Jonah 3, along with the rest of the Bible, confronts us with the fact that we have rebelled, we have turned away from God, we are in the wrong and we need to turn back to him
This is challenging because we are full of pride - all rebels are! It’s not easy or comfortable.
But the story of Jonah and the Ninevites shows us that God graciously and supernaturally opens our eyes to see our condition and need for him, humbling us and showing us that there is nothing in us that can solve the problem. The Holy Spirit works the miracle in us that causes us to cry out to God.
The book of Jonah also comforts us with the description of the God that we are crying out to. He is the God who speaks, who has not just cut us off but comes to us with the warning that draws our attention to him. The fact that we are reading this warning is him still graciously coming to us, calling us to repentance.
The God we are calling out to is gracious and compassionate and forgives.
We do not need to hang our heads in shame, thinking ‘who knows if god will forgive’? We are not uncertain of his position towards us - he has proved it on the cross. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. We have not gone too far, we have not turned one too many times.
Our sin is real, but so is the cross. It was dealt with there.