Archive for the ‘Mercy’ Category

♥ Seeking Restoration ♥

Jul 03

by Victoria Robinson

Three times within the eightieth Psalm, the psalmist seeks restoration from God. Each time he says, “Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.” Our need for restoration comes from varied reasons. Sometimes it is due to our own sinfulness. Other times it is due to circumstances beyond our control. It can even be due to the need to intercede for someone else.

  • King Nebuchadnezzar found himself desolate because of pride. As soon as he repented and acknowledged that the Most High is sovereign his sanity and kingdom were restored.
  • Joseph needed restoration not because of sin, but because of the providence of God. Throughout his ordeal he glorified God and eventually experienced immense restoration.
  • A man of God interceded for King Jeroboam for his hand to be restored.

Girlfriends, do you need restoration either for yourself or a friend? The Israelites received gracious restoration of an ugly devastation they endured due to sin. The prophet Joel describes how a great army of locusts had devoured Israel and then goes on to proclaim the words of the Lord, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten … You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. ” The psalmist gives us great hope for restoration when he says, “Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.”

Dearest girlfriends, let us seek the Lord for restoration of anything we need in our lives as well as our friends. 

Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. ~ Psalm 80:3 NIV
 
Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. ~ Psalm 71:19-21 NIV
 
You have rejected us, O God, and burst forth upon us; you have been angry—now restore us! You have shaken the land and torn it open; mend its fractures, for it is quaking. You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger. But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. Selah  Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered. ~ Psalm 60:1-5 NIV
 
‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm— my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. ~ Joel  2:25-26 NIV
 
“This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king:  You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”  All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. … At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. ~ Daniel 4:24-28,3436 NIV 

… he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. ~ Psalm 23:3 NIV

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ~ Psalm 51:12 NIV

So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and men shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” ~ Genesis 41:41-44, NIV
 
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. ~ Genesis 45:4-8 NIV
 
When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the LORD. Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before. ~ 1 Kings 13:4-6 NIV

Overcoming Youthful Indiscretions

Jun 22

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, from time to time the enemy of our souls will bring accusations to us about our past indiscretions. Shame, discouragement and even depression can result which is exactly the outcome Satan is striving for. While his striving is ultimately in vain, we must not allow these accusations to overtake us. The Word of God so beautifully states wonderful truths to retort back to the enemy and bring comfort to our hearts.

The psalmist was agonizing over his past indiscretions when he said, “Overlook my youthful sins, O Lord! Look at me instead through eyes of mercy and forgiveness, through eyes of everlasting love and kindness.” His request was accurately in line with the will of our Lord. The book of Isaiah makes a comforting promise in this regard. It says, “Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. The shame of your youth … will be remembered no more …” This truth directly contradicts the accusations of the enemy.

The importance of repentance is the key that will free us of our past indiscretions. The apostle Paul said, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” If you have not repented of your sins the pain you are experiencing is a worldly sorrow. To walk in no regrets requires forgiveness. The apostle John encourages us with these words, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Dearest girlfriends, let us overcome our past indiscretions with a repentant heart and the assurance of our heavenly Father’s compassionate forgiveness.

Overlook my youthful sins, O Lord! Look at me instead through eyes of mercy and forgiveness, through eyes of everlasting love and kindness. ~  Psalm 25:6-7 TLB
 
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. ~ Psalm 103:8-14 NIV
 
“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. The shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood will be remembered no more, for your Creator will be your husband. The Lord Almighty is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth. For the Lord has called you back from your grief—as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will take you back. In a moment of anger I turned my face away for a little while. But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer. ~ Isaiah 54:4-8 NLT
 
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. ~ Isaiah 43:25 NKJV
 
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV
 
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9 NIV
 
Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,“It has happened at last—the salvation and power and kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ! For the Accuser has been thrown down to earth—the one who accused our brothers and sisters before our God day and night. And they have defeated him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of their testimony. … ~ Revelation 12:10-11 NLT

Lord Help Me!

Jan 31

by Victoria Robinson

A woman came to Jesus, knelt before Him and said, “Lord help me!” Sounds familiarly like the story of my life. I am in constant need of my Lord’s help. This is a suspenseful story that has some intriguing twists and turns. Though the outcome does look dark at first it does have a happy ending. My favorite kind of story!

Within this story we see the wonderful mercy, help and provision of our Lord. However, we also see that not all request presented to our Lord are immediately answered. This distressed woman is in dire need to have her daughter set free from demon-possession. She begs for mercy. Of all the responses our Lord could have given, He says nothing. That must have been a deafening silence to this poor woman who came to Jesus in sincerity. Now His disciples made the matter worse. They urged Jesus to send her away because she kept crying after them. Fortunately for her, Jesus knew He was sent to help her. This is where she kneels before Him and cries out, “Lord help me!” But a happy ending is not here yet girlfriends! He starts debating with her. He tells her, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” To which she persist in seeking His help by saying, “Yes, Lord,” … “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Voila! Her great faith has rewarded her! The Lord now says what we all wanted to hear all along, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.”

What a great story of need, persistence and mercy! Girlfriends do you need to cry out, “Lord help me!”? He is waiting to listen patiently to your deepest needs. Whatever His answer will be, will be perfect. His timing will be perfect as well. Trust Him with the same great faith this woman had.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would come and kneel before the Lord with all our needs and allow Him to help us.

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. ~ Matthew 15:25 NIV
 
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. ~ Matthew 15:21-28 NIV
 
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord. ~ Psalm 40:1-3 NLT
 
Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. … Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. … ~ Isaiah 50:7-9 NIV

Falling Into the Hands of Mercy

Jan 04

by Victoria Robinson

How and when our heavenly Father chooses to have mercy on us is a mystery. In fact what the Lord told Moses only deepens the mystery. He said, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy …” The Hebrew word for mercy King David used in the twenty-fourth chapter of Second Samuel is racham, which means compassion, and tender love. He was in distress and relied upon the thought of falling into the hands of the Lord for His mercy.

The mystery of His mercy is unexplainable. Nothing exemplifies this more than the parable of The Workers in the Vineyard. This story shows us the complete mercy of our heavenly Father. Here we see a landowner hiring men to work in his vineyard for a day and agreeing to pay them each a denarius. Sounds straight forward and fair to all the workers except not all the workers worked all day. In fact he hired workers throughout the day so that some worked all day and the last ones hired worked only one hour. When the pay was given, each man got the same pay of one denarius. The workers who had worked all day were upset at the irrationality of the pay scale. Why should they be paid the same as those working less hours, and yet the landowner set them straight in his answer. He said, “Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?” This story brings to mind all of the comments I have heard from lost people who say, “God would never let a murderer or worse into heaven just the same as a good man like Billy Graham.” The mystery of our heavenly Father’s mercy is the only explanation for such a gracious act of generosity.

There is however one aspect of mercy where you will find no mystery. To retain the mercy your heavenly Father has lavished on you, you must give mercy to those in your life.

Our heavenly Father’s mercy is a mystery and unexplainable which is good for us all. Girlfriends, lest you think His mercy is doled out wrongly, you better look into the annuls of your own life and consider the wonderous mercy He has shown you. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would marvel at the mystery of His mercy and give thanks that His love is unconditional.

David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.” ~ 2 Samuel 24:14 NIV
 
 
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? ~ Romans 9:14-24 NIV 
 
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. “About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace … He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. “He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. … “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ “The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ ~ Matthew 20:1-15 NIV
 
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart. ~ Matthew 18:32-35 NIV

Hiding in the Shadows

Nov 23

by Victoria Robinson

Do you find yourself hiding in the shadows when you approach your heavenly Father? When we are enshrouded in our sin, we tend to not come before the throne of God bravely. This is how we find the infamous Adam and Eve after they had committed sin.

Our sin places us in a shameful place. We do not want to look our heavenly Father in the face. I grew up with a grandfather who dearly loved me. However, he did portray a harsh exterior at times. I remember breaking a piece of antique marble at his house. I was gripped with fear, not because I had any concern of physical harm, instead a fear based on not wanting to be rejected by him because of my misstep. I shall never forget how after I confessed what had taken place, he lovingly held me as I sobbed. He showed me the kindness I did not deserve. This is a picture of our heavenly Father’s unconditional love for us. All we need to do is come to Him with a transparency of our sin and allow Him to embrace us lovingly.

The foolishness of hiding our sins from God is brought to light in the book of Jeremiah. Our heavenly Father tells us He is closely watching us, sees all our sins, and that we cannot hope to hide from Him.

We should come bravely to Him knowing He has already told us that He understands our weaknesses. He is waiting at all times for His children to crawl up in His lap and share their missteps. Dearest girlfriends, please stop hiding in the shadow of iniquity, but come bravely before the throne of our merciful God.

Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help. Hebrews 4:15-16 CEV
  
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” ~ Genesis 3:8-10 NIV
 
For I am closely watching you, and I see every sin. You cannot hope to hide from me. ~ Jeremiah 16:17 TLB
 
Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. ~ Isaiah 55:6-7 NLT

A Glorious New Beginning

Oct 24

by Victoria Robinson 

Each day offers us a chance at a glorious new beginning. Sometimes it is refreshing to think yesterday is gone and today is a new day. Let’s face it girlfriends, we do sin and cause ourselves lots of grief. So it’s a good thing our heavenly Father loves us with an unfailing love and through His mercies He gives us a new beginning each day. Unfortunately this does not work like a magic eraser though. We still have to deal with the consequences of our wrong choices. Yet, God does sometimes in His great mercy take pity on us and relent from the consequences we really deserve. This was the case with the sins Israel had committed. In the book of Psalms it is recorded that, “… he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.” Girlfriends, it would be a grievous mistake to presume upon the love and mercy of our heavenly Father and live our lives with reckless abandonment and concern for His commands to obey Him. We should constantly be concerned with eliminating sin through desiring a pure heart. Dearest girlfriends, let us come to God with clean hearts, asking for His mercy, as well as His divine power to stop sinning so that we may enjoy tomorrow as a glorious new day!

The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. ~ Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT 

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. ~ Galatians 6:7-8 NIV

Therefore the LORD was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance. He handed them over to the nations, and their foes ruled over them. Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power. Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin. But he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. He caused them to be pitied by all who held them captive. ~ Psalm 106:40-46 NIV

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~ James 4:7-8 NIV

What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. ~ Romans 9:14-18 NIV

… let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. ~ Hebrews 10:22 NIV

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. ~ 1 Peter 3:1-4 NIV

Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. ~ Psalm 90:13-14 NIV

Cry Me a River

Oct 21

by Victoria Robinson

Have you ever been so desperate for God’s mercy that your tears just flowed like a river? The book of Lamentations shows that the people were in such great need of God’s mercy that they cried a river of tears. Girlfriends, as females, it is oftentimes so natural for us to cry. Crying out to God from a pure heart is a powerful way to show Him how truly sorry we are. All pleas for mercy must begin with a repentant heart. In the book of Malachi we see the people questioning why God paid no attention to their weeping. It clearly shows the reason was because they had not repented. Without repentance we should never expect that God will comfort us with His mercy. Your heavenly Father is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love and is waiting on you to turn to Him for help. Dearest girlfriends, if you are in need of mercy, then crawl up into your heavenly Father’s lap, pour out your repentant heart to Him and allow Him to embrace you as your tears flow like a river.

The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord. O wall of the Daughter of Zion, let your tears flow like a river day and night; give yourself no relief, your eyes no rest. Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. … ~ Lamentations 2:18-19 NIV

Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed. My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief, until the LORD looks down from heaven and sees. ~ Lamentations 3:48-50 NIV
 
Another thing you do: You flood the LORD’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. ~ Malachi 2:13-14 NIV
 
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. ~ Jeremiah 31:3 NIV
 
‘Even now,‘ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.‘ Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. ~ Joel 2:12-13 NIV
 
… This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. … ~ 2 Kings 20:5 NIV
 
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. ~ Psalm 126:5-6 NIV
 
a time to weep … ~ Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV