Lamentations 3:22-23 “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
Living in the United States, we have become accustomed to abundance. Since the Great Depression, there has not been many lean times that has so affected the general populous. Yes, we have poverty. Jesus even said,
Mark 14:7 “For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.”
But to be so affected by the lack of such basic necessities; to feel hunger, to know what it is to be cold, alone and without a home – most in this country have never felt these to the extremes that much of the world experiences. To be blessed is not a bad thing. It only becomes bad when it does not invoke in us a spirit of thankfulness and gratitude.
When I was first saved, I learned of these verses in Lamentations and found them extraordinary. To place my faith in my God for salvation was and is a wonderful thing! But it seemed, the more I discovered just who my God is, the more wonderful He became! His character, His attributes, His promises and a love beyond comprehension… WOW!
I find that my longsuffering and patience with people and things are challenged at times. I have grown more tolerant in some areas and then there are just some people that require a bit more. I find that God’s Word challenges me in areas I am weak.
Romans 12:18 “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
Forgiveness for those we love comes easy. Forgiveness for those who offend us; who wound us; who vengefully wrong us becomes more of a challenge.
Luke 6:35 “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”
It is truly Christlike to be able to do what this verse tell us we must do. I am a child of the King. As such, there are responsibilities and expectations because of our station. I am an ambassador. I represent my Father. In all that I say and do – I am looked at as a product of the transforming power of Christianity.
More specifically, the mercy I may have for some may not be the same for others and thus, I am biased. No matter who you are – to some level; to some extent – you are biased. We will do good to some and not to others. We will love some and not others. But ‘love my enemies‘? We must go back to the root of the issue. This is not about ‘me’ at all – it is about the object of God’s love.
Everyone is quick to rush to the side and champion the victim. We want justice. We want vindication. We want vengeance. But God turns us around and asks, “Who is there for the one in bondage who committed the crime?” Did Christ not die for the criminal as well as the victim? Our sense of justice and how it should be meted out is biased as well.
God’s command to love as He loves, forgive as He forgives goes way beyond our capacity to do so. To know that God’s mercy is renewed every day, means His mercy toward me will never run out! But I must know as well, that that mercy is not only for me, but needs to flow through me, to others.
God’s mercy is infinite. Mine is not. To love as He commands me to, to forgive as He commands will take an unselfish desire to see the offender as a soul for whom Christ died in need of love and salvation.
Covetousness blinded a Judas from seeing the Savior, but contrition and humility allowed a dying thief to accept salvation and Heaven. No one but God can judge the sincerity of a person. I find that if I do as I called to do, God will sort it all out and be right and just in all that He does.
Today, realize that God will never run out of mercy for the sins we commit. All; past, present and future sins, are forgiven. To stop there would be selfish and self-centered. To allow that mercy to flow through me to others means that we will have to get out of the way!
May we truly come to the throne of grace to find mercy – but also the grace needed to love and forgive our enemies as well.
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”