But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Many believers today live with constant guilt, shame and regret about past failures, sins and disappointments. Moreover, the enemy is constantly accusing believers of being unworthy and reminding them of their past.
What is a believer to do? We are to fall on God’s mercy.
Paul writes about our Father in Ephesians 2:4 by framing his great love with his riches of mercy. What does ‘God, who is rich in mercy’ mean? In his book Gentle and Lowly, Dane Ortlund writes,
“That God is rich in mercy means that your regions of deepest shame and regret are not hotels through which divine mercy passes, but homes in which divine mercy abides. It means the things about you that make you cringe most, make him hug hardest. It means his mercy is not calculating and cautious, like ours. It is unrestrained, flood-like, sweeping, magnanimous…It means our sins do not cause his love to take a hit. Our sins cause his love to surge forward all the more.”*
God is rich in mercy. This means his mercy never runs dry! He has within his very being an immense storehouse of mercy that is always available for those who come to him.
Being rich in mercy points to the very character of God. If God were to cease being merciful, then he would cease being God. At his core, mercy is who he is. And because it’s who he is, he takes great delight in showing mercy. Micah 7:18-19 states, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”
When Satan reminds you of your past, remember you have an Advocate in Jesus Christ who stands before the Father and reminds him that you belong to him (1 John 2:1). You stand forgiven. You are clean. Fall on the mercy of God when past sins and failures haunt you. Always remember God is rich in mercy and ready to give it to you, especially in those regions of deep shame.
Are you in need of mercy? Come to Jesus. He is waiting!
*Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly (Wheaton: Crossway, 2020)