“God’s mercy is so great that you may sooner drain the sea of its water, or deprive the sun of its light, or make space too narrow, than diminish the great mercy of God.” –Charles Spurgeon
Have you ever wondered why Jesus got up early to spend time alone in prayer? We all can appreciate the importance of setting aside time in our schedule for prayer, but why should it be in the morning? Perhaps it’s because Jesus knew what Jeremiah did when he wrote, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His mercies fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Jeremiah was weak when he wrote this. His hope had left him. He was discouraged and felt like all was lost (Lamentations 3:18-20). Then Jeremiah recalled this one thing to mind and dared to hope again. Like Jeremiah, we must learn how to get from verse 3:20 to verse 3:22. Sometimes this journey, which spans only a couple of verses in the Bible, can takes days, months, and even years. How do we do it? By reminding ourselves that God’s mercies are new every morning.
The Psalmist understood this. Verse after verse after verse makes the case.
- Psalm 5:3 (NKJV) – My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You and I will look up.
Psalm 30:5 (NKJV) – For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life (lasts a lifetime); Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
- Psalm 59:16 (NKJV) – But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.
- Psalm 88:13 (NKJV) – But to You I have cried out, O Lord, and in the morning my prayer comes before You.
- Psalm 143:8 (NKJV) – Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning. For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.
Isn’t that so good? God’s mercies are new every morning! Why wouldn’t you start your morning reflecting on the mercies of God? Maybe we should change the coffee jingle to “the best part of waking up is God’s mercies in your cup.” David would agree! He said, “My cup overflows with goodness and mercy” (Psalm 23:5-6).
Grace and mercy are perfect compliments. I like the lyrics which say, “When you get what you don’t deserve, it’s a real good thing. When you don’t get what you deserve, it’s a real good thing.” That’s grace and mercy! Not one of us deserves God’s blessings or His love, but He lavishes it on us anyway. That’s a gift. That’s grace. By the same token, we all deserve punishment for our sins, but through Christ we don’t receive it. That’s mercy!
C.S. Lewis believed that “mercy, detached from justice, grows unmerciful.” Many today would have you believe that mercy comes without sacrifice. Mercy is not just God’s benevolence. Real mercy must satisfy justice. Charles Spurgeon sheds some much needed light on this truth about God’s mercy.
“God in his infinite mercy devised a way by which justice can be satisfied, and yet mercy can be triumphant. Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, took upon himself the form of man, and offered unto Divine Justice that which was accepted as an equivalent for the punishment due to all his people.”
In other words Jesus took our place. He took the punishment for our sins on the cross and through His death reconciled us to God. He is both God’s grace and mercy to all who believe, and His mercies are new every morning!
Let’s join the Psalmist as he exclaims, “Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!” (Psalm 90:14). Why would you wait to have an appointment with God’s mercies? Start now. Start early. Don’t put it off another moment.