Beloved, this message is not meant to rail on you or lecture you. Rather, I believe I have a word of hope for you. Let me explain why you may find it so hard to be the kind, gracious, merciful Christian you want to be.

We find the key in Psalm 119. The psalmist makes a powerful statement here: "Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant" (Psalm 119:76). The meaning here is, "Lord, Your Word tells me I am to be comforted by the knowledge that You are merciful and full of compassion to me. Let me draw comfort from that great truth."

If you were to look up the words "merciful" and "mercy" in a concordance, you would find hundreds of references. God's Word overwhelms us with numerous promises of His marvelous grace, lovingkindness and compassion. He wants to impress upon us that He is merciful, longsuffering and slow to anger about our failures, weaknesses and temptations.

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy” (Psalm 103:8).

All God's promises of mercy are given to comfort us in our trials. When we fail God, we think He is mad at us, ready to judge us. But, instead, He wants us to know, "I will see you through. Simply repent. I am not mad at you. I am merciful, full of grace and love for you. Draw comfort from this." It is comforting to know that His mercy will never be withdrawn from us. How comforting to know that when we sin or fail, His love toward us grows even stronger.

Unless we draw comfort from the mercy God shows to us, we are in no position to give mercy that offers comfort to others. Only when we experience the absolute mercifulness of God will there be an overflow of mercy to everyone around us. We become merciful people because we ourselves are living in the mercy of God!