God’s Mercy Cover You!
Jubilee Year of Mercy
We all made mistakes in life and do things we know we shouldn’t do. It’s easy to live guilty, in regretted and feeling like we’re all washed out. A man said to me recently how he got off course in his business, made some poor decisions, didn’t have integrity, now it’s going downhill, it starts to affect his marriage. I encouraged him to pray, ask God to help to turn around, believe in His favors. He said to me: I can’t do it, it’s my own fault, I brought this trouble on my own self. He felt like he is disqualified; he didn’t deserve God’s help because his performance wasn’t up to part.
We can understand how God bless us while we’re doing what is right, making good choices, it’s easy to expect the good thing, believing the dream to come to pass. But the beauty of mercy is even when we made a mistake, even when we went to the wrong way, our performance is not perfect, God didn’t say: “too bad! You had your chance, you’re on your own”. No, this is how a mercy show off: God will not only to help to bring us out of the trouble that you got yourself in, He’ll take one step further and help to clean up the mess you made. Maybe a relationship you knew you’re not supposed to get in, you didn’t feel good about it, you heard the alarm go off, but you ignored it, now it’s a mess causing you a headache and pain or perhaps a job you knew you’re supposed not to take it, you didn’t feel good, you had an uneasiness in the inside, but you over rode it and did it anyway, now it’s a mess, you’re not fulfilled, not be treated right, God didn’t say: “I tried to tell you, maybe next time you listen.” No, God is not hold that against you, He has you covered! His mercy is bigger than that mistake. His mercy will help not only to turn it around but God will help to clean it up and something good came out of it. But if it happened, you can’t go through life guilty, condemned, beating yourself up because of that mistake; I knew I shouldn’t hang around those peoples, now I got addiction, I knew I shouldn’t stay alcoholic, I knew I should be faithful in my relationship, what was I thinking?
It takes the boldness to believe God will bless you in spite of your mistake. The accuser will tell you: you can’t ask God to help you, you made the mess, you went the wrong way, you’re unfaithful, God is not listen to you, who do you think you are? Answer back: “a child of the Most High God, Redeemer, Forgiven, covered by mercy. This is what Jonah did. God told him to go the city of Nineveh, share the Good News to the people, but Jonah didn’t want to go, he wants to do his own thing, he went to the opposite direction, he got on the boat, head on the wrong way, they encountered the huge storm, everybody on board thought they’re going to die, finally Jonah admitted: “Hey, everyone, I’m the problem, I’m the one who caused this turmoil”, they didn’t say out loud: Ok! Jonah, we let it slide, we forgive you; No, they threw him over board, they went about to go down with him (Jonah 1 and 2). Jonah thought he was done. It was his fault, he did exactly opposite what he knew he’s not supposed to do, he was streaking water in the middle of the ocean, it’s dark, in the storm look like it was over. He was getting exactly what he deserved, but God said: “Jonah, you can run the other way, but you can’t run out my mercy, it’s from everlasting to everlasting wherever you go I got you covered.”
The psalmist put in this way: “If you go to the depth of the sea or way up in the sky, no matter how high or low, you can never get away from God’s mercy”. It’s always be there waiting for you, calling your name, giving you another chance, ready to help, ready to clean up the mess you made. He got you covered by His mercy. Jonah was feeling guilty, thinking that he was finished, the situation looked impossible, no way it can turn out good! But God has a way even when we don’t see a way. Your situation may seem like it can never turn out right, you made a mess, now it’s complicated, other people are involved, the odds are against you. Be courage! God already has the solution, He already know how not just bring you out, but how to clean up the mess and bring you out better. All of the sudden, the big fish came and swallowed Jonah, now he is sitting in the belly of that fish, in one sense, he’s glad he’s still alive, thankful he didn’t drown, another sense he’s thinking: “I wish I would die, sitting in here I can’t see anything, I’m trapped, there is no way out!”. But sitting in the belly of that fish, thoughts telling him: Jonah, you deserve it, it’s your own fault, too bad! Instead of listening to the accusing voices, the Scripture said, “Jonah began to pray from inside the fish, he didn’t say, God, I’m so undeserved it, I made such a mess, God just help me to survive; No, he said: “I cried unto the Lord in my trouble until he answered me.” That was a statement of faith. He was stealing the fish, stealing his trouble, yes, he’s declaring, yes God answered me. He went on to say “I sank down to the depth of the ocean, death was near, but when I lost all hope, I turned my thoughts toward You, O Lord! For He snatched e from the jaw of death. Now I will fulfill my vow, I know salvation and delivering come from You alone. Notice how much was this prayer in the past tense, like it was already happened. Jonah had this attitude: God, I believe you not only rescued me, but You helped to clean up this mess, that You blessed me in spite of my mistakes, that I still fulfill my destiny. That takes the boldness to ask for God’s blessings in spite of what you’ve done wrong.
Most of the time, we just blame guilty, condemn, we have no passion, will you have the boldness to say: God, I don’t deserve it, I went the wrong way, but God, I still believe You blessed me, I still believe You show me favors, I still believe I can become who You created me to be. When you do that, God didn’t say who do you think you are? you know that you did wrong, you should be grateful if you still be alive. No, God will do for you what He did for Jonah. As soon as Jonah got through prayer, the Scripture said, “God caused the fish to spit him up on the dry ground, on that beach.
Friend, God control the whole universe, God can cause whatever holding you back right now: the dysfunction, the addiction, the sickness, the legal problem, God can cause it in a split second to set you free, God even can control our enemy, Jonah came out of this whale, washing him off, thrill to be alive, he knows that’s a mercy of God. That could be the end of the story, that would be great, God rescued him, saved him from troubles, but God doesn’t want just to bring you out, if you have the right attitude, shake off the guilt, get your passion back, God will give you another chance to get to where you’re supposed to be.
That mistake did not disqualify you, you didn’t miss your destiny because you the detour. The Scripture said: “The wind of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, what did God say? “Jonah, I want you to go to Nineveh, the same thing He said to him the first time. In other word, He didn’t say: Jonah, I asked you to do this once, but boy! You have worn me out. I have to get off the throne and go find that fish, Jonah, you just sit on the sideline, I’ll find somebody else. No, God always give you another chance, another chance, and another chance to fulfill the best plan that He has for your life. It’s not too late to become who God create you to be! If you start way you are: honoring God, be in your best, serving others, the right doors will open, the right peoples will show up. God knows how to make up the lost time, He can get you to where He wants you to be. The second time God ask: Jonah went to the city of Nineveh, he obeyed and he saw God do the amazing things.
The point is: Jonah made a wrong turn but that not stop his destiny, God said, “Jonah, you had a detour, but that’s OK. I get you covered, my mercy is bigger than that mistake. I still want you to go to Nineveh, I still want you to fulfill my best plan for your life. Maybe like Jonah, you made some mistakes, taking some wrong turns, it’s easy to sit on the sideline of life and said, “Thế, I can’t expect God to bless me, you didn’t know what I’ve done, blew my marriage, got these addictions, failed in business, made a lot of poor choices, No, you’re no different than Jonah, you can either sit there on the beach, so speaking just be glad you’re alive or you can rise up like he did and said: “god, I blew it, I don’t deserve it, but I know salvation and delivering come from You, Lord, I believe that You can turn this mess around and still help me become who You want me to be. If you had an attitude like that, the word of the Lord will come to you a second time, God will give you another chance. You’re in the middle of the mess right now, it’s your fault, no excuse, you don’t see anything good in your future, but Be Courage! God has you covered, He say to you what He say to Jonah: I still want you accomplish your dream, I still want you to have a great marriage. I still want you to live healthy, happiness as a whole, I still want the destiny for you to fulfill. We can all look back in life and see times we made the mess, but God cleaned it up. We lost our temper and said such thing if it’s God is in the trouble. We should loss our jobs, but God show us mercy, clean up the mess, we still have today, or we’re unfaithful in a relationship, we should loss our marriage, we made the mess, but God showed us the mercy, He cleaned it up today we restore with happy family. A lot of time when people see a bless, enjoy life, they think it’s because they did everything right, “we did not make any mistake”, but the truth is there was time we made the wrong turn like Jonah, but God caused it to turn out right. We took the wrong job we got involve with the wrong people, we said the wrong thing, but God caused to all work together for our good.
There were some mountains we knew we suppose not to climb, but the opportunities look so good we did it anyway, we got half way up and realized this is not what I thought it should be. I can thank God if He brought me off the mountain that I’m not supposed to be in the first place. He could have left us there and say: Learn your lesson, maybe next time! but the good news is: We’ve been covered by Mercy!
The accusing voices will tell you: you’re done. It’s your fault. You know that you shouldn’t do it in a first place. You pursued the wrong dream, now look at yourself, you’re overhead, you cannot make in me, just deal with it. No, God is so merciful, He take your wrong and He’ll make it right. It’s maybe your fault, you can easily live guilty. No, you got to shake that off. God’s mercy is bigger than that mistake. He knows how to make a miracle out of that mess.
Covered by mercy means you’re not just cover as long as you’re doing everything right, like Jonah you’re covered even when you went the wrong way. Let’s me make more practical even when we do dumb things god still has us covered, that should make us all feel better.
Bottom line: if it’s not your time to go, you’re not going to go. Nothing can snatch you out from God’s hand, you might as well quit fighting to call off God in your life. God not leave you alone, wherever you go, He’ll going to be there.
You have an assignment, somebody needs what you have, if you don’t step in what God wants you to be, this world will not be the right place it should be, we all miss out. We not say: we’re covered by mercy, it doesn’t mean we can live anyway we want, be sloppy, compromised, take easy way out, Thế said: God will clean it up, He catches me when I’m drunk. No, some body thinks he gets the Word from the Lord; let me clarify this: when you really know God, when you have the relationship with His Son Jesus, you want to do what’s right, you may make mistake from time to time, but you not try to how much you can get away with and still feel good about yourself deep down, you have the desire to know God, to be your best.
In Titus 3:5 “God save us, not because of the good thing we did, but because of His mercy.” This is a key: His mercy is not based on our performance, if it only depends on us to live a perfect life, living without a mistake then none of us would be in. I wondered how many times God had saved us from the dumb things that we’ve done? I can admit I’ve done a few, don’t look at me like that! I know I’m saint compare to you. But every morning I started off the day by thanking God for His goodness, for His blessings, His favors, my family, my friends, the opportunities He’s giving me, then I always followed up by thanking Him for His mercy, for the time I did something dumb but He brought me out of the mess, the time He protected me that I knew nothing about it, He kept the car from colliding with mine, kept my children from harm, saved me from pains and heartaches. There are many things that we cannot see, but God is holding back the forces of the darkness, keeping us from the accident and harm, moved the wrong people out of the way, causing things to walk out to our advantage. He got you covered with His mercy. The beauty is not just when we performed perfectly, not just when we’re measuring up, but even when we blew it, even when we failed, even when we’ve done like Jonah taking the wrong way and said: God, leave me alone! Let me do my own thing! you’re still covered. You may turn your back on God, but He never turn His back on you. You may run other way, but God will come and run toward you. Sometimes people said: Thế, I’ve made so many mistakes, so many poor choices, I think I missed my destiny. I always tell them: not that powerful you think your poor choices can stop the creation of the universe, the Most High God had ordained for you, you think that mistake is too much for the mercy of God? That somehow God now careful try to figure out what to do with you next? No, God know the end from the beginning. Nothing you’ve done will keep you from the coming of God Who you’re created to be. You got to do your part and get back in the game. Start honoring God with the whole heart and He will get you to where you’re supposed to be.
Friend, God’s mercy is bigger than your poor choices, if it’s not your time to go, God can use even a dog to get you back on the right track. He got you covered with His mercy. In the Scripture when God promised Abraham that he’s going to have a baby, he and his wife, Sarah, are nearly eighties, way too old to have a child, they waited, and waited, believe in somehow it will happen, years after years of waiting, still no baby, Sarah got tire of waiting, talked about make a bad choice, doing something dumb, she told Abraham to sleep with her maid Hagar, they had a baby (Genesis 15 and 16). They named Ishmael, but it’s not a promised child! This brought all kinds of dysfunction into their home. Sarah got mad at Abraham: what were you thinking? Abraham answered, hey, you told me to do it, she said, you should know better anyway; Sarah become very jealous of Hagar and started treating her very badly, finally she gave Abraham the ultimatum either this woman leaves or I’m going to leave. Abraham had to send Hagar and his young son Ishmael out into the desert. It was a big mess, God could say: Sarah, too bad! It’s your fault, you brought the trouble on yourself, you were impatient! you should just be waiting. No, even though Sarah made a mistake, I said respectably, even though she did something dumb that did not cancel out the promise, in the natural, she was too old, but one-day God gave her a baby, she had Isaac, the promised child, what am I saying? They made a bid mess of things, but God not only clean up the mess, He made a miracle out of their mistake, here how amazing God is.
Hagar, the maid, she didn’t do anything wrong, but her whole world fell apart, she’d living out in the desert with her son, who everyone calls the mistake, he wasn’t a promised child. She didn’t know how she was survived, but God said: Hagar, don’t worry! I’m going to take care of you and your son who people think that’s a mistake. I’m going to make out of him a great nation.
God is so merciful out of the great mess, He brought greatness, He was saying: Hagar, I’m not going to let the people’s poor choices were ruining your life, see, one thing when we made the mess we have to deal with it, we can understand that we brought the trouble on ourselves, but somebody else made the mess and it affected us, it doesn’t seem fair, Ismael doesn’t choose who his parents to be, he couldn’t choose whose he was to be born, Hagar didn’t ask to have a baby with Abraham, she was following the order, doing what she was told. You may be in the mess today and it was somebody else’s this fault. They called you to be a disadvantage. Be courage! God is saying to you what He was saying to Hagar and Ismael: other people’s mistakes are not going to ruin your life, they are putting you at disadvantage, but know this, God has you covered. He’s going to bring the greatness out of that great mess.
Friend, nothing you’ve done has disqualify you, you may make poor choices like Sarah, but God still bring the promise to pass, you may take the wrong turn like Jonah, but God still to call to turn out right. Maybe somebody else’s choice has negative effect on you, but don’t worry! God will turn it around and use it for your advantage. Shake off the guilt, quit listen to the accusing voice, God has us covered with His mercy. Amen.
January 27th, 2016
Jubilee Year of Mercy