"Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai..." Jonah 1:1
When the Lord sent his word unto Jonah, he was attempting to communicate to Him both what He would like for Jonah to do as well as His heart or reasoning to go. We should remember that the Lord is not seeking to simply communicate the do's and don'ts of the "good" Christian but to truly communicate His heart. A truly Godly Christian will take hold of what God is seeking to communicate both in HIs commands and His reasoning or His heart in so commanding.
In John 14:15, Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." By combining the terms love and keep He is reminding us that our relationship to Him is not simply, "Do what I tell you to do." But much deeper and heartfelt. He desires us to take hold of Himself and what He is doing on the World and why He is doing it.
God was not being cruel to Jonah in His command to go. He was inviting him to come along side and be part of His work in the world, of which he "so loves."
As you read the Bible, study its precious truths, and meditate on it, God is seeking to communicate with you! Will you listen not just for the words but also for the heart of God. If we receive just the words and their meaning and fail to catch onto God's heart, we, like Jonah will be greatly lacking. Ask God to reveal His heart, His desires, and He will. Reveal to God your heart as well; He knows already.
Also, it is vitally important that we learn to communicate this way with others of whom we have intimate relationships with: Our spouses, children, friends, family, brethren. If we fail to communicate our heart to others we will never have the deepness that God desire for our earthly relationships. The deepness others have in our heart's desires will most certainly vary depending on what type of relationship we have (we will not reveal to a coworker what we would reveal to our spouse) but our heart must be given.
May God help us to take hold of all He is seeking to communicate to us!