Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Understanding how his mercies are new every morning
I grew up hearing and singing a song that goes something like this. “The servant’s love for the Lord never ceases, great is thy faithfulness oh Lord. His mercies are new every morning. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness, oh Lord!” I may be getting some of the words jumbled there.
Even with all that singing, there is a risk that the message at the heart of it all will fall through the cracks. This post will explore this message in a little more detail. What does it means when it is said that “His mercies are new every morning?”
What is mercy? Mercy compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.  God is almighty, he can do anything at any time. Nothing on this earth of outside of it can occur outside of his control. He is omniscient and omnipresent. Present everywhere, knowing everything.
The Need for Mercy
Romans 3:23 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:23 highlights our need for mercy. Even the best people among us are sinners. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are called to be holy as he is. Yet, this is not a standard that we adhere to. The condition of mankind is that of constantly seeking things that are visual and offer immediate gratification.
This is not to say that these things cannot be avoided. We are in constant contention, to amplify our spirit. The flesh has demands that often need to be harnessed. The wisest man to ever walk the planet, Solomon lost his way. It is not an easy walk. The saving grace is in knowing that Christ understands.
Hebrews 4:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
We need mercy. God is merciful!
For we know that for everything that we put into this life there is a result. What you sow is what you reap. The wage of sin is death. Yet here we are walking. That is what mercy will. By his grace and mercy, with love as a vehicle, God sent his son down to die in our place. He took upon himself what should have been ours. Having never sinned he took upon himself the wages of sin.
Life is difficult
If we are honest, we can all admit that life is filled with difficulty. In all its wonder and awe, it is also difficult. You only need to watch the news or hear stories of what people are going through. There is no sign that any of this will slow down at any point. Our goal should always to grab hold of the mercy that we have been freely given. No matter the difficulty, his grace is sufficient.
Mercy gives you and I a break. In a world where most people just want to take and take from you. Just to know that there is someone who truly cares, and extends unhinged mercy our way is insane.
Your situation is no reflection of a lack of mercy. Difficulty is not a sign that you are lacking his mercy. There are battles that the Lord is fighting on your behalf that you are not aware of. In situations that could have taken your life, you have survived.
There are things that could have robbed you of sanity, but you are here and of sound mind. These are victories that we often take for granted. Part of this is a direct result of mercy. Mercy means that you may not see arrows being fired at you, so you will not realise how close you were to perishing.
One of my favourites sayings goes, “I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds it!” Knowing that our God, the one who holds tomorrow is merciful gives us peace. Rather be at his mercy than that of anyone else. He is a just, and merciful God. It’s a rare combination for justice to be paired with mercy.
Nothing is too big or too small for mercy
Another reminder that we all need at one point or another is that there is nothing too big or too small for God’s mercy. His mercy was sufficient for David after he had murdered Uriah and committed adultery with Bathsheba. It is enough for a small child who has stolen some candy.
How to make the most of mercies that are new?
Grace and mercy, as great as they are are not passports to live free of consequence. Mercy gives us another chance to walk on a better path. It is not for us to get back on the wrong path. Accepting mercies that are new every morning begins with making the most of the new opportunity that you have received. We ought to pursue true repentance diligently.
Guilt is a thief
Dwelling in guilt is a thief. This is what steals our joy. We are not saying that we should not feel bad for falling short of God’s glory. However when we hold on to things that he has forgiven us of, we rob ourselves. His mercies are new every morning. Let mercy pick you up from the dust and set you back on the right path.
Remember it is not necessarily about how many times you fall. It is how you pick up after you have risen. King David was known to be a man after God’s own heart. Was he a perfect man? Not even close. He simply leaned on God’s mercies at his lowest points as well as at the highest points in his life.
C.S. Lewis has an incredible take on this. He contended that mercy that comes without justice will at some point no longer be mercy. What does this mean? When you offer mercy, a price that should have been paid is no longer paid, so in some way we have negated justice. In the case of Christ dying our behalf, justice was served. The cost of sin was death, and that price was paid on the cross. So there was both mercy and justice. It is a delicate balance, one that is difficult for humans to comprehend or exercise.
Another case of mercy is that of a young man who had murdered his friend. While in prison, paying for his crime, the deceased’s family pleaded for his release. Upon released he lived with them while getting back on his feet. Justice would have cost two lives in this case. Perhaps even more, seeing as the parents of the deceased man would have been affected as well.
By extending mercy to perpetrator, they extended the same to themselves. In the case justice was served.
Thomas Watson captured this in a wonderful way. God doesn’t take pleasure in punishing us. We know from scripture he is a giver of perfect gifts, and that he delights and giving good things to us. Our sinfulness places him in a position that he does not delight in being. For this reason he makes a way for us. Mercy is in his nature!
He is more inclined to save than to punish. Hold on to that.