The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Do you see God this way? In your heart of hearts, do you see him as merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love?
So many people see God as stern, harsh, demanding, joyless, hard to please. A cosmic Scrooge. But that’s not the God of the Bible! That’s not the real God, who revealed himself in Jesus Christ!
The real God is merciful. He is bursting with tenderness and affection. He feels for you when you are hurting. All through the Bible we see God’s tender heart for the widow and the orphan. In Matthew 9:36, we read of Jesus: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” That’s God! Full of compassion and mercy! For you!
The real God is gracious. He extends grace to the guilty. He forgives all our sins. In fact, two verses later Psalm 103:10 says, “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.” Four verses later, in verse 12, we read: “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” God is so gracious to us!
The real God is slow to anger. Because we can be impatient and quick-tempered, we might feel that God is this way. But it is not so. God is so patient, so gentle, so slow to anger. God never loses his temper. He is easy to live with.
The real God is abounding in love. He is not just a little loving, but he abounds in love. He overflows with the most relentless love and affection. He is crazy about you! His love knows no bounds! Picture new parents tenderly gazing at their long-awaited baby, eyes brimming with love and compassion. That’s God gazing at you!
We have no idea of the tender heart of our God.
But if we did, would we not love him more? Would we not trust him more? Would we not obey him more? Would we not enjoy him more? Would we not rest in his love and care? Would it not transform our whole outlook on life?
A.W. Tozer once said of God: “He meant us to see him and live with him and draw our life from his smile.” Do you draw your life from God’s smile?