How to Receive God's Mercy

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I think we would all agree that there is no such thing as a "weakness" in God. However, if there were, it would be this--mercy.

God's mercy embodies all the fullness of His compassion, kindness, tenderness and favor. It is the expression of His goodness and pity toward us.

When you are assailed ferociously by the atrocities of life, what do you do? How do you find relief?

You know that God is a good God. Yet, what do you do when you find little evidence of His goodness in your own life?

What happens to your faith when you are beleaguered by trials, tribulations and storms? Perhaps you've endured hardness and misery for years like "a good soldier," as the Scriptures teach (2 Tim. 2:3). Yet, it seems your defeat stands victorious.

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God, speaking through Isaiah, said: "Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you--the sure mercies of David" (Is. 55:3, NKJV).

God's "sure mercies" are eternally promised to His people. His mercy is a divine attribute that exposes and expresses just how much God is smitten with love for His children.

HE'S DRIVEN TO COMPASSION Out from the many-breasted one, El Shaddai, flows the milk of His compassion. When you or I draw on Him for this quality, He gets the "can't help its," and He must respond.

As a mother, it takes little effort for me to understand God's sympathy for our needs. When my daughter, Kelly, was an infant and wanted to nurse, my body responded irrespective of what I was doing or how I felt about the timing of her cry.

So it is with God. It is His delight to rescue His children and relieve their suffering. So why then is there so much suffering and misery within the body of Christ? The Scriptures clearly tell us that many perish for lack of knowledge.

What you don't know can hurt you. It can keep you in bondage and hinder the abundant life God has promised every believer.

Ignorance of a law, truth or principle does not exonerate you. Remember when you are in a struggle, the enemy of your soul, Satan, comes to try your knowledge of God.

It is important for you to know that God is the Father of mercies and that He is plenteous in mercy to all who call upon Him. When you have tried everything--given up hope--and are left to stand on your last leg, there awaits the force, the weapon: His infallible mercy to sweep you into deliverance, usher you into escape and transform you into well-being.

In order to obtain mercy, you must be merciful. Solomon wrote: "Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man" (Prov. 3:3-4).

It is not necessary to be innocent, but truth is essential. Mercy and truth are interconnected (see Prov. 28:13).

When suffering becomes so unbearable that you unashamedly admit your need for God's blessings in order to overcome, you will discover that it is the Father's good pleasure to extend His mercy to you. Then you will come boldly to His throne of grace and obtain the mercy that is so readily available.

THE MINISTRY OF MERCY What is so great about the mercy of God? What exactly does it provide? God's mercy is the antidote for the world's misery. Mercy is His response to the one who is suffering and in need.

It is a lifeline for those who are worthy, and it is help for those who are unworthy. Assuredly, it is for the undeserving; for folks who are out of tricks and without an ace hidden up their sleeves.

God's mercy is gracious, liberating and available to those who seek its relief. This attribute endures forever.

If you have despaired of hope--even of life itself--and you are merely existing from day to day, I am glad to tell you there is light at the end of your tunnel. There is a refuge; there is relief.

Some years ago, I was personally introduced to the ministry of mercy as I fought to recover from an eight-hour craniotomy--brain surgery. Following the procedure, I laid before the Lord in what I called a "decade of darkness," fighting one attack after another.

During that time, I was being strengthened through listening to the sound preaching of God's Word, reading my Bible from Genesis to Revelation and continually abiding in prayer.

After a total consecration of my life to God, I still hadn't found the relief I sought. In my weakened condition, my constant prayer became, "Lord, have mercy on me."

This was the last weapon I used against the enemy of my soul. And though I do not know the day or the hour, I do know that one day I walked from sickness into health with that prayer on my lips.

God's mercy is health to the sick. But it is also abundance to those in need, food to the hungry, peace to the tormented. It is a shelter to the homeless and a companion to the lonely.

God gives assistance to the helpless, victory to the defeated and comfort to the afflicted and bereaved. Just as King David sought out Mephibosheth, the descendent of Saul, to bestow upon him the kindness of God (see 2 Sam. 9:3 ), so Christ's compassion and tender mercies seek to bring relief to us today.

Mercy is a ministry for desperate people, for the discomfited who have asked God to bring them out through any method, any means available. These are the ones who, at any cost, want to come out of their affliction into complete restoration and wholeness.

The Father's loving-kindness is altogether unimaginable. It challenges our intellects to conceive of such great tenderness and leniency toward mankind.

Mercy can be dispensed only from one with power. Christ is rich in mercy and has all power, even the power to temper His justice with His mercy and grace.

God willingly relieves the distresses of the just and the unjust. His mercy is lavish and unbiased in its application.

So admirable is this quality that God places it in each of His children and requires that we bestow it upon one another. Only those who possess this virtue can give it away.

MERCIFUL AND MIGHTY Possessing the attribute of mercy confirms the presence of power. Indeed, the merciful are the mighty.

Today, are you in deep despair? Perhaps you are in a long season of helplessness. Place yourself at the mercy of God, remembering that it is a ministry of love that brings help for life's misery. It silently streams its way into your circumstances, changes your condition, brightens your life and provides relief from your distress.

You can be assured that God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and of great loving-kindness. He is
forgiving; He pities your frame.

Even the most wicked receive mercy when truth and humility are within them to call upon the goodness of God. His loving-kindness fills the earth.

Never forget that this powerful tool is available to you. Whether you find yourself in a cave, like David, or in the belly of a great fish, like Jonah, you must remember God is merciful. Whisper, cry or scream for Him to reveal His mercy to you.

You must become accustomed to seeking the revelation of God's mercy in your situation. If you acquaint yourself with His kindness, you will find that God is not only able to deliver you out of all your troubles, but also willing.

God's love for us is limitless. He has provided an avenue of escape for every dilemma that may ever confront us.

For the suffering, the bewildered and the hopeless, He employs His rich mercy. Receive it. Cleave to it.

Make God's mercy your possession. Then watch closely as your willing God provides divine favor to rescue you from your darkest night.

His mercies, new every day, await your cry. For you are precious in His sight.

Read a companion devotional.

Jacqueline Jakes Sedgwick is the sister of Bishop T. D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas.

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