Recently the Holy Spirit gave me an unusual word, one that I did not want to hear! He said, "You are bound to a very limited vision of the Lord’s ocean of tender, loving mercies. You have endured much guilt, condemnation and fear because you have not allowed the Holy Spirit to reveal the vastness of My forgiving, healing, reconciling mercies. You do not know Me for My tenderness!"

God showed me that this is a root cause for many giving up and falling away. When sin strikes—when Satan comes in like a flood, when you fall into some old habit or sin—the devil creates a bondage. First, the guilt comes flooding in, then fear fills your heart. A sense of total failure and helplessness overwhelms your soul. At this point, most believers run out of grace—because their view of God’s mercy is so limited.

Satan comes to you and says, "You’ve reached your limit. You’ve confessed your sin time after time. There is no way God will forgive you now, because you’ve sinned against the light. If you return and confess once more, you’ll turn around and sin all over again. So quit now!"

The devil does not want you to see God’s ocean of mercy; he wants you to see only a trickle! Because of our ignorance of the forgiving, restoring power of Christ’s love, we are destroyed. We run out of mercy for ourselves because we are horribly bound by a limited vision. Our eyes have not yet been opened to the endless mercies of our tender Father! We are so bound by a false, limited view of His mercies, we find it almost impossible to believe or accept what James said: "[We] have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful (full of compassion), and of tender mercy" (James 5:11).

This verse means, "God is easily crushed by our troubles and hurts. He feels our pain and our failures, and He is kind and compassionate to us. He loved us even when we were His enemy. Even when we offend Him, He is quick to help, restore and forgive us.”

The word mercy means "kind and compassionate treatment of an offender under one's power." God has the power to damn us to hell every time we sin; He has us under His control and can do with us as He pleases. And it pleases His tender heart to be compassionate, loving and kind toward those who have failed Him the most.