Ezekiel 33,34,35; Revelation 18
“‘As I live,’ declares the Lord, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from this way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’” (Ezekiel 33:11)
God’s highest desire is not to remove the wicked, but rather for their repentance. But why are people so wicked and angry?
We have contentious people around us, and when they move (or vaporize), we think, “O the joy that fills my soul!” But God tells us that this is not His highest intention. God gets much greater glory when a sinner repents rather than dies. When an unruly staff person changes rather than is dismissed. When liberals turn to Christ … not to conservatism, but to Christ. When conservatives turn to Christ … not Trump or patriotism, but to Christ.
I have seen often that the problems a person is causing can be because there is a deep and painful anger against themselves and their own life. They then take it out on others around them who remind them of their pain, but they are unwilling to resolve that pain. They’d rather be angry, and the projecting of blame helps them tolerate their own pain. However, it was precisely that kind of behavior that put them in their own prison in the first place.
Lord, help me to not be discouraged when I encounter these people. Help me to see past their behavior and realize they may be unhappy and unhealthy on the inside. Remind me to pray for the Prince of Peace to reach their hearts and release them from their personal prisons so they will be free to follow You! And help me to practice patience and exude more grace …. because it may very well have been You answering my very prayer for patience - with a slow driver ahead of me!