By Marni Montanez
New American Standard Bible
18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him
It is amazing to me how many people do not understand or receive the compassion and grace God offers us. Many Christians lay heavy burdens upon themselves by struggling more than they have to and will not accept that Godís desire is to help and heal and show mercy. Some people just donít feel they deserve it because of past sins.
Sometimes part of this inability to receive His grace comes from pride. We think we can do it. We can manage our lives and fix our messes. That is why so many times it takes suffering to get us on our knees desperately reaching toward God and asking Him for help.
Why does it have to get to that point before we realize that we are already in desperate need of God? He offers grace to a people whom He purposely created to need this grace. It is more than favor; it is what we need to get through every moment of every day. With each stumbling block this world throws at us, Godís grace gives us the strength and determination to rise again. This is total dependence and it is in this total dependence where we find the power to walk as sojourners in this world. We are in a world where we can never settle because we donít belong here.
We belong in the Kingdom of heaven and it will take His mighty power to strengthen us so that we donít fall into the ways of the world and become like everyone else.
This verse brings grace and compassion together as a unit. It is Godís great longing and desire to show us His true intentions toward us.
In the next line it says, ďFor the Lord is a God of justiceĒ. What could this possibly mean in the framework of compassion and grace? How is this justice? It was by Godís design that we are weak and vulnerable. He created us to need and depend on Him and Him alone and in doing so He knows better than we how much we need His grace and compassion.
Challenge: Pray like this: Lord God, I need your help in this moment. I need you to show me the way. I receive your grace and compassion and choose to let go of my own limited understanding. Help me to receive from you all that you offerÖ..in Jesusí name
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.