“As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!” (Psalm 40:11)
But who would ever restrain mercy? The bigger question might be, “Why would anyone restrain mercy?” Maybe the person is undeserving of receiving any form of mercy. Could it be because what they’ve done is utterly despicable and clearly wrong?
Some restrain mercy from others because they don’t see their own neediness. They wonder why others can’t be “perfect” like them. Not everyone is willing to acknowledge their sinfulness. And that drives them further to restrain mercy from those whose sins are more external and visible.
Yet God who is full of mercy just won’t restrain his mercy. But his steadfast love and faithfulness also drive him to guide me in paths of righteousness. Now, that’s not always pleasing to me, but he knows that’s the best for me.
Unfortunately, we may resist his guidance and prefer our own ways. But this resistance only leads to more frustration and agony. As I continue in my own ways, it’s guaranteed to lead me into trouble This is where God’s steadfast love and faithfulness responds and brings correction. And we may misunderstand God’s correction and think that he is against us. But all along, he has our best interest in mind.
As we misunderstand his hand of correction, it reveals that we are blinded. We’re blinded by our own sins. David said, “My iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see.” The problem is that we only see God’s correction but we are blind to our own sins.
Even when we misunderstand God, he does not restrain his mercy from us. He has every right to reject us but instead, he chooses mercy and continues his steadfast love and faithfulness. He stays true to his character.
In fact, mercy clearly defines who we are as individuals and as children of God. This character of God is essential for us as we live as mere mortals in need of God.
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