Can you imagine a life without God’s mercy? Everything we enjoy in this life comes from God’s tender mercies and loving-kindness. He has promised that the mercy and goodness of the Lord shall follow us all the days of our lives. But what is the problem of man that requires God’s mercy, forgiveness, and salvation?
The truth is we are all sinners. We fall short of the glory of God. Sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, and death came through all men. Sin separated us from God, and our life is under the curse of sin and death. But thanks be to God the Father; because of His steadfast love, we obtain mercy.
He sent Jesus Christ to redeem the world from the curse of sin and death. He remembers not the sins of our past but according to the mercy seat of God. Now we enjoy the benefits of sonship and the fullness of life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What Does It Mean That God Is Merciful?
A man could show mercy and compassion when people and situations were compelling him. God’s mercy is a different story. God is merciful means that He shows pity, loving-kindness, and compassion towards people, even when people don’t deserve it. Mercy is the withholding of a just condemnation.
Instead of placing deserved punishment, God chose to pardon iniquity and cast all our sins into the depth of the sea. This is because mercy triumphs over judgment. He remembers neither the sins nor transgression.
“God is merciful” means he is slow to anger. He is patient and forbearing of our weaknesses, failures, and limitations. Instead of anger, the merciful seat of God is always available to those who need help from God. This is what the scripture says,
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Why Is God A Merciful God?
God is merciful because God is love. Everything God does flows from all the virtues of agape love. Agape love is the highest form of love which is “fatherly love.”
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4–8).
Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Along with other fruit such as joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are innate to the character of God. Psalmist David, “a man after God’s heart,” expressed his adoration by describing God’s character in his writings.
- “You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” – Psalm 86:15
- “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before Your face.” – Psalm 89:14
- “Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.” – Psalm 112:4
- “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” – Psalm 145:8–9
- “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalm 23:6
The apostles and disciples in the New Testament in the Bible wrote synonymously about God’s character.
- “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Matthew 9:13
- “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” – Titus 3:5
- “And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.” – Luke 1:50
- “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.” – James 3:17
God’s mercy also comes from His divine character that He is a faithful God who keeps covenant mercy to the thousandth generation toward those who love Him and keep His commandments. Even if we fall or stumble, steadfast love remembers His covenant of mercy to us.
In What Way God Is Merciful?
The Lord God is merciful, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and truth, and it is shown over generations of Israel and over kings and kingdoms and prophets. God showed mercy to Lot and his daughters, allowing them to leave Sodom before it was destroyed.
God sends plagues to Egypt and drives out the Egyptian army to the Red Sea as the result of God’s mercy to the agony of His people in slavery. With many accounts in the Bible, we can identify ways God is merciful.
- God is merciful by saving people from judgment, troubles, affliction, and death as a result of ‘pleading and repentance (Psalm 107:19–20, John 3:16).
- God is merciful by establishing a covenant of mercy for all who fear and love Him and keep His commandments (Deuteronomy 7:9).
- God is merciful to whom he wants to have mercy (Romans 9:18).
- God is merciful to the lowly ones, broken-hearted, to the oppressed, and to the poor (Luke 4:18-19).
How Great Is God’s Mercy?
The Bible says, “for as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.” God’s mercy is so great and can be described as:
- Immeasurable – impossible to measure.
- Unfathomable – impossible to understand.
- Steadfast – immovable, not subject to change, loyal.
- Endures forever – eternal.
God has shown mercy in a great multitude of ways from ancient times up to now. The greatest testimony of His love and mercy was illustrated in the great sacrifice on the cross. The Lord Jesus Christ received the punishment and condemnation that justly belonged to us so that we received God’s mercy. He who knows no sin became sin for us.
The concept of God’s mercy emphasizes forgiveness, redemption, and salvation and encourages believers to turn toward God and seek His forgiveness and guidance. Now, what is your response to His loving-kindness and mercy? This is the time to open our hearts to receive Him as the Lord and Savior of our life.