Have you ever had a day when you wished to be alone; when your heart felt crushed beyond repair and your dreams were smashed like a wooden boat against the jagged reefs of reality? Like the eye of a hurricane, misery has its own island of calm. Often it is in the center of pain where God reveals His warm will and tender truth.
The Apostle Paul discovered the priceless treasure of God’s mercy and it forever changed his life. This man who so zealously persecuted Jesus’ followers, fell to the ground blinded by the piercing love extended by the One he hated. When Paul met Jesus, his sanity became insanity. Mercy met pride and humility was born. Later as a mature Christian he wrote“Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up” (2 Corinthians 4:1).
Paul realized it was not by education, noble pedigree, wealth, imperial decree, talent or the approval of people that one met and served God. He concluded that ministry was not to be sustained through deception or secret and shameful ways. Wrapped in the blanket of God’s mercy he could endure hunger, cold, and gnawing poverty and model contentedness. Profoundly altered by the extension of God’s grace to his sinful self, he endured being stoned, whipped, mocked and imprisoned to boldly proclaim, “ For me, living is Christ and dying is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Psalm 5:7--But I enter Your house by the abundance of Your faithful love; I bow down toward Your holy temple in reverential awe of You.
In a nation that loves to franchise success it is easy to forget that it is because of God’s mercy we are saved and equipped to serve. It is not human might, money or mental prowess that liberates us! The Holy Spirit commits surgical kindness to open our hearts to our own depravity. He opens our eyes to the necessity of repentance and faith in God’s extended Son, who alone gains us access to God and victory over sin!
Our spiritual fervor will not die if we understand why we have life and the privilege to serve. God’s mercy keeps us from becoming cynical, critical, and harsh towards others. His mercy liberates trapped souls, transforming gloom into praise! Are you dying? His mercy promises you a new and incorruptible body. Are you discouraged? Drink from the well of God’s love and be refreshed. Are you defeated? So was Christ on the cross and look what He won for you! Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, shares, “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!” (Lamentations 3:22,23).
When we see ourselves under the canopy of God’s overflowing mercy we are dissolved in wonder, love, and praise.—Oswald Chambers in Conformed to His Image
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)