One characteristic of God for which we can all be eternally grateful is the reality that God is merciful! Where would we be, what hope would we have were it not for God’s mercy? When we were spiritually dead in our sins, God’s mercy provided for us an opportunity to be brought back to life (Eph. 2:4-5).
It has been said that mercy is the outward manifestation of pity. Because of our propensity toward sin, even knowing that sin is destructive to our souls, we are certainly pitiful creatures. We ought to be thankful that God has taken pity on us, in spite of our sinful nature, and made a way for us to be forgiven, reconciled, redeemed, saved. Otherwise, we would be hopelessly and eternally condemned in our guilt.
For mercy to be shown, there must first be a need on the part of a recipient and an ability to extend mercy on the part of a giver. As already noted, we have a big time need for mercy. God not only has the ability to extend mercy, He is called “the Father of mercies” (2 Cor. 1:3).
Mercy is an eternal characteristic of God (Ps. 25:6-7). Indeed, “His mercy is everlasting” (Ps. 100:5); it “endures forever” (Ps. 106:1). God’s mercy is “abundant” (Ps. 86:5, 15). In another Psalm the psalmist praises God: “The earth, O Lord, is full of Your mercy.”
Speaking from a spiritual perspective, it is suggested that grace must precede mercy. In the salutations of a number of New Testament letters, where the two words appear together, grace always comes first (1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4; 2 Jn. 1:3). The wise man instructed that, on our part, repentance is prerequisite to our receiving the full effects of God’s mercy (Prov. 28:13).
Of course, the greatest expression of God’s mercy was offering us forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ (Tit. 2:4-6). By His mercy God sent His Son to the cross to die on our behalf (Rom. 5:8). As our Savior, He bore the guilt of our sins (Heb. 9:28; 10:10). It is through that act of mercy that we have hope of eternal life (Jude 1:21).
It is further suggested that peace is the condition that develops as a result of mercy. In all New Testament verses where peace and mercy appear together, except for Gal. 6:16, mercy comes first. That peace, of course, is the result of knowing that we are in Christ, forgiven, redeemed, reconciled, saved. Thank God for His mercy!…
Gary L. Hutchens