Have you ever been injured or in the hospital and have someone show you particular love or mercy? How did that make you feel? Were you ever let off with a warning instead of a ticket? How did that make you feel? We feel comforted and safe when someone shows us mercy. You might say that we feel happy. Wouldn’t it be nice to pass that on?
Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” This is not a quid pro quo system. We can’t expect to earn or merit mercy by being merciful. We can’t expect that from God or man. If so we would have a works religion contrary to the clear teaching that our hope in God is by faith and not by works. But it is relational and that is important to our happiness.
What we want in our lives, or should want in our lives, is a clearer picture and understanding of God. We want to see God working in our lives. We want to know Him more than intellectually. We want our faith to be alive and vibrant. As we obey Him we will find the reality of His care for us more real. He has not saved us on the basis of any particular obedience to Him. He saved us by His mercy. As we act out the mercy of God to others, the reality of His mercy will become more profound in our lives.
My book, The Gospel According to Molly, has a chapter where that truth became exceedingly real to me. When it did the joy of the mercy of Jesus Christ was overwhelming. I knew it. I had preached it. Suddenly, however, as it became an active feature of my own conduct I saw what it was all about. There is no other way to put it than to say that the mercy of God just blew up into a happy joy-joy moment in my life. As I continued the writing of the book God continued to reveal to me just how great His mercy was and that kept that “happiness drip” flowing into my arm. I had already received God’s mercy, but it began to take on a profoundly wonderful dimension that was allowed to grow as I showed more mercy myself. I received the happy benefit when I gave mercy away.
Again we turn to Isaac Watts’ great hymn taken from the Beatitudes, “Blest Are the Humble Souls That See”. Of mercy he says, “Blest are the men whose bowels move and melt with sympathy and love; from Christ the Lord they shall obtain like sympathy and love again.” What He has done for us will flood our hearts with the happiness of His true sympathy and love that He gave to us at the cross.