Nineveh were a violent and wicked people. They treated their enemies barbarically, and the last thing Jonah wanted to do was tell them to repent. Surprisingly, Jonah’s message was well received, and the people turned to God. As Jonah was observing the change in the people, he couldn’t believe it. He thought these people deserved punishment, and he wanted his message to be fulfilled. He was more concerned about his message than the saving of the people. While he finally followed God’s will, he wanted to do it his way and dictate the outcome.


In our lives, we can relate to Jonah more than we sometimes want to admit. Even if we are following God’s will, we can want to do it our way. We can get upset when the outcomes are different than we expected. However, God hasn’t called us to fix outcomes; that is His role. He has called us to walk in obedience. When we are so focused on how we want things to turn out, it can lead to frustration, confusion, and disappointment. When we obey God, we come to know more about God’s heart and character. We also don’t miss the blessing resulting from our obedience. If we had been the people in Nineveh, we would have been so thankful for the outcome. The way God is working is greater than just how it impacts our lives. There may be people in your life who are going to benefit from your obedience. Who are we to say they shouldn’t? Allow God to do His work in their lives instead of trying to take over for Him.  We can’t see the whole picture, and our manipulation of outcomes may prove to be disastrous. If Jonah had his way, thousands of people would have died. Following God’s will His Way is better than trying to do it our way. Instead of complaining about how God is working, it’s our opportunity to celebrate. When we celebrate, our attitude is not dictated by outcomes, and we are able to walk in joy instead of frustration.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

[separator_small separator_width=” thickness=” up=” down=”]


About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

[separator_small separator_width=” thickness=” up=” down=”]

Discover how to start a business + lead your life + create a life you love. Don't miss a post!: