“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9
Peter, writing to exiles, turns their attention to bless God for the small word of mercy and the magnificent effects of its greatness. The God and Father of their Lord Jesus, according to His great mercy, has let flow and abound its glorious effluence in measureless goodness toward His own. We cannot help but be drenched in and transformed by its thunderous swells.
By His mercy, we have been born again and welcomed into a living, breathing, certain hope, our salvation. Here we reside and adventure, here our hearts pulse with effervescent, expectant life in the present, undergirded by sure hope of our eternal inheritance. Heaven’s perfection and glorious inevitability prods and protects us in the day to day to live by God’s power and within His good will. It sheds light on this little while as a beacon to forever. His mercies flow upon our grievous trials to swell our faith and result in praise as we trace His guiding, loving hand. Their blessing is increased love for the One who loves us, and inexpressible joy.
When was the last time I meditated on God’s mercy? It is His hallmark, the source of His work on our behalf and His involvement in our lives. It is the lens through which He looks upon us, and the filter through which He orders every difficulty. (Psalm 86:14-15; 145:8-9)
And by His grace, it will identify the way we strike out, move forward, look ahead, and interact with others every day. Where is mercy’s evidence in my speech and behavior? How has it affected my perspective toward trials and judgment of those who wrong me? How does it shape my responses to and prayers for the lost? How will I become a conduit for Christ’s great mercy to those who need it most? (Lamentations 3:22-23; Matthew 5:7; Luke 6:36; Ephesians 4:32; James 2:13)
“Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount I’m fixed upon it
mount of God’s redeeming love.” ~Robert Robinson (1758)
Lord, as one who, by Your mercy, is chosen, royal, and holy, Your possession, may I ever proclaim Your excellencies to the praise of Your infinite, indescribable worth. (1 Peter 2:9-10)