8 The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. Psalm 145:8-9, English Standard Version
If you could write a song to describe your experience of God, what will you say?
David celebrated God’s grace and mercy towards all people – His people and those who have yet to know Him. He knew God’s grace and mercy to be true from his personal experience of God which led him to compose the beautiful psalm above.
God is described as being “slow to anger and abounding in love”. It is good to see the strong connection between God’s abounding love and God’s slowness to anger. One cannot exist without the other. If God is only love and He is not serious about judging sin that destroys us, then God is neither good nor loving. If God is only about judging sin but does not show mercy to sinners, then God is neither gracious nor compassionate.
Isn’t it amazing to know that no matter what we have done or how many times we have failed, God does not stop loving us and forgiving us?
God’s perseverance of patience matches God’s perseverance of love.
If we embrace this truth, we will be more careful in our attitude and focus as we approach God. We would not treat sin like it means nothing and make small the holiness of God. However, it is also crucial not to condemn ourselves when we sin. Not condemning ourselves is important because how we perceive God’s love and patience will influence and impact the way we treat others.
We are called to reflect God’s character in our relationships. We need to ask ourselves, “Have I been “slow to anger and abounding in love” with my friends and loved ones”? For many of us, there may be a wide gap between what we believe and how ready we are to act on our beliefs.
If we are convicted by the truth but do not act on our conviction, we cannot grow or function as God intended. Our prayers might be reduced to “more grace for me” or perhaps “more judgement on those whom I am on bad terms”. God bestowed His great love upon us by calling us His sons and daughters. In doing so, our Father is empowering us to become greater than ourselves, not by our own might or power but by His grace.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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