The Hillcrest Church Podcast

I Wish I Could Forgive. May 3, 2020

May 19, 2020

I Wish
I could forgive - Outline
May 3, 2020

Jonah’s story.

Bitterness gives us a desire to see only judgment.

On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” (Jonah 3:4, NLT)

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. (Jonah 3:10, NLT)

Bitterness introduces an angry root to our hearts.

This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. (Jonah 4:1, NLT)

Bitterness brings us to a place where we lack compassion.

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. (Jonah 4:2, NLT)

Bitterness becomes a poison that destroys our spirit.

Just kill me now, LORD! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.” (Jonah 4:3, NLT)

What if I am still struggling to forgive?
What if I cannot let go of this bitter root?

1. Stop thinking about what has been done to you and start thinking about what has been done for you.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:6–8, NLT)


2. It might not be your burden.

The LORD replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?” (Jonah 4:4, NLT)


3. See the person as a human being whom God loves.

The LORD said, “You were upset about this little plant, something for which you have not worked nor did you do anything to make it grow. It grew up overnight and died the next day.

Should I not be even more concerned about Nineveh, this enormous city? There are more than one hundred twenty thousand people in it who do not know right from wrong, as well as many animals!” (Jonah 4:10–11, NET)

4. Release the empty breath inside of you.

Those who worship worthless idols forfeit the mercy that could be theirs. (Jonah 2:8, NET)

Those who cling to empty breath forfeit the mercy that could be theirs. (Jonah 2:8)

Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Colossians 3:13, NLT)


Digging Deeper
A study for individuals and small groups

Read Jonah 4:1-11.

What was Jonah angry about in verse 1?
How did Jonah’s attitude contrast with God’s attitude?

What was the root cause of Jonah’s anger?
What was the real reason Jonah fled to Tarshish in chapter 1?

What did Jonah know about God’s character?
What does it mean that God is
slow to anger?
filled with unfailing love?

What does this show about God’s attitude toward people?

Why did God ask this question in verse 4?
Did Jonah have a reason to be angry?

Have you ever been so angry that you wanted judgment to fall on someone else?
Was your anger justified?
How do you feel about that situation now?
If God blessed that person now or was merciful toward them how would you respond?
Do you feel that you are over that situation or are you still angry about it?

Does God’s question to Jonah in verse 11 have anything to say about your situation?

Take some time to pray about this situation and ask the Lord to help you to heal. Consciously choose to release this situation into the Lord’s hands.

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