God is gracious and forgiving. That is his very nature. It’s literally the meaning behind his name: the LORD (the Hebrew name Yahweh).
That means we can ask him to restore our sin-broken relationship and no longer be angry with us. And we can keep on asking for this again and again.
“You, LORD, showed favor to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins. You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger. Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us” (Psalm 85:1-4, NIV).
God is gracious and forgiving. That means that God has Amazon warehouses of limitless kindness, tolerance and patience that we can draw on daily. Such abundant love can lead us to step back from sin and see it for what it really is — selfishness.
“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4, NIV).
God is gracious and forgiving. That means that he loves to bring compassion instead of calamity. He thrills in delivering healing in place of demanding punishment.
“He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity” (Jonah 4:2, NIV).
Sinful humans do not have it in their nature to be gracious and forgiving toward each other. As sinners, we don’t even have it in our nature to be kind, patient or tolerant with ourselves. We need this solid foundation of love badly, and there’s nowhere else to get it but from the LORD.
It’s also not in our nature to believe we can find it from God, even though we always can. Which is why the Bible emphasizes again and again and again how gracious and forgiving God is.
Our Bible reading for Tuesday, July 14, is Jonah 1:1 – 4:11, Romans 2:1-16 and Psalm 85:1-7.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me abundantly. Your love for me shows itself in a myriad of ways. But the most important is that you gave up your one and only Son to show me grace and win forgiveness for me. Truly, your patience and passion for restoring broken sinners like me is astounding! By your Spirit’s power, help me to find peace and rest in your abundant love every day.
Header image based on "Grunge Road Sign - Infinite Love Limit" by Nicolas Raymond, CC By 2.0