Goodness and Mercy
Many people cannot enjoy life because they are constantly worried about what tomorrow might bring—will they be able to take care of themselves; will their spouse leave them; will they lose their job; will they come down with some incurable disease; suppose such and such happens, and on and on. But there is no reason for a child of God to live in fear of tomorrow. When you know that the Lord is your Shepherd, and that you are in His loving care, you can live in peace.
Listen to what David had to say in Psalm 23: “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” What confidence! What boldness! What freedom! What a way to think and what a way to live! He could have thought, “Hopefully”, or “Perhaps”, goodness will follow me, but instead, he said, “Surely!” There is absoluteness in his expectation of God’s goodness and mercy that is without compromise or exception.
He does not know how long he will live, but it does not matter at all to him; he is absolutely certain that as long as he lives, goodness and mercy will be his portion. Not just goodness, and not just mercy, but goodness and mercy!
I like it when God interjects the conjunction “and” into His promises because it assures me that He is covering all bases; leaving no stone unturned; ensuring that every possible scenario or need is covered. Goodness and mercy; love and joy; authority and power; grace and peace. What one blessing doesn’t take care of, the other will.
We need goodness and mercy. We need God to bless us with things we do not deserve—that’s goodness. And we need Him to protect us from the judgment we do deserve—that’s mercy. Goodness blesses us with heaven; mercy keeps us out of hell. Goodness heals us when we are sick; mercy keeps us from contracting a sickness we deserve. Goodness blesses us with a job we are not qualified for; mercy keeps us from a dismissal we had coming to us. Goodness is God giving us things we do not deserve; mercy is God holding back the judgment we do deserve because Jesus experienced it in our place.
Since the Lord is our Shepherd, we need not let fear and worry rob us of joy. We can take refuge in His goodness and mercy. Like David, we can be confident, even though we do not deserve it, He will take care of us always.
A minister was on a Trans-Atlantic flight when the flight encountered some violent turbulence. Through the great confusion and panic it brought, the minister noticed one little five-year-old girl who remained calm and composed through the ordeal. After the plane landed and as people were leaving the plane, the minister asked the little girl how she could stay so calm when many of the adults were terrified by the turbulence. Her response was, “Oh, I didn’t worry because my daddy is the pilot and he always gets me home safe!”
Thank God, you don’t have to worry either because the Lord is your Shepherd. You can count on His goodness and mercy always to get you home safe. Always!