I have experienced God’s enduring love and the grace to constantly demonstrate it each time I wanted, especially when my commitments are tested in the fires of life. A friend of mine once told me that he feels better with challenging situations because they make him stronger. In fact, he said that challenges of life make him to pray to God more than when he is free from them.
The day I discovered the truth in his words, was the day I come to understand why Paul’s great assay in 1 Corinthians 13 celebrates the depth and tenacity of the love that carries us beyond self-interest and mere affection. God’s love is a fabric that never fades, no matter how often it is washed in the waters of adversity.
In the Promised Land, Israel failed. They disobeyed God by not destroying the Canaanites. They mingled with the Gentiles and learned their works. They became like the heathen in their thinking and they were soon like them in their behaviour! The people of God today are being enticed day and night by worldly attitudes propagated by radio, television and newspapers. Worldliness weakens many a Christian because it is opposed to God and His holy standards (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17). We must not allow the world to mould our thinking (Romans 12:2).
The Lord was so gracious to faithless, rebellious Israel. When He brought them low because of their sin, they cried to Him and He heard their cry. The Lord delivered the Israelites many times, though they often rebelled against Him. God is very patient, but we must never take His patience for granted. The path of disobedience leads to unhappiness and judgment. God’s mercies are so many that they are described as a multitude! How wonderful! This is why as a backsliding Christian; you need to return to the Lord, because He will receive you according to the multitude of His mercies. Are you a discouraged, struggling believer? Take heart, for your heavenly Father cares for you according to the multitude of His mercies. Are you afflicted, or are you a grieving child of God? Be comforted, because God will bring you through your troubles according to the multitude of His mercies. Notice that the fourth book of Psalms ends with praise. Let us likewise end each day with heartfelt praise to God for the multitude of His mercies.
God’s love is more than a mere affection. When you fall into a bigger mistake, God expects you to return to Him in repentance. After Jesus’ arrest, Peter, one of His beloved disciples, denied three times that he knew Him. When it was done on him that he had made a great mistake he went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:61-62). His tears were most likely tears of shame and repentance. No doubt he wished he could undo his actions. But Peter wasn’t left in his misery. After Jesus’ resurrection, He restored Peter, giving him the opportunity to reaffirm his love (John 21:15-17). When you sorrow over sin in your life, remember that God has provided a method of restoration. “If we confess our sins”, He will “forgive us” and “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Let us understand it that the way back to God begins with a broken heart.