But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
The world misunderstands God, even though they think they know His character. They’ll paint Him as a villain, set on wrath, judgment and destruction without mercy. They see Him as vengeful, taking out His fury on undeserving people. They’ll call Him unfair and question everything He does. Or else they see Him as distant and uncaring, uninvolved in the lives of His creation, leaving us to fend for ourselves. But the portrait of God that Scripture actually reveals to anyone that will seek Him there is a God full of compassion, grace, patience and mercy, all things that our hearts long for and that He gives to us so generously.
Let us seek in our lives as God’s own dear children to know and understand His character as it is revealed to us through His Word. Even Christians can have misconceptions about who God is. And a careful study reveals a God we’ll long to know better and more intimately, a God who surpasses everything we could have imagined Him to be. Because when we might fear His wrath, we’ll understand that He is full of compassion. When we come forward and admit our sin, we’ll understand He is gracious. When we feel like we can’t get anything right, we’ll understand He is longsuffering. When all the wrong within us seems so big, we’ll understand He is plenteous in mercy. When we doubt, we’ll find His truth.
So let’s get to know our God as He is and not compare Him to anyone else. Just because others have let us down doesn’t mean that God will. Just because a church or another believer has disappointed us doesn’t mean that God will. Just because someone we trusted betrayed us or abandoned us doesn’t mean that God will. He is not like sinful man. He is not weak like the men He created. He is not prone to corruption and does not have the bent to sin like we do. He cannot lie and He remains faithful forever. His words never fail. So we can trust Him and trust that He is who He says He is.
Are there things about God that we’ve accepted about Him that simply aren’t true? Are we trusting in what His Word says and not what other people think about Him or how they portray Him? Each of these characteristics—His compassion, His grace, His patience, His mercy and His truth—are visible throughout Scripture and are surely seen in our own lives, as well. And when we know Him as He truly is, our relationship with Him grows much deeper and stronger.