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In this is our rest

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

"Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and
He saved them out of their distresses."
(Psalm 107:13)

"For His mercy endures forever." This one sentence, repeated 26 times in the 26 verses of Psalm 136 is telling us something of great importance. The psalm lends itself as a responsive reading, a litany of 1. giving thanks to the God of gods over all creation, 2. details of Israel's miraculous deliverance, and finally, 3. His care over us.

When God emphasizes a truth that He really wants us to remember, God repeats Himself! Psalm 136 is not the only time He tells us over and over again about His enduring mercy.

By the time I read these following few Bible verses, the truth of His mercy connected with my spirit. All I could say was, "YES!":

    Exodus 20:6; 34:6,7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:10; 7:9; Nehemiah 1:5; Psalms 89:1,2; 106:1; 107.1; 118:1; Jeremiah 33:11; Daniel 9:4,9; Micah 7:18.
    And then, just for starters in the New Testament: Luke 1:50; Romans 9:15,16,18; Ephesians 2:4; Hebrews 4:16; Jude 21.

Have you personally known His mercy? I have. He brought me through a dangerous thoracic surgery. After several hours of struggle, the skilled surgeon removed an eight pound benign tumor! Recovery continued with God's grace. Three years later God again showered His mercies on me through a life-threatening illness. Both surgeon and physician had to admit each was a miracle! I say, "Thank You, God! Your mercy endures forever!"

I cannot attribute this grace of God to anything I have done to "deserve" it. It's by His sovereign love and power alone. Scripture describes it exactly this way:

    "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:4-7)

We are able to trust our God to deliver as we follow His directives to love Him and keep His commandments. "...keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." (Jude 21) Truly, His mercy endures forever!

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© Constance Vanides