“Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees” (Psalm 119:124).
Grace – when we receive what we don’t deserve. Mercy – when we don’t receive what we deserve.
That’s our hope.
God does not deal with us as we deserve – that’s God’s grace. We do not receive judgment and damnation as we deserve – that’s God’s mercy.
God deals with us according to his love, his character, his nature. If God’s assessment of us was based on our love, character, and nature, we are doomed. For all fall short of the glory of God. All have gone astray. There is no one who is good.
But thank God for his love. Thank God for his faithfulness. Thank God for his steadfastness. Thank God for his grace and mercy.
That’s our hope.
Our performance was never the criteria for God’s love for us. So, to all repeat sinners…hear and believe the good news. God is good. God is kind. God is love. God is gracious. And because of who God is we have hope.
Seek God’s decrees. Not to earn God’s love, but because we have received God’s amazing love. We start on the foundation of God’s love and grace.
“I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me” (Psalm 119:75)
Not only am I a sinner, I am a repeat sinner.
It’s not that I haven’t been forgiven, justified, and made new. All that is true. It happened. It happened when I received Jesus as Lord and Savior. All was made new. All that is old has passed. I have been made a creation.
All that is true. But until Christ returns, I am still in this body, in this flesh. And as long as I am in this flesh, I will continue to struggle with sin.
That’s the reason why in God’s faithfulness God’s word afflicts me. Something would be terribly wrong if God’s word only affirmed, accepted, validated a repeat sinner.
God doesn’t afflict to punish. God’s truth and word afflicts in order to tell us what’s wrong so that we can seek God and his forgiveness.
When you put your hand on something sharp or hot, the pain that sears through your hand is a warning. And that warning is a good thing. It tells you to stop before you really hurt yourself. Imagine if there was no warning sign. Imagine you just kept pressing on a blade or kept your hand on a hot stove.
That’s what God’s word does for us. God’s word afflicts us so that we can stop before we really hurt ourselves and others.
A false gospel is one that never offends; one that never afflicts a repeat sinner.
“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word” (Psalm 119:28).
We can be astoundingly consistent and persistent in yearning and longing for sin. We promise never again. We insist that we will pursue God and his righteousness with all our heart. And a few minutes after we’ve prayed that, something triggers and we’re right back to square one with our sin and temptation.
I wish I could tell you the secret to overcoming this.
If you know how, PLEASE tell me how!
What is truly amazing about God is his faithfulness and steadfast love for repeat, rebellious sinners like you and me. You see, his love and faithfulness toward us doesn’t depend on us. It has everything to do with who God is and his character. Because God is God, because God is loving, because God is kind, because God is faithful he forgives and he loves.
How do we know this? The Bible tells us about God’s character.
So when you find yourself in a bout of depression and sorrow, turn to God’s word and find rest.
For the Christian, a failure is never failure as long as the Christian never quits repenting and striving after God.