August 19, 2009

Wrath or Mercy

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
       slow to anger, abounding in love.

 He will not always accuse,
       nor will he harbor his anger forever;

  He does not treat us as our sins deserve
       or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
       so great is his love for those who fear him;

  As far as the east is from the west,
       so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

  As a father has compassion on his children,
       so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

  For he knows how we are formed,
       he remembers that we are dust.

  As for man, his days are like grass,
       he flourishes like a flower of the field;

  The wind blows over it and it is gone,
       and its place remembers it no more.

  But from everlasting to everlasting
       the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
       and his righteousness with their children's children-

Psalm 103:8-17


 

God's grace could not be more beautifully expressed. As we fumble through life, we can cause God so much pain and yet amazingly enough He responds to us in a way that we do not deserve. Whenever we are treated badly or hurt by others, we find ourselves feeling justified in treating those who have hurt us just as badly in return but this is not how God responds to us. We each deserve God's wrath but instead He lavishes His abundant love upon us and shows us compassion. God's response to us is totally opposite of how we deserve to be treated and is the example that we should follow when we respond to those who have betrayed and hurt us. What a struggle to love those around us the way that He loves us but He calls us to love this God-like love in our relationships.

God is just and holy but is merciful and reasonable as well with us. He deserves only our complete loyalty and in fact commands it but being our Creator, He knows our limitations and wavering hearts. It is amazing that instead of giving us the punishment that we so deserve for our ways, He treats us as His beloved children. (Psalm 103:13-14) He extends compassion, pity and mercy upon each of His children. (Ezekiel 20:15-17) We each make mistakes and break the heart of God but we never have to fear that our actions will ever sever our relationship with Him. He is always waiting with open arms for us to return to Him where He will welcome us home. Our hearts should be a reflection of His and we should extend the same compassion, mercy and forgiveness upon those that He has called us to love even when they break our hearts.