Hope of Relief in God’s Mercy

by Mike Ratliff

I had a commenter here on Possessing the Treasure several years ago who tried to discourage me and all of my readers with his aggressive attacks on the character of God along with his disparaging remarks about Christians in general. He called us all a bunch of deceived hypocrites who believed a lie and thought we were better than everyone else. Then he said that if God did exist he would find him then the first thing he would do would be to kick him in the crotch. Yes, he said that. I told him that I would reply to his comment, but then I would not let him comment further. I told him that he had genuine Christians all wrong. Yes, there were plenty of professing Christians who were probably like that, but real Christians were humble, knowing they had received mercy they did not deserve by grace from God who is perfect, sovereign, and good. I told him also, that God probably took his threat as a joke, thinking it was pretty funny since He is omnipotent. However, this is not the point of this post. Do we really take our absolute unworthiness before God seriously? None of us deserve this wonderful salvation we have been given. We all deserve God’s wrath that is prepared for all those who love their sin and refuse to obey Him. However, because we have believed the Gospel and received our Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior by the faith given to us as His gift (through grace), we are seen by the Father just as holy and righteous as the Son. This is mind-boggling! However, it is vital that as believers we continue to preach this Gospel to ourselves until we reach home. It is also vital that we continue to understand that in this life, we are still wretched sinners, but are saved by grace.

Spurgeon understood this well:

This is from Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning for October 11.

“Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.”—Lamentations 3:41.

The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is a very salutary lesson for such proud beings as we are. If God gave us favours without constraining us to pray for them we should never know how poor we are, but a true prayer is an inventory of wants, a catalogue of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty. While it is an application to divine wealth, it is a confession of human emptiness. The most healthy state of a Christian is to be always empty in self and constantly depending upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in self and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits; and hence the use of prayer, because, while it adores God, it lays the creature where it should be, in the very dust. Prayer is in itself, apart from the answer which it brings, a great benefit to the Christian. As the runner gains strength for the race by daily exercise, so for the great race of life we acquire energy by the hallowed labour of prayer. Prayer plumes the wings of God’s young eaglets, that they may learn to mount above the clouds. Prayer girds the loins of God’s warriors, and sends them forth to combat with their sinews braced and their muscles firm. An earnest pleader cometh out of his closet, even as the sun ariseth from the chambers of the east, rejoicing like a strong man to run his race. Prayer is that uplifted hand of Moses which routs the Amalekites more than the sword of Joshua; it is the arrow shot from the chamber of the prophet foreboding defeat to the Syrians. Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God. We know not what prayer cannot do! We thank thee, great God, for the mercy-seat, a choice proof of thy marvellous lovingkindness. Help us to use it aright throughout this day!

My brethren, we are very weak and fleshly beings on our own. However, when the Holy Spirit works through us we are those mighty warriors God uses. Prayer is the key that gets us there and we cannot demand it from God, it is through being humble before Him knowing who we really are and who He really is. As we obey Him, He will fill us and use us, but it all starts with prayer.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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