Psalms 103:8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
This passage of scripture tells us that the Eternal God does not treat us as we deserve to be treated, but rather extends mercy and loving kindness to the just and the unjust alike. Were it not for His kindness we would be consumed by the enemy of righteousness whose only delight is in destruction. The mercy that is being referred to in this passage is not a mere emotion or feeling, but rather numerous proactive steps God takes to ensure that every son and daughter of Adam would have a fair chance at obtaining eternal life through Christ.
The beauty about God's mercy is that it is manifested even before it is requested, and it is made readily available to all who see their need of Jesus. And even to those who do not appreciate what God has done and continues to do in our behalf, grace and mercy is still poured out.
A striking example of how God's mercy is manifested in very practical ways is found in the example of Peter, who did not know that he was in dire need of God's mercy. Just prior to Jesus' arrest, Peter swore that he would never deny Christ, yet Jesus who knows us better than we know our own selves, went ahead and prayed for Peter so that satan would not shake him to the point of no return. Peter obviously was not aware that a deadly battle for his soul was about to ensue, and so without asking for Peter's permission or advice, Jesus prayed for him. Let's read :
Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Not long after Peter found out the reason why he needed God's mercy, for before he knew it, he was cursing and swearing in a manner that brought major embarrassment to the cause of Christ, and were it not for Christ's prayers on his behalf, he very well might have been lost permanently.
This experience of God's proactive mercy in Peter's life contains very sobering lessons for us, for though many of us know it not, the intercession of the Holy Ghost on our behalf is what actually saves us many times from taking a fatal spiritual fall. The same way Christ went ahead and prayed for Peter without him asking, is the same way the Holy Spirit intercedes for us even when we are not aware of our dire need. Let's read:
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Not only is God's mercy manifested through proactive intercession, but it is also displayed when God deliberately prevents satan from tempting us with temptations too great for us to withstand. God does not give us more than we can bear, and he tells us in His word that satan is put on a leash so that we are not instantly overthrown by severe conflicts. Let's read:
1st Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
In our day many people go about their daily round of duty without the slightest clue that the mercy of God is what prevents them from coming to a sudden and untimely end. We would do well to often contemplate His mercy manifested in our lives, and as we do so, songs of praise should ascend for His kindness manifested through Christ. We therefore end with a passage of scripture reminding us of God's tender mercies towards us, and we hope and pray that his grace will translate into a life of willing obedience and faithful service. Let's read:
Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
May this passage have very real meaning in our lives, and may we be willing to extend that same mercy towards others. God bless!