Instead of believing such lies, consider these six things:
1. God is delaying his mercy for your benefit. God is waiting so that he may extend grace to you at the perfect moment. Right now you are in the time of preparation where God is readying the comfort he means to give you. A foolish child plucks an apple while it is green. But when that apple is ripe, it drops off of its own accord and is far more delicious and wholesome. Wait with wisdom and patience. It will be worth the wait.
2. A heart that trusts in God is far more precious than any comfort. It is a greater mercy to have a heart that trusts in God than to enjoy the comfort you are sure you need. Flavel says “a frame is better than a fruition.” A heart oriented toward God is much more precious and enduring than any peaceful or comfortable circumstance.
3. Mercy is never nearer than when your heart and hope is lowest. Light shines the brightest when you are sure that only darkness remains. God’s mercy will be all the brighter when your heart is in its darkest state.
4. God delays his mercy because you are unfit to receive it. God’s mercy may be waiting for you to become ready to receive it. God may holding it back for your own good, even while you grumble and complain about his lack of haste.
5. Remember that any mercy you desire is only and entirely a gift of grace. You do not deserve God’s mercy and have no claim to it. Because of this, the only proper way to wait for it is with patience and gratitude. You are waiting for a gift, not for your just reward.
6. Consider how many people are forever cut off from all hope of mercy. Consider those who are perishing without grace and how for them all that remains is the further expectation of wrath. This might have been you if not for the grace of God. So wait for God’s mercy with patient humility.
We will continue our reading next week with chapter 10: “Motives of Reflecting on God’s Providence.” Read it by next Thursday and check in to see what I (and others) have to say about it.
The purpose of this project is to read classics together. So do feel free to leave a comment if you have something you would like to say. Alternatively, you may leave a link to your blog or Facebook or anywhere else you have reflected on what you have read.
If you would like to read along with us, you are free to do so (though you’ve got some catching up to do). Simply get a copy of the book and start reading …