Week 9 Day 3 Devotions
The God Who Changes His Mind
“Perhaps God will change his mind” Jonah 3:9 (Good News Bible)
“He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.'” 2 Samuel 12:22
People are sometimes surprised to hear that God sometimes changes His mind, even though Scripture contains several examples of God changing His mind. Jesus was also known to change His mind, for example on one occasion He told his brothers He was not going to a festival but later changed His mind and went (John 7).
In the case of the people of Nineveh, God had decided to destroy the city, but changes His mind in response to their repentance and holy mourning which was accompanied by fasting. However, in the case of King David, holy mourning accompanied by fasting does not change God’s mind. In our personal life with God it is wonderful to have a relationship that can ask Him to change His mind and to add the means of grace to our pleadings, but ultimately we need to also have a relationship with God that trusts His decisions for our life over ours, His will rather than our will and then faithfully submits to His perfect plan. The “Soldier’s Prayer” (written by an anonymous Confederate soldier, U.S. Civil War) shows how God’s will is always better for our life, and why God sometimes will not change His mind regarding what He allows to happen in our lives.
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey....
I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things....
I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise....
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God....
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things....
I got nothing that I asked for -
But everything that I had hoped for,
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.