I hope it’s been a fantastic year so far. Even with all the challenges, if you’re reading this then at least you’ve got data so welcome!
I have been thinking a lot about God’s mercy and how His mercy is channeled in different ways.
One story in the Bible that made me want to know more about God’s mercy is the story of Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). I have been told this story about 3 times in the last month. Different people shared their thoughts on the passage and one interesting reference was how the blind man cried out to Jesus to have mercy on him and how Jesus asked, “What can I do for you?”
Clearly, the man was blind. It would have seemed like a stupid question to ask. I can imagine being in the crowd and giving Jesus the “Did you just ask that” look. We sometimes call it “the side-eye”.
As I thought about it more, I realized that a lot of the blessings we receive are actually as a result of God’s mercy. I wanted us to look at a few.
Like in the story of blind Bartimaeus (he’s not blind anymore, hallelujah), the cry for mercy paved way for his healing.
The bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that –
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
This tells me that healing can go beyond the physical body. Lands can be healed. Relationships can be healed. But before we can see the healing manifest there needs to be repentance.
…and the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
Psalm 102:13 is one of my favorite verses. It shows how the mercy of God allows us to experience favor. Favour means to have someone’s approval or support concerning something.
You will arise and have mercy on Zion;
For the time to favor her,
Yes, the set time, has come.
When I pray for people or myself, I sometimes use the scripture below. My parents use it as well to pray for me. This scripture is a breakdown of God’s favor.
Numbers 6:24-26 New King James Version (NKJV)
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
God’s mercy gives access to divine help.
Hebrews 4:16 New International Version (NIV)
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
The Amplified version (AMP) of Hebrews 4:16 further explains this as “an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment.”
The Passion Translation (TPT) version of the same scripture explains it as “the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weaknesses.”
If we do not receive the help we need at the appropriate time, things can get frustrating. Thank God for his mercy. We will never lack the help we need when we need it.
The last but not the least and the most important is salvation.
Ephesians 2:4-5 New Living Translation (NLT)
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
I recently went to a Turkish restaurant where my uncle was talking to one of the waiters, who is Muslim, about Christ. The waiter (I can’t remember his name) said he had some Christian friends and he liked Christians, but he expressed his dissatisfaction in our religion because he could not understand why Jesus will rise again. “If he did then it means our sins haven’t really been forgiven,” He explained.
I guess he was coming from the perspective of ‘the wages of sin is death’ which will make him right. However, in 2 Corinthians 5:21, it says ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’
The beautiful thing about salvation is that Christ rose again. That is good news. We do not have to die sinners and be condemned forever.
Whether Christian or Muslim, we still do things that do not depict the nature of God.
For example, I just prepared my dinner and a friend who I wasn’t expecting to see walks in and smells the aroma. She looks at me “Addy, did you just make this?”
It’s eating me up inside because often the next question that follows is “Can I have some?”
So, I harden my heart and I say it’s not mine which is believable because I do not live alone.
A Muslim friend of mine made a joke when she had non-halal chicken by mistake and said it was a good excuse to commit all the sins in the world and pray about it before going to bed at night.
To God sin is a sin. Also, to God, our works (being religious or legalistic) are not enough to redeem us from the consequences of our action.
Hence it is just by the mercy of God that we are not consumed. Therefore, we receive God’s mercy by faith. We have hope that even though we die because of our sinful nature, we will live again and see God because of his righteousness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 King James Version (KJV)
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.