[October 22, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Is God Merciful?

By Molly Fisher

Where are you God? Are you listening? Do you really care? God, it seems like evil is winning and that your enemies are gaining ground.

Have you uttered these questions or had these thoughts? I have, more often than I would like to admit, and find comfort that the Psalms, ancient words of God’s people, are filled with these same questions – even David could not always sense God’s presence. However, what I also find when I turn to the Bible, is that God shows up time and again. He is faithful! He is just! He is merciful!

From the beginning, God intersected with our story at creation, and he has been doing so, fulfilling his promises, ever since. I can’t remember where I heard the idea that, “We were created in the image of God, and we just can’t help ourselves but to return the favor.” We tend to create for ourselves an image of God from our own perspective, which is going to be a far lesser god, than the one true God. When we consider any attribute of God, we bring our own, often loaded-with-baggage history of how we have experienced that attribute in our life. Occasionally, I have been known to have thoughts on both justice and mercy, but not even I would fare well if my ways were God’s ways. I am so very thankful that God’s justice and mercy, do not look like mine! So many Biblical stories give us a glimpse of God, his love, and his mercy. It can help to step outside of our story to read about God, to consider those stories and the long history of God, and then discover how God’s story intersects with our own.

Like those stories, our life can be hard, challenging, unfair, plus we will make mistakes and poor choices. Things don’t always go our way. When we experience loss, grief, uncertainty, rejection, loneliness, exhaustion, being overwhelmed, or in some other way, hopelessness, God in his mercy is there. He will fulfill his promises to comfort, encourage, restore, and give hope. My perspective changes with circumstance, and circumstances change. Thankfully God does NOT!

As we near the end of another year (seriously, it’s only 2 months away), instead of coming up with resolutions for the next year, I’m learning to focus on where I recognize God was at work in my life and circumstances over the last year. I can often recognize in reflection what I miss in the moment – those examples of God’s grace and mercy for me. In the busyness of the next couple months, take time to notice where God has shown his mercy in your life.


[Sunday, October 22]

Psalm 51, Ephesians 2:4, Titus 3:5

David finally recognized the extent of sin. He is begging God for underserved mercy, not the absence of consequences, but for mercy. I appreciated Kristin’s identifying how easily we “rebrand” sin, to somehow make it less than. If God is perfect and just, then anything less than is unacceptable, but his love for us provides a way back. If we ask for forgiveness/confess, he is faithful and just – he will forgive us (1 John 1:9). And, as far as the east if from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).

We don’t deserve God’s mercy, but he gives it anyway. We don’t deserve his love – we couldn’t possibly earn it, but he gives it freely. Mercy became human – in Jesus. Can you acknowledge sin in your life, and call it what it is, then confess it to God (who already knows anyway)? Can you accept his gift of mercy, given specifically to you? As Kristin said this morning, “God’s mercy is extraordinary; God’s mercy is necessary, and God’s mercy is available.”


[Monday, October 23]

Exodus 33:1-26

God leads this encounter with Moses describing himself as merciful. Of all the things God wants us to know about him, top of the list is merciful. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more or love you less – which is not saying there are no consequences for choices and action, but the gift of your salvation, by God’s mercy and through Jesus, is assured. Jesus died for our sins, to provide a way back to a relationship with a God who created and loves us. Have you accepted this gift of mercy from God? If so, how can you express your gratitude for such a precious gift?


[Tuesday, October 24]

Jeremiah 29:11

No matter what circumstance confront you today, can you trust that God has a plan, even if you don’t know what that plan is? Knowing that you cannot control the future, do you have hope? Does knowing that God can be BOTH just AND merciful, help you place your hope in him?


[Wednesday, October 25]

Philippians 1:6

From creation, then the fall, God has been at work. He has fulfilled prophesies and kept his promises. You too, are included in his plans. He has started a good work in you. Do you recognize where God has been at work in your life?


[Thursday, October 26]

Deuteronomy 31:8

Almost everything in our society right now seems to create dismay and/or fear. Can you focus on what is good and who is good? When circumstances seem overwhelming, can you stop and reflect on God’s grace and mercy, and hold tightly to his promises.


[Friday, October 27]

Lamentations 3:22-23

Be reflective on this today, and often: his mercies never come to an end; they are new EVERY morning!



{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

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12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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