One Ministry, One Church, One Message Worldwide
As human beings, we all have our frailties and insecurities. It’s impossible to effortlessly sail through life without suffering emotional wounds or finding ourselves in painful situations occasionally. When we’ve made a mistake and need a little grace and mercy to help us recover, we may not find it in the world. However, we find grace in abundance when we turn to God.
Grace is unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor. The world doesn’t know about God’s promises of receiving something good without earning it, simply because the world doesn’t know God. To get back into most people’s good graces after we’ve messed up, we may be expected to work hard at following a long list of predetermined rules before we’re accepted again. To receive God’s grace, we simply believe that He wants the very best for us. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Whereas grace is the good we receive but don’t deserve, mercy is when we don’t receive the bad we do deserve. This is something we’re probably not accustomed to; therefore, receiving it may be a new experience for us. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us” (Ephesians 2:4). We may have experienced God’s mercy in the past without even being aware of it. The times when something good seemed to come out of nowhere to prevent disaster, and we knew we had nothing to do with the positive outcome, were the times when God was at work in our lives.
God knows that we all can make bad choices that hurt us or someone else. He loves us deeply and doesn’t want us struggling with a problem alone. When He sees us hurting, He’ll come alongside us to comfort us like no one else can. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation…” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4, NKJV). This comfort is available because of His favor toward us.
God operates according to a completely different set of rules from the world. We all fall short and miss the mark from time to time; when we do, the prevailing mindset around us can be harsh and unforgiving. When we get in trouble, the world tells us we’re getting what we deserve; God tells us of His love and mercy for us.“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:22, 23, NLT). When we go to Him for help, we receive compassion, not condemnation.
Without God, life has too many sharp edges. Trying to find what we need to get us through tough times can wear us out. At our lowest point, He offers us grace. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG). He has extended an invitation; it’s up to us to accept it.