mer-cy (n.): “compassion or forebearance shown especially to an offender… <as God shows to a sinner>” -Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary 1977
I just found this definition in a dictionary that belonged to my grandfather. I love how the people who put the dictionary together used God and our relationship to Him as the first example of mercy. Praise His holy name! Another priceless gift that Jesus offers us is this very same mercy. It is most powerful to understand mercy as the word was used in the Psalms. There we find what the psalmist was asking mercy for and how the Lord’s mercy sets us free.
“Be merciful to me and hear my prayer” (Psalm 4)…Mercy means that the God of all Heaven and Earth hears you and wants to hear what’s on your heart. “Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death” (Psalm 9)…Mercy that Jesus gives us means even though our physical bodies will pass away, we will not because Jesus will lift us up to be with Him in Paradise! Even Psalm 16 confirms this amazing gift: “you will not abandon me to the grave.”
“Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways…” (Psalm 25) Mercy that Jesus offers brings us back to the definition we started with: The Lord’s great mercy through the work of Jesus on the cross allows Him to forgive us of our transgressions. If not for Jesus and what he did for us, we would not know mercy. Our souls would drowned in sin.
“…Be merciful to me. My feet stand on level ground…” (Psalm 26) When God sheds His mercies over us, we are finally able to walk each day knowing that He has made our paths straight. Not perfect days filled with sunshine and happiness, but days that are secure in Him. NOTHING life throws at us EVER CATHCES GOD OFF GUARD! “Be merciful to me and answer me…” (Psalm 27) Not only does Jesus want to hear what we have to say, but He loves us so much that He promises to answer when we call to Him! “He has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield…” (Psalm 28) God’s mercy becomes tangible as we receive strength to endure hardships and as we feel His protection from others or situations that try to bring harm.
“Be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.” (Psalm 30) God shows us that His compassion for us as His children helps us from the time we get up until the time we go to sleep. The Bible also says that He helps us while we are sleeping. Our God is loving on us even when we are unaware and dreaming: “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.” -Psalm 3:5 “Be merciful to me O Lord, for I am in distress.” (Psalm 31) Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced stress. Perfect. All of us have our hands raised. The mercy of Christ teaches us that we have overcome the problems of this life. By His mercy, we begin to see trials and opportunities as ways to glorify His holy name. “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them ALL!” -Psalm 34:19
God’s compassion showers us in His mercy. With this gift, He hears our prayers, saves us, forgives us, keeps us on solid ground, answers us, gives us strength and protects us, helps us, and promises to take away our stress. Thank you Jesus for your gift of mercy. We don’t deserve this, but we love you for it. Help us be merciful as you are merciful.