God's Mercy in Action
God's Mercy in Action

God’s Mercy Outweighs Our Imperfections

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

There will never be enough proof to make us feel secure in our choice to trust in God. Today’s blessings fade into yesterday’s memories, and doubt creeps back into of our souls. Trusting God is a daily choice, and sometimes we get in wrong. Sometimes fear wins, but never doubt the power of God’s mercy. God sees our imperfections, and He also sees our effort. Take solace in knowing that even when you fail, God is still able to make up the difference.

There is a story in the Bible of a widow that was visited by the prophet Elijah. The king at that time – Ahab, had begun to worship a false god (introduced to him by his wife – 1 Kings 16). As a consequence of this choice, there was no rain or dew in the land. God instructed Elijah to go to a brook that would feed him and provide water. Once that source dried up, God sent Elijah to this widow, who would provide him with food.

When he requested something to drink, she gave it to him. When he then requested bread – the widow told him she had a little flour and oil left. Her and her son were going to eat their last meal and die. (1 Kings 17:12). Elijah told her to make him some bread, and then some for her and her son.

For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.

(1 Kings 17:14)

In faith, she made the bread. In faith, we can do the same. The choice to trust God is simply a choice. We have to believe that with Him, the impossible is made possible. For the widow, day after day, the flour and oil continued to be in supply. During the drought, her, her son, and the prophet never went hungry. After experiencing such a miracle, you would think her faith in God with be unshakeable. Not necessarily.

When our circumstances seem impenetrable

Life happens, and sometimes circumstances get the best of us. When the widow’s son became sick and died – she blamed Elijah (1 Kings 17:18) – the same person who brought God’s blessing upon her. But don’t judge her too harshly. Sometimes when we experience God’s blessings, we believe we’ve become immune to life’s trials. Tribulations are supposed to bring us perseverance, character, and hope (Romans 5:3-4) Often, they bring doubt, misplaced anger, and a feeling of hopelessness.

Even when we think our situations are too far gone, God’s mercy is still an option. Elijah pleaded on her behalf to God – who raised her son from the dead. “Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.” (1 Kings 17:24) But why does it have to take so much for us to trust God?

Even God’s Prophet Had Doubt

Elijah went on to perform more miracles, listening to God’s instruction, and trusting that God would keep His promises. Unfortunately, God’s ability to deliver, including returning rain to the land, wasn’t enough for Elijah to place his full trust in God. After Jezebel found out Elijah had the prophets of Baal killed (1 Kings 18:40), she sent a message to Elijah saying that she would have him killed. Elijah fled.

Previously, Elijah trusted God to provide for him when the land was in famine. He saw God raise the widow’s son from the dead. Yet when it came to his own life, Elijah experienced doubt. Instead of seeking God’s help, he asked God to take his life ((1 Kings 19:4).

Elijah’s response reminds us that the hardest leaps of faith are the ones closest to our hearts.

God’s Response

Despite Elijah’s shortcomings, God had mercy on him. He sent an angel to prepare Elijah for a journey – where he would encounter the voice and spirit of God. Elijah then had the chance to seek refuge and explain his fears. God heard his concerns and provided direction (1 Kings 19:15-18). When we experience fear, we may hear that God’s wrath is waiting at the door to punish us for our shortcomings. Don’t believe the hype. God had mercy on Elijah, in the same way God’s mercy extends to us. His mercy will always outweigh our imperfections.

Why Does This Matter

God expects us to trust Him without limit. For us, that can feel almost illogical, and highly impractical – but that’s God. He defies human logic, and honestly, that’s what we need Him to do. He seeks effort while acknowledging our imperfections. His mercy gives us the chances we so desperately need to come to the alter and regroup. Trusting God is a daily choice – and not always an easy one. I don’t think God takes that lightly. He sees our fears, hears our concerns, and is sympathetic to our trials. He cares for us, and if we’re willing to step out in faith, He will always be willing to guide us to the other side.

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