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One glance at the news or social media exposes the collective hemorrhaging of emotions across the globe. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Bring us to our knees, Lord; open our eyes. Teach us to fear You.
“For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6, ESV
I oftentimes have more tears than words—yet there is unwavering hope in the sure justice of Almighty God. Evil will always cause an uproar because it’s not natural. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can provide the kind of unshakable security people need to move forward after centuries of suffering and oppression. We ask, “How long, O Lord?” If the gospel—the epitome of divine justice—is the answer, no one can rightly put a time on how long it will take to work through offenses and move toward healing, restoration, and lasting change.
“The inner healing of the heart is seldom a sudden catharsis or an instant liberation from bitterness, anger, resentment, and hatred. More often it is a gentle growing into oneness with the Crucified who has achieved our peace through His blood on the cross.” — Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child
Sandra McCracken sings the melody to a hymn originally penned by John Stocker in 1776 (a lot went down that year). Depending on the day, each verse puts words to the state of my heart. Today it’s the second verse: “Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here; Sin would reduce me to utter despair; But through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive; And He that first made me still keeps me alive.” If you’re like me, you may be wondering what it looks like to show mercy or where to even begin. The only place I know to start is at the feet of Jesus.
“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents over disaster.” Joel 2:12-13
Hope is not classified by what happens to us but rather by what happened for us at Calvary. Let us humble ourselves and pray for tender hearts, for understanding, for eyes that see as the Father does, ears to listen, and a willingness to obey with joy. The standards for what is merciful are shown in God’s own nature and actions toward mankind.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7