What is Mercy?

September 26, 2019

It would be good for all of us to remember more regularly that if each and every one of us received what we deserved, we would be crispy critters. As the Bible makes clear, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Our covenant with God isn’t about what we deserve. It’s about Jesus taking on Himself what He didn’t deserve, so we could have what we don’t deserve.

Without His mercy, none of us would be anywhere.

What Is Mercy?

Mercy is the element of God’s heart that meets our need when we don’t have the faith to see our needs met or we’re not living right.

Because we have a body of flesh, we will make mistakes. We will face situations that seem beyond our capacity to manage and our faith won’t be there. Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us hanging in the wind. God’s mercy fills in the gaps for us.

When rebellion rises in our hearts and prompts us to go another path, God doesn’t abandon us. He’s always with us, whether it’s our darkest moment or our best. We may not feel it, but He is there working to bring His mercy to bear in our lives.

The Father of Mercies

The Bible is full of mercy verses. We read that God is rich in mercy to all who call upon Him (Eph. 2:4), God is the Father of mercies (2 Corinthians 1:3), and God’s mercy endures forever (Psalm 136). If God is the Father of mercy and He’s eternal, the availability of His mercy to you is also eternal.

Let’s look at mercy in the New Testament. Hebrews 4:16 says:

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (KJV)

This paints a beautiful picture for us. God doesn’t want us crawling into His presence on our bellies, feeling so much condemnation we can’t get off the floor. He said to come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy through our covenant with God.

Mercy vs. Grace

A lot of people get mercy and grace confused. Although they are closely aligned and certainly work together, they are different. Grace is defined as the unmerited favor of God or the enabling ability or power of God made available to you and me. That power remains dormant until it’s applied through our faith in His grace. When that power is applied, it produces an act of mercy.

Mercy is the actual manifestation of grace operating in your life. It is God’s intervention, even though it’s unmerited, undeserved, and unwarranted.

Mercy is a vital part of our covenant with God, but we aren’t supposed to live solely by mercy. As Romans 1:17 says, the just shall live by faith. God expects us to learn the Word, invest our belief system in it, and grow in our faith. He wants us to assume responsibility for our spiritual lives. If you’re not there in faith, though, come to God’s throne boldly and His mercy will be available to you to produce deliverance.

So grace is God’s unmerited favor that enables the ability and power of God in your life. Mercy is the application of that power, ability, or favor to produce an act of mercy and a change in your situation.

Believe in His Mercy

Mercy does fill the gaps our faith leaves, but we do need to have faith in God’s mercy. Brother Hagin used to say, “If you can’t get what you need by faith, focus your faith on mercy and start calling on the mercy of God.”

All of us will encounter things we can’t seem to get our faith around. When that happens, we can always build our faith in the mercy of God. In fact, I think this should be the first effort a believer makes in growing in God: get grounded in God’s mercy because it fills the gaps when our faith doesn’t seem to be working too well.

If you’ve invested time in hearing the Word about the mercy of God and you’re absolutely grounded in the truth of God’s grace and mercy to your life, then when nothing else seems to be working, you can call on the mercy of God. So start focusing on mercy, build faith for it, and that will enable you to circumvent faith shortfalls in specific areas of your life.

As you go about your day, know that God’s mercy is available to you as you put your faith in it. Don’t remain in ignorance about the Word, but also don’t stress over things you don’t yet know. God’s mercy will fill in the gaps for your faith. As you do, you position yourself to receive the amazing gift of God’s mercy.

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