Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Experiencing God's Mercy

 A widow once asked me, “What does God’s mercy include?”. There are many verses in the Scriptures that speak of God’s mercies. The book of Psalms frequently references the mercies of God, often coupled with loving kindness and tender mercies. One verse that is often quoted is found in Lamentations 3:22-23: It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed; His compassions do not fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

        Matthew Henry in his commentary reminds us that one can become so used to grief that she forgets what joy feels like. He goes on to remind us that these verses instill hope in the child of God. Things may be tough in your life right now, but if it wasn’t for God’s mercy, they would be worse, and His compassion will never fail.

Think with me on just a few women in the Bible who experienced sorrow, disappointment or testing in their lives and then God’s mercy was manifest. Do you recall Anna the prophetess mentioned in the book of Luke? She had been a widow for many years and had dedicated her life to God’s work in the temple, looking forward to the coming Messiah, but at her advanced age surely not expecting that He would come in her lifetime. And then Jesus’ parents brought him to the temple to present him to the Lord and hope within Anna’s heart sprang to life and God poured out His tender mercies on her and allowed her to hold His son in her arms. All those barren years of widowhood were forgotten with one touch of the baby’s tiny fingers. God’s mercy to Anna took the form of a small baby.

            There’s the Old Testament story of David and Bathsheba, the death of their child conceived out of marriage…and then her son Solomon, conceived after her marriage to David, succeeded his father as king although there were other older sons who could have filled that role. God’s tender and loving mercies poured forth in her life in redemptive and restorative fashion to her grief and shame-scarred soul. Bathsheba’s mercy took the form of a kingly son.

            Then there’s the story of Rizpah whose sons were killed to avenge a broken treaty, but whose bodies were disrespected by being left to rot on the gallows. Rizpah lovingly guarded those bodies until her actions were brought to the attention of King David who had them properly buried in their family plot. For Rizpah, mercy took the form of a proper burial for her sons.

            Do you remember Eunice the mother of Timothy who, along with her mother, instilled in Timothy a deep faith in God? I wonder if her faith was sometimes tested by Timothy whose father, as far as we know, was not a believer in Christ as the Messiah. Perhaps Timothy went through a period where he questioned if Christianity was true. But Eunice continued in her mission to see him place his trust in Jehovah God and in Christ as the Son of God. For Eunice, as for many mothers, mercy took the form of a faith-filled young adult who became a mighty ambassador for Christ.

            Lastly, there’s Mary the mother of Christ whose birth we celebrate this month. She willingly submitted herself to God’s will after the visitation of the angel Gabriel announced to her that she was chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. There were many times, I’m sure during the years of rearing Jesus, that her trust in the angel’s message was tested. She was thought to have been pregnant by Joseph thus staining her reputation, Jesus was rejected by the Jewish religious leaders and suffered greatly at the hands of the Roman government, ultimately suffering an agonizing death
by crucifixion. For Mary, mercy took the form of seeing her son, Jesus Christ, raised to life and the veracity of his claims as divinity verified many times over.

            The one thing that I am sure of is that God’s mercy will take whatever form you need it to. It will include whatever God knows it will take to restore hope, trust and life to your heart. So, as you celebrate Christ’s birth this Christmas season, allow God’s mercies to wash over your spirit and emotions in the form of His peace and comfort. Be like the Apostle Paul and look forward with great anticipation to the joys that are ahead where we will forever experience fellowship with our risen Savior, with tears and sorrow a thing of the past. Merry Christmas to each of you.

Bible message by Shari Hervold

Take time this holiday to relax and enjoy the many Christmas Carol. 
Merry Christmas from Friends Needing Friends International Widow Ministry!

I don't own any rights to these songs. It's for entertainment and worship songs only.


The above video is from the Florida "Friends Needing Friends Widow Ministry." We had great fun singing the two songs, "This is the Day that the Lord has Made" and We wish you a Merry Christmas. Two appropriate songs for this time of year and any day is the right day to ask Jesus into your heart. All you have to do is say the prayer below and connect yourself with a good Bible believing church.  

The ABCs of Salvation. 
                                   A-DMIT you're a sinner. 
                                    B-ELIEVE God did something about your sin 
                                                    through Jesus. 
                                    C-OMMIT to trusting Christ and Christ alone 
                                                     for the forgiveness of sin. 
                                    D-O IT TODAY!    

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!