Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
— Romans 9:18
In 1969, a group of people in Pass Christian, Mississippi, were getting ready to have a “hurricane party” in the face of a storm named Camille. The wind was howling outside the seaside apartment complex where the party was being held when the chief of police pulled up to issue a warning to evacuate.
The owner of the apartment told the officer, “This is my place. If you want me out, you’ll have to arrest me.” The chief didn’t arrest anyone, but he wasn’t able to persuade them to leave either. They had been warned, but had no intention of leaving.
At 10:15 p.m., the front wall of the storm came ashore. Winds were clocked at over 205 miles per hour, the strongest that had ever been recorded at the time. Rain pelted the buildings while the storm surge crested as high as 28 feet.
News reports the next morning showed that the worst of the damage was right around the area of Pass Christian, where some 20 people were killed at a hurricane party. The only survivor from the building was a five-year-old boy found clinging to a mattress.
Warning after warning can come, yet there are many who will stiffen their necks and simply say “no.” Don’t be discouraged by those who are unresponsive to the gospel. Take heart that God is the one who can soften their hearts and trust Him to work everything out according to His plan.
Ask God to give you patience and trust when it comes to reaching the hearts of lost friends.
Questions for Thought
Was there a time that you or someone you know was hardened to the gospel but then received Jesus? What was it that caused a change of heart?
How might trusting God to reach people in His timing give you greater joy when someone does receive Jesus Christ?