While I was in school, I took a course on biblical history. One person I learned about was a preacher by the name of Jonathan Edwards. On July 8, 1741, he preached a sermon titled, “Sinners in the Hands of an angry God.” In this sermon, he preached a warning of hell if you didn’t repent and ask God for mercy. Edwards says, daily we walk under a cloud of destruction caused by our wickedness and the only reason we’ve yet to be given what we deserved is because of God’s grace. He says, (this is me paraphrasing) … Although we are, at present, under a sentence of condemnation and should be tried, sentenced and put to death; God spares us. We walk, as he says, over hell on a rotten covering that is filled with more rotten places yet we don’t fall. Even when our feet hit a place that should give out, it doesn’t. Even when we should slip, God steadies our walk. Arrows of death continuously pass us by yet we live. By the Will of God, we live. And the only reason God hasn’t removed His hand from us is due to His restraints, His pleasure and His will; not ours! In other words, our lives isn’t spared because we are good, holy and righteous; no matter how well we pretend to be but we are not consumed because we are covered by grace AND mercy.
See, grace is God extending to us what we don’t deserve and mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve. Grace is God giving us the blessing of a new day even though we didn’t appreciate yesterday. Mercy is God saving us when we were supposed to die in sin. Grace is giving us the promotion our resume says we doesn’t qualify for. Mercy is stopping the enemy from cashing in on that agreement y’all made one night when you were lost. Grace is God approving the loan for your new house at the fourth bank when three banks had already turned you down because of your credit. Mercy is stopping you from killing yourself when you drove drunk again. Grace is God giving us those things we know we don’t deserve and mercy is God withholding the very thing we do deserve. So, when you want to complain about what you don’t have, thank God for grace and mercy. When you want to curse God because of the pain you’re going through, remember grace and mercy. When you want to throw in the towel, think about grace and mercy. When you want to shut up your mouth from praising, consider grace and mercy. When you roll over on Sunday and contemplate whether to go to worship, whether to be faithful, whether to pay tithes and whether to be devoted; count up the cost of all the things grace and mercy has kept you from paying for.