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Sin, Meet Mercy

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

Just like a river has new waters every day, so are His mercies new every morning.

Have you ever worked on a problem and just felt like you could never solve it?  A math problem, a problem at work, or a person in your life that you continually try to help?  But the problem just gets harder and more stubbornly unsolvable?  Or once you solve it, another one crops up?

I’m a problem. You’re a problem.  We’re all just big problems needing to be solved.

We mess up, day in and day out.  I don’t know about you, but I am highly aware of my problems, from the mundane to the spiritual.  I cooked dinner wrong.  I didn’t get the laundry out of the washing machine and now it smells, so I have to wash it again.  I shouldn’t have said that to that person because it probably was insensitive.  I was proud.  I was selfish.  I was bitter and jealous.

I’m aware of my problem, and all this awareness handicaps me and traps me in a pit of pathetic self-pity and discouragement.

The only way out of the pit: grab a shovel and start digging through the Word.  I recount the ways the Lord brought salvation to the Israelite “problem,” and how He has brought a solution to me too.

In Nehemiah, we find the Israelites rebuilding the temple.  In Chapter 9, the Levites are recounting the Israelite history to those who are building.  By verses 29-31, they are telling of the period of judges, when the Israelites would routinely slip into sin, but God, through His rich mercy, would deliver them.

“You [God] warned them in order to turn them back to Your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed Your commands. They sinned against Your ordinances…Stubbornly they turned their backs on You, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. For many years You were patient with them… Yet they paid no attention, so You gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples.  But in Your great mercy You did not put an end to them or abandon them, for You are a gracious and merciful God.”

God displayed His mercy over and over again to the Israelites in the Old Testament, and has displayed mercy over and over again to you and to me every day through Christ’s gift of the cross.

The problem of sin gets harder and more stubborn to solve with old habits and new temptations.  Once one sin problem is solved, another crops up.  But, instead of trying to cover up sin or letting it weigh us down, we can confess sins.  We can trust in the Lord’s sweet mercy to solve our problem and can move through our day with mercy on our side.

“It’s only when you admit how deep and comprehensive your problem is that you get excited about the rescue that only God’s mercy can supply… You can be courageous in admitting your sin precisely because God is richly abundant in His mercy.  He comes to you in mercy, not because you are good but because you are a sinner, and He knows that because of this condition you are unable to help yourself.” – Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies

For your encouragement, I’ve provided excerpts from a few songs that have spoken to me:

Our sins, they are many, Your mercy is more.  -Matt Papa, His Mercy is More

You delight in showing mercy, and mercy triumphs over judgment.  -Amanda Cook, Mercy

But You were rich in mercy to supply what You demand.  -Sovereign Grace Music, Undone

Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here;

Sin would reduce me to utter despair;

But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive,

And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

– John Stocker, Thy Mercy, My God

At the cross, at the cross

Where I first saw Your light

At the cross, at the cross

I received my sight

At the cross, at the cross

Where You laid down Your life

-Audrey Assad, New Every Morning

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