An image of a bright sunrise with the sun behind a cloud and beams of light streaming in all directions.

One way to gauge the strength of your relationship with God is to examine your thoughts about him. In your heart of hearts do you see him as quick-tempered and easily displeased? Or as a Father who is kind and merciful? Do you come to him daily, trusting in his kindness? Or do you cringe just a little because you fear his rejection?

Scripture assures us that God’s anger passes quickly while his mercy endures forever. Like any father, God is capable of becoming angry when he sees his children hurting themselves or others. But when you belong to his family through faith in Christ, his anger is like one of those pop-up thunderstorms in the midst of a long, sunny summer.

When we stumble, God sees not only the stain of our sin but the misery it leaves behind. Our suffering evokes his mercy. And his mercy is designed to draw us back to him.

Despite what our children might think, most of us don’t go out of our way to make their lives miserable whenever they do something wrong. Because the bedrock of our relationship with them is love, we always want to help them. We understand their frailty because we too are human, so human that we might even remember how tough it can be to be a kid.

I think that’s how our heavenly Father sees us. He responds to our misery with kindness, eager to help when we fail. I find it comforting that the Bible characterizes God’s anger as momentary while emphasizing that his mercy endures forever. That’s exactly what you would expect of a good father. Mercy is what is built into the fiber of God’s being--not anger. The Bible tells us many things about the richness of God’s mercy, saying he delights in it and that he is kind, compassionate, and slow to anger. Our own store of mercy may run out, but God’s mercy is new every morning.  Let’s proclaim the truth today: "The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease" (Lamentations 3:22).





Originally published November 20, 2018.