En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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God’s Compassion and Mercy! by Ray C. Stedman

Posted by Scott on December 31, 2007

by Ray C. Stedman

READ: Job 42:12-13

The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first (Job 42:12a).

This is what James calls in the Revised Standard Version “the purpose of the Lord” (James 5:11), revealing God to be compassionate and merciful. God did not suddenly become compassionate and merciful to Job; He had been that way all along. God’s character, unchanging, is compassion and mercy. He is love. Though He puts us through times of trials and pressures and hardships, it is not because He is angry and upset; it is because He is compassionate and merciful. If we wait, He will bring us to the place where we will see that as plainly and clearly as Job did. So the purpose of the Lord is to reveal His own heart of compassion and mercy to this dear old man.

There is a beautiful passage in Jeremiah’s Lamentations that I think we must always remember when we are going through trials and afflictions. I would urge you to memorize it as you face a new year: “For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men” (Lamentations 3:31-33).

Isn’t that encouraging? He does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men. He will bring grief because He loves us and we need it, but He does not do it lightly. He feels our pain with us. As a good parent with His children, He hurts worse than we do at times. He does not willingly do it. I think we need to recall that when we are put through times of pressure and danger.

God moves Job’s relatives and friends to bring him gifts of silver and gold. But perhaps these gifts of silver and gold that friends and relatives brought were God’s way of providing a foundation of the wealth that He will bring Job. At any rate, Job ended up with double everything that he had before.

“Well,” you say, “God doubled everything but his sons and daughters. He ended up with seven sons and three daughters, just like he had at the beginning.” No. You forget he has seven sons and three daughters in heaven, and seven sons and three daughters more on earth, so God indeed gave Job double everything that he had to start with. That is the mercy of God. He does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men but longs to give them blessing when they come to the place where they can handle the blessing that He wants to give.

Help us to accept Your tender mercies, Lord, and to see behind them Your loving, compassionate heart. Help us, out of our understanding to bring praise to the glory of our great God.

This daily devotion was inspired by one of Ray’s sermons. Please read “The New Begining” (or listen to the audio file  Listen to Ray) for more on this portion of scripture.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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2 Responses to “God’s Compassion and Mercy! by Ray C. Stedman”

  1. goodinfo2 said

    Your great post hits upon an aspect that troubles me about depth of christianity, including the core christian teachings. People are dynamic. Our views change and evolve. Positions we hold at one point in our lives and actions taken from those positions may be radically different ten years later, or even three years later. New information and insights can dramatically alter one’s view point and life. We should be judged by who we are today, by recent actions, our hearts and sincerity not by a point in our past. I must say this is a really interesting blog.

  2. qbaileys said

    The depth of Christianity is only as deep as the believer desires to spend time in God’s word. We are not prevy to our own creativeness, but total surrender to God’s will. We are to be the image of a holy God not an evolution of ourselves over time. God is the same today as he was 6000 years ago. God’s word is specific about many things and we are judged based on our own actions, but God’s grace is sufficient to blot out my sins as long as Jesus Christ is the ruler of my life. Your past can be forgiven by God, just ask Him…as the Holy Spirit prompts you to change and alter your thinking you must be obedient to God’s calling in that.

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