“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” -Psalm 86:15
Why would a perfect God show compassion to a sinner such as I?
Compassion: A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it. Extreme distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary affection. -Webster’s 1812 Dictionary
God chooses to sympathize with our distresses. He feels our pain with us, and is moved by it. Why?
Why is God gracious toward me?
Gracious: Favorable; kind; benevolent; merciful; disposed to forgive offenses and impart unmerited blessings. -Webster’s 1812 Dictionary
It is hard to be kind to someone that treats us despicably, is it not? Ingratitude, spite, malice, unkindness– these are slights that we struggle to bear, let alone forgive. In fact, the struggle is often trying to show self-control and not respond in kind. Yet God is gracious– He is unshakably kind, and He continues to show us that kindness although we do not and cannot deserve it. Why?
Why is God longsuffering with me?
Longsuffering: Bearing injuries or provocation for a long time; patient; not easily provoked. -Webster’s 1812 Dictionary.
We do so much to provoke the Most High. We disobey; we lack faith; we forget Him. Despite it all, He is slow to anger and exceedingly patient. Why?
Why does God show me any mercy?
Mercy: That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being. -Webster’s 1812 Dictionary
There seems to be no reason for it. But God withholds judgement and instead offers us forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Why?
Why is the Lord true?
Truth: Fidelity; constancy; honesty; virtue. -Webster’s 1812 Dictionary
God is faithful and true. He tells us so in various passages scattered throughout the Scriptures! He is our Lord, our Master, and doesn’t owe us anything. Yet, despite our own unfaithfulness to Him, He remains true– to His Word, to His promises, to us. Why?
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” -I John 4:16 [emphasis mine]
That’s the answer. God is Love– true love. And it is the nature of Love to be compassionate, gracious, longsuffering, merciful and true. And God’s perfect Love has nothing to do with us; as we have seen, we could never merit it. It does, however, have everything to do with Him. He loves us because that is Who He is, and that is what He does. It is one of the innumerable qualities that make Him so unspeakably wonderful! Our response should be to go and do likewise (Luke 10:37).
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.”