What Difference Does Mercy Make?
By Rick Warren
“O Lord, you are so good and kind, so ready to forgive, so full of mercy for all who ask your aid.” Psalm 86:5 (TLB)
This Easter season, we’ve been looking at God’s mercy and why you need it in your life. His mercy is something you can’t live without. And even though you don’t deserve it and can’t earn it, he always responds mercifully when you humbly pray, “God, I need your mercy in my life.”
The Bible says, “O Lord, you are so good and kind, so ready to forgive, so full of mercy for all who ask your aid” (Psalm 86:5 TLB).
But you might be wondering, “What difference will God’s mercy really make in my life?”
Here are three things that happen when you ask God for mercy:
God forgives you and frees you. God’s forgiveness takes care of your past guilt. And his freedom gives you the power to change in the future. Many people struggle because they can’t let go of the past. But Jesus says, “The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers” (Luke 4:18 CEV).
Maybe you’re a prisoner to envy or resentment. Maybe you’re held captive by worry or addiction. I have good news: Jesus didn’t come to judge you. He came to show you mercy! In fact, he said, “I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world" (John 12:47 NIV). James 2:13 says, “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (NIV). Yes, there will be a judgment day. But Jesus came to offer you mercy before that day comes.
God makes the impossible possible. Anytime you use the word “impossible,” listen for laughter from heaven—because “impossible” is not in God’s book. God can do things you can’t do. He has power and resources you’ve never dreamed of having. Jesus says, "What is impossible with man is possible with God" (Luke 18:27 NIV).
Why doesn’t God just take away all your problems? Because God uses tough times to grow your character. If you never had any problems, your persistence, determination, diligence, and patience would never have a chance to grow. God’s work in your life during hard times makes having these character traits possible.
God saves you for eternity. You were made by God to last forever, and he wants you in his forever family. But there’s one condition: You need to ask for mercy. Acts 2:21 says, “Anyone who asks for mercy from the Lord shall have it and shall be saved” (TLB).
The reason we celebrate Easter is because Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25 ESV). If Jesus had not risen from the dead, you would have no valid reason to believe that there is life after death in heaven. But because he raised himself, he can raise you.
When you accept the mercy of God, it truly makes all the difference in the world.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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