Summary: God's mercy results in forgiveness, hope and a new start and we should give thanks
“God Can Push The Restart Button!”
David P. Nolte
Thanksgiving is a combination of reviewing the past to recount all the benefits and blessings bestowed from above, appreciation of His present providence, and looking forward to what He has promised.
There are times, however, when we don’t feel very blessed nor do we feel thankful! Our thanker freezes up. Sometimes our computer freezes up, too, and requires a restart. And in case your thanker is frozen, let’s hit the restart button.
Someone, I don’t know who, wrote, “Waking up to a beautiful sunrise is so promising. The air is quiet. Birds are beginning to stir in their nests. The moon is fading away as the sun’s rays quietly take over the sky. It’s as if God hit the restart button and we are powering up for a new day, a new beginning. Our batteries are charged, the things of yesterday are gone, and God is unveiling a chance to start anew. Today is a blank page in a journal— crisp, clean, and ready for a beautiful story to unfold. Every day, we have the chance to be more patient, more forgiving, more kind, more understanding, and more generous. We can right our wrongs, learn from yesterday’s mistakes, listen more, argue less, put down our phones, look at our family, and start over. We will still make mistakes; we won’t have everything together or come close to perfection, but God gives us grace, again and again, until we are finally made new.” (from 100 Days Of Praise). Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up every day with this renewed, refreshing, “restarted” attitude?
The Psalmist wrote, “Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD; Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications. If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning-- Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:1-8 (NKJV).
He is in a pit but counts on the Lord and eagerly desires the dawning of another day but he waits for it with confidence. A new day is coming. God is always ready to push the restart button – by forgiving us and wiping the slate clean. When you are in the pit of failure and sin:
I. GIVE THANKS FOR FORGIVENESS THAT MERCY BRINGS:
A. “For with the LORD there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption.” Because of mercy there is forgiveness!
1. Mercy is not getting the punishment or condemnation we deserve.
2. Mercy is restraint from revenge.
3. Mercy is releasing the prisoner from his well deserved sentence.
B. “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.”
1. Forgiveness is not ignoring or overlooking, or condoning, or making light of sin.
2. Forgiveness is treating us as if we had done no wrong and giving up the right for revenge or punishment.
3. Forgiveness is welcoming the prodigal home not as a servant but as a full fledged son.
4. Forgiveness is not probation, it is pardon.
C. When God forgives here’s what happens:
1. “Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!” Micah 7:19 (NLT2).
2. “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12 (NLT2).
3. “Then he says, “‘I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.’” Hebrews 10:17 (NLT2).
4. “‘Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.’” Isaiah 1:18 (NLT2).
D. A woman was married to a lout of a man. He drank, he womanized, and he was abusive in every distinction. He especially ridiculed her Christian faith. One day after slapping her across the face, he sneered, “And how is your Jesus helping you right now?” She replied, quietly and gently, “He’s helping me love and forgive you.” That’s mercy – that’s forgiveness.
E. Forgiveness gives us hope! Hope of salvation; hope of another chance to do better; hope of acceptance at God’s Throne.
We should be thankful for that forgiveness that mercy brings, and then: