For years, people were accustomed to hearing me preach repentance and holiness. But they began to question me when my messages started to focus more on mercy, reconciliation and hope. There is a simple explanation for this.
When I traveled as an evangelist, I didn’t have an opportunity to get to know the people I preached to. I was never in one place long enough to discover all the hurts, needs and burdens of God’s people. As a pastor at Times Square Church, I’ve heard firsthand of all the troubles and trials endured by those in the congregation, as well as in churches around the world.
Beloved, I have discovered that God’s people are hurting deeply. They are being tempted and tried and tossed about by great adversities and needs. The problems in families are overwhelming. Many sheep are groaning in misery and pain — hurting, thirsty, spiritually crippled, living from crisis to crisis.
God has made it clear that I cannot take a club to His sheep. Instead, tender mercy is needed. Even the fiery prophet Jeremiah cried, “O Lord, correct me, but with justice; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing” (Jeremiah 10:24). Jeremiah was saying, “Lord, be tender with me, because I am in no condition to hear anger or wrath, or I’ll be reduced to nothing.”
God will never use His Word to reduce you to nothing when you are hurting. All He asks of His people is a repentant, broken spirit. He responds with mercy to our crying need.
Rest in His mercy and love, for He pities His children.