Think soberly about this…it’s only by the grace of God that the pandemic has passed over you, your family and/or friends. Now, God’s spiritual blessings should never be taken for granted…but have we allowed ourselves to become impassive and unappreciative towards His wondrous grace… instead riveted on our own fears, anxiety, or frustrations? We should be rejoicing in the grace of God…ever thankful that we are covered in His great love, and showered with His mercy and glorious favor.
In a matter of minutes Job lost everything…his livelihood, all his future income, and all ten of his children. And you may find yourself in the same place today as you survey your mounting losses. Although Job lost all his material and personal things, there was one thing he never lost, and that was his faith in God. For this verse tells of his acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, goodness, grace and mercy. And as James 1:17 also reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above…” Job lost everything…but he never lost what really mattered…his faith.
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.
“It is God Who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” (Psalm 18:32) Yes, it’s only by God’s grace, His unearned and unmerited favor, that we are able to make it through trials and suffering. For this verse shows that it is God, not us, that accomplishes this for Believers…to prepare, repair, and perfect us during and after troubling times for His glory.
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.
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.
Jesus came to not only destroy the barrier…the dividing wall…the chasm between God and us, but He came to abolish in His flesh the Law with all its commandments and regulations. (Ephesians 2: 14-15) So in the eyes of Jesus, there is no partiality, bias, or prejudice. For Believers are all children of God and subject equally to His grace, mercy, and blessings…from the multi-millionaire follower of Jesus in Hollywood to the blue-collar laborer in fellowship with Christ in Detroit, Michigan. We are all blessed in our faith of Jesus.
In I Peter 3:12 the Apostle Peter quotes Psalm 34:15 when he writes, ” For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers.” Peter was writing to God-fearing Christians, encouraging them to endure the persecution that was prevalent at the time. Persecution can take on many type of faces. It can be internal physical affliction that drags us down…or it can be external forces that exasperate and irritate us. Peter wanted to show that regardless of the kind of persecution…God’s loving mercy is everlasting and always near to those who love Him.
The blind beggar was hopeless…his life, a story of misery and suffering…but then he heard about this man, Jesus, who was healing people of all their afflictions. So when he caught word that Jesus was going to be passing by, he seized on the chance that Jesus might heal him. He started yelling, but was abruptly chided and warned to be quiet…and he could have allowed his fear of man to stop his voice…but he didn’t! That’s because the blind beggar’s desperation far outweighed any curt remarks directed his way, and his faith in Jesus far stronger than any words spoken by man. He was not detoured by others or fear…for he knew Jesus could heal him.