I am amazed at the patience and mercy of God. Always remember that when we sing, “Amazing grace…” behind God’s grace is His patience and mercy.
- “… even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory” (Romans 9:22-23, NLT).
- “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).
Scripture warns us not to “show contempt for the riches of God’s kindness, forbearance and patience,” because “God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance” (Romans 2:4).
Jesus showed great patience when He prayed: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Scripture repeatedly reveals a set of attributes describing God as: “gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love….” (see: Exodus 34:6-7; Joel 2:13, 18; Jonah 4:2).
Another attribute of God deeply related to grace and patience is mercy. The mercy of God is equally amazing! “For the Lord your God is a merciful God” (Deuteronomy 4:31). Scripture speaks of “the tender mercy of our God” (Luke 1:78).
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
We confess that, “The Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made”(Psalm 145:9), for “He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25). Yet we honor God’s prerogative to declare, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy (Romans 9:15).
Those who experience God’s salvation know that, “when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:4-5).
We humbly confess with the apostle Paul that, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners —of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life” (I Timothy 1:15-16).
Mercy is a willingness to “take into account” or “compassionately consider” certain matters about the object of mercy — in a way that restrains deserved judgment.
What does it mean that God “does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities”? (Psalm 103:10). A few verses later the Psalmist testified that, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:13-14).
He takes certain things into account. Scripture says, “Be merciful to those who doubt” (Jude 22). Take into compassionate consideration their struggles.
I have a lot to learn from God’s mercy. Someone once said that we would like for God to operate His world on a principle of immediate justice unless we’re the ones in the wrong. Then we plead for mercy.
I find the words of Scripture sobering, “judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13). Our Lord blessed “the merciful” declaring that “they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7). Any tendency I have to be unmerciful should cause me to tremble before these words.
When I observe how unmerciful some people behave (while claiming to have experienced God’s mercy), I fear for them.
The apostle Paul testified that, “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy” (I Timothy 1:13). Are you grateful that mercy found you?
I am amazed to know that I have a place in God’s narrative of mercy!