Here comes the New Year. I made it spiritually alive! I have been carried by an almighty God and I made it thanks to His strength. If I could remember only one thing from this year, it would be that God is merciful. I learned that His mercy is a part of His holiness. He is not holy, then merciful and compassionate and forgiving. His kindness is part of His majesty. Isaiah 40, this great chapter telling of the greatness of God, begins describing it by exposing His goodness. God’s goodness is His glory. Let’s read it.
Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:9-11)
God is so merciful that He longs to show us mercy.
I have heard Ephraim grieving, ‘You have disciplined me, and I was disciplined, like an untrained calf; bring me back that I may be restored, for you are the LORD my God. For after I had turned away, I relented, and after I was instructed, I struck my thigh; I was ashamed, and I was confounded, because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’ Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he my darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I do remember him still. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 31:18-20).
And if there is something I want to take with me in 2015 is that God’s way is different from mine. His way is a way of compassion and forgiveness. He is ready to forgive because He is different. My God is different. What a blessing!
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:6-9)