Receiving the Mercy of God

I continue to notice how many of us have a reflexive feeling that God is harshly critical or judging us. Sometimes we feel this acutely due to a particular sin or failure in our lives. Other times we have a generalized feeling of God’s displeasure or judgment.

There is a place for the prick of conscience when we have done wrong, when we have sinned or when we are living in willful disobedience of God. But when we are seeking to love and follow God, I believe it is often the voice of the evil one, who likes nothing better than to try to keep us from going to the Lord. God always wants us to turn towards him, to come to him. Satan always wants to turn us away from, separate us from or put barriers between us and God.

Consider Adam and Eve in the garden. They disobeyed God and now they hide from God in the cool of the evening. They have done wrong, they feel ashamed and so they hide. It’s like the evil one is whispering in their ear, “God is harsh and angry and will never receive you with mercy.” But Satan is a lier. God wants their restoration. It is not God’s will that they should be separated from him, and so God seeks them out. If only they would run to him, confess their sins and be restored.

I recently came across this helpful quote from Pope Francis.

The Lord always looks upon us with mercy;…let us not be afraid to approach him! He has a merciful heart! If we show him our inner wounds, our sins, he will always forgive us. He is pure mercy! Let us go to Jesus!
— Pope Francis

God sees us with mercy. Let us soak these words deep into us. God longs to restore us. Be gone Satan, tell us no more lies! May we always run to the Lord to find forgiveness and mercy.

© Dale Gish 2019. All Rights Reserved.