God’s mercy is extended to the whole race of mankind. “For He is the God not only of the Jews, but of the Gentiles.” (Romans 3:29) It also reminds us in Psalm 22:27 that someday, “all the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord.” And as these verses today show, God is continually extending His hand to us…wooing and beckoning us to come near and worship Him.
King David knew where his strength and confidence came from…it was in his relationship with the one true God and His unchanging kindness and mercy. David relied on God’s wisdom rather than his own in making decisions…confident yet humble, knowing God’s Will was perfect every time, in every situation. Yes, David messed up some, but he was also called a man after God’s own heart for good reason.
When it comes to our relationship with God, it’s man that proves to be the unfaithful party. For God’s merciful kindness towards us is everlasting and forever. In Isaiah 54:7 it says, “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.” So when you’re going through sorrow and you don’t feel God near…remember that His deep loving compassion for you can only but gather you back up in His arms.
To love your neighbor as yourself, is an excellent example of unselfish love. It’s a love that isn’t contrived, plays favorites, or is narrow-minded simply because the person don’t look or act like us. Jesus Christ patterned this unselfish love for us… always looking on anyone He encountered with love and mercy. And since the Lord has shown such great mercy towards us…how can we not show this same mercy to others?
Are you going through trouble and hardship today…then this is for you. Remember, there is no one like our God. He is a faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands. (Deuteronomy 7:9-12) For this covenant of love we have with God is everlasting…unshakable, unbreakable, merciful, and kind. He knows exactly what you’re going through today and He cares.
During the very darkest time of my life I would read Psalm 86 in its entirety out loud every morning. I was alone, isolated from friends and family, and in the middle of a very violent relationship. I felt hopeless, helpless and totally alone. As I read these words out loud, I could almost hear David reminding himself that the Lord was near. And as he recalled all of God’s attributes…His great love, His mercy, compassion, and faithfulness, I too would be reminded of them and what God had done for me. And in the end, just like David, this Psalm gave me the strength and courage to endure for one more day.
Distress comes in many different forms, and no one is immune to worry. But it’s how we approach difficulties and troubles that can make the difference between barely wallowing through them, and coming out the other side better not bitter. This Psalm gives us a blueprint or a road-map, if you will, when it comes to offering our supplication before the Lord. First we need to realize that when we cry out to God, He actually hears us. He’s not some far off entity… aloof and distant. Rather, God longs to hear our prayers and work in and through the troubles we’re going through. Next, He’s a just God full of kindness…He knows what we’re going through and wants to help. Finally, He’s a listening God. For when there’s no one else you can confide in…He’s always there.
Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s loving kindness towards us. For as sinners, we have no right to claim that any of our good works will get us any closer to heaven…for they won’t. It is only by putting our faith and trust in Jesus that we can be saved…and it is only by His unmerited grace and mercy towards us that it can happen.