This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. It is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.
Lam. 3: 21-24
These are more than just nice sounding words on a page . These are absolute truths. Every day can be a new beginning, no matter how bad we blew it the day before.
Pride is so sneaky. Sometimes I think I'm doing well. It's easy to think of others and how they might be failing in one way or another. But the Spirit pulls me up short and I realize in this thick skull of mine that I am no better than any of them. We all need God's mercies.
If I do well, it is because He helps me to avail myself of His neverending supply of mercy and grace. If I fail, He is not surprised, He wants me to come back to Him. Could we really think that God is surprised by any of our failures when He knew every day that was appointed to us? (See Psalm 139.)
Christian, do you, or could you, really believe these gracious words?
Come to Me, all who are growing weary to the point of exhaustion, and have been loaded with burdens and are beneath their weight, and I alone will cause you to cease from your labor and take away your burdens and thus refresh you with rest. Take at once my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find cessation from labor and refreshment for your souls, for my yoke is mild and pleasant, and my load is light in weight.** The New Testament, An Expanded Translation by Kenneth S. Wuest, Teacher Emeritus of NT Greek, The Moody Bible Institute, 1956.
A. T. Robertson, in his Word Pictures of the New Testament, Volume 1, Kregel Publications, 2004 Revised and Updated by Wesley J. Perschbacher, says this of Christ's yoke:
Jesus promisess that we shall find his yoke greatly lightens the burden, "Easy" is a poor translation of chrestos ( χρηστός ); Moffatt puts it "kindly."... We have no adjective that quite carries the notion of "kind and good." The yoke of Christ is useful, good and kindly (cf. Song 1:10).So, if you think living the Christian life is hard, think again. It was hard for Him, so it could be easy for us to receive a new start and His mercies each day.
Christianity isn't a list of rules but a relationship with the Living God. And He is the One who accomplishes it in us as we simply let His Word dwell richly in our hearts.
Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it. I Thessalonians 5:24
For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Phil. 2:13Finally, remember Jesus' gentle rebuke to Martha when she was so busy trying to serve Him. He simply said:
...Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10: 41-42Jesus did everything necessary to make me good before God. He is a good and kind Master. When I fail Him, I come again to His throne of grace and receive abundant mercy.
Who His own self bare our own sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed. (*my emphasis) I Peter 2: 24