Creflo Dollar - The Power of God's Mercy - Part 2
You know, the easiest thing for us to do sometimes is to blame God for everything that hits us. That's sometimes the easiest thing to do. You know, "God, why didn't you do this"? or "God, why did you let this happen"? or "God, why'd you let that happen"? But we forget that there are other players in the game. You have the world, you have the flesh, and you have the devil, and you have to understand that the world may, they have played a part in what you may be experiencing; your flesh, that certain unrenewed parts of your life may have played a part in what you've experienced; and the devil, he plays a part; but it just seems like God just gets the brunt of the whole deal. You know, it's God.
"Why'd ya let this happen? Why didn't you do this? Why didn't you do that"? And so many of us equate our negative circumstances with punishment from God, so if somethin' negative happens in our lives, you know, we kind of feel like "Well, what did I do to deserve this"? And you feel like God is a punisher. I wanna make it plain tonight. God is not a punisher. God is a God of mercy, okay? Essentially, we're believing that injury, illness, and negative circumstances on the earth are delivered to us by the hand of God. I mean, that's, you know that. You've heard people say that. So, when you don't know God, when you have the wrong impression of God, and that's the deal, and that comes from allowing religious, traditional understandings to be passed down from one generation to another generation.
That's what you've always known, then you develop a wrong impression of God, then you start seeing God as the punisher, and that's not God at all. When you don't know God, you will have a wrong impression. You will have a wrong perception of God, and you'll think that he is the punisher, and it won't dawn on you that he is a God of mercy. So, tonight, what I wanna do is to try to convince you with Scripture that, when these things happen in your life, there is no way, no how, that it comes from God. Why is that important? It's important that you know and have the right impression of God so that when these things happen, you can begin to actively resist against the devil. You know it didn't come from God, all right. It didn't come from God. It came from the devil. And so what happens, by not knowing that, we don't actively resist him, and we just kind of sit and tolerate and put up with it 'cause we're not too sure if this is God or if this is the devil.
I tell you once, I'll tell ya again, God is a God of mercy, amen? And so what happens is, when you have the wrong image of God, the wrong impression of God, you will blame the wrong things about God and say that he's the one that's responsible for it. God is a God of mercy. Let's look at Psalms 145, verses 8 through 9, and he declares that again. Verse 8, says, "The Lord is gracious, and full of," what? "Compassion. He is slow to anger, and he is of great mercies". God is of great mercies. Look at verse 9, "The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works". So we're lookin' at a God of tender mercy. Look at this in the NLT. It's vital that you understand that God is not a punisher. It is vital that you understand that God is a God of mercy and compassion. He says, "The Lord is merciful and compassionate. He is slow to get angry and he is filled with unfailing love". Verse 9, "The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation".
God is good to people who are not even saved yet. You know that? The Bible says that "the goodness of the Lord will cause a man who repent," or he'll cause a man to change his mind about certain things. God is a good God. I know that sounds religious, but that's the truth. God is a good God, amen? He's full of compassion, and so, when you're not experiencing goodness, you gotta back up a little bit and say, "Wait a minute, this is not God". And if you know it's not God, what do you do? You actively resist. You fight again against, you withstand. See, here's spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare says, "I'm gonna maintain my stance on the victory that Jesus died to give me," all right? The devil is tryin' to get you to not do that. We're not tryin' to get the victory. We got the victory.
So we're maintaining our stance on the victory that has already been obtained. Our job is to, what? Maintain that victory. Jesus's job was to obtain that victory. Our job is to maintain, maintain, maintain, maintain. Jesus's job, Jesus, obtain, obtain, obtain. So you already have the victory, so the enemy's gotta make you think "All this crazy stuff, well, it's God". He wants you to step off of what you already have. If you understand that, say, "Amen". Now, we talked about some definitions the last time we got here. Let's go over those real quick. How would we define "mercy"? God is a God of mercy. We, first of all, define "mercy" as "compassion" or "forgiveness". It's compassion and forgiveness by someone who has the power to inflict punishment on you. Oh, my, he has the power to do it, but he won't. He will only release compassion and forgiveness, and that's so very important. We have a God of mercy.
The second definition we looked at is that "mercy" is "love that responds to human need in an unexpected and unmerited way". In other words, this mercy says, "Whether you deserve it or not," he says, "I'm not showing you my mercy because you deserve it". That's what it means. It's unmerited. "I'm not showin' you the mercy of God cause you worked for it or you earned it. I am showing you this love. My love is respondin' to you," and he says, "even when you don't deserve it". That's a powerful thing. That's mercy. "My love's responding to you". The love of God responds to us even when we don't deserve it, and I tell you, the devil's just tryin' to twist that whole thing around. He's tryin' to make you think that God's doing these things to you, and you don't deserve it, and you didn't earn it, and religion comes in, and it just messes this whole thing up. And aren't you grateful that the light has come? The grace of God has been made available to us, amen?
The third definition we talked about is that "mercy" is "the bad you deserve, you don't get". You deserve bad, but you don't get it, and that's God. God's a God of mercy. He's not the one that's punishing you. He's not the punisher. God is not the punisher. He is the God of mercy. He's the God that says, "Yes, you deserve this, but you know what, I'm not gonna let it happen. You deserve it, I know, but instead of giving you what you deserve, I'm gon' give you grace," hallelujah. The God of grace and mercy, amen? So let's look at these Scriptures tonight. I pray that these Scriptures will help to kind of get you to the point where you're like, "This is the God that I know he is," and to have a right impression of God. That's so important that you have the right impression of God so that when things happen in your life, you're not always lookin' to blame God for it.
Okay, let's look at this little interesting book, Lamentations. Go to your table of contents. Lamentations chapter 3, verse 22 through 23, in the NLT, if they have it. Let's look at, I wanna look at it in two versions, the ESV and the NLT, Lamentations 3:22-23. Let's look at the NLT first. He says, 22 and 23, "The faithful love of the Lord," check this out, "never ends". I need that. When all hell break loose, I need to tell myself that "the faithful love of the Lord never ends". Glory to God. "His mercy never ceases". See, it's not like, okay, well, you know, "I don't know if God's gon' show me mercy today because he showed me some mercy last week," like he out of it, like he ran out of mercy. "His mercy never ceases," glory to God, hallelujah. This will do somethin' to your faith. You're walkin' around with the right impression of God, and you know you serve a merciful God. You serve a God who, his love, "his faithful love," the Bible describes it, "The faithful love of the Lord never ends". He's tryin' to run you over, tryin' to do you good and make you happy, amen.
"Well, if the Lord's tryin' to do me good, then how come I'm goin' through what I'm goin' through"? Oh, that's just the stuff you gotta do to get ready for what he called you to do. That's that preparation time. See, God knows the curriculum. Calm down, boy. God knows the curriculum. Ai-yah, God knows the curriculum for everything. For every call that he's put on everybody's life, he's included with the call the curriculum necessary to graduate and be ready so that the troubles of this world doesn't defeat you, but in the midst of the trouble, the will of God is completed, and that's why his faithful love will never end. Boy, that made me wanna eat a cinnamon roll and run down the aisle, you understand what I'm sayin'?
All right, look at the next verse, verse 23. He says, "Great is his faithfulness. His mercies," watch this, "begin afresh each morning". It begins afresh. It's new every morning. Don't ever think God is small in mercy. Don't ever think God has run out of mercy. His mercy is afresh each morning. If you have the ESV, let's read that real quick. I don't think it can get no better than this, but, man, that's good. Go to bed with that tonight. "The faithful love". I like that. "The faithful love". You know what "faithful love" is? You can depend on it. You can depend on it. Glory be to God. Glory be to God. And you know, faithfulness also involves doing what you were last told to do or doing what you last understood.
I understand that God has faithful love. God's not gon' let me down on that. I think sometimes when you have the wrong impression of him, however, and you go to thinkin' he's punishing you, and he's tryin' to get you, and this is payback for what... you have the wrong impression of God, and what happens is that puts you on the outside, not because of any doing of God. It puts you on the outside where your faith is concerned. Faith is what apprehends or appropriates what has already been made available, and you're back here with the wrong impression of God, and he's over there, like, "No, that ain't me. That ain't me; come get me, come here". But you don't, you don't have any faith in it, hallelujah.
All right, he says, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end". "They are new every mornin', new every mornin'. Great is your faithfulness. Ah-ha-ha-ha. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases". I mean, that's true. It's not just a pretty song. It's true, and that's what I want you to get tonight. This is who our God is, amen? Look at Psalms 103, in verse 8. Let's look at it in the King James, Psalms 103, in verse 8. I sat and thought about this, and I thought, wow, man, we really, really need to get ahold of this. You know, we seek to know and we want the power of God but not the love of God. We seek the power of God. We fast for the power of God. I don't know, maybe people have done it, but most of the time I hear people goin' on a fast, they fastin' for power. They're not fasting because they want, "Lord, I'm fasting because I wanna increase my faith where the love of God is concerned. I believe the love of God".
So we seek the power of God and not the love of God; however, the power, the power flows from love. See, when you look at God, yes, he's all powerful, but what makes him all powerful is the essence of who he is. He is love. Now think about this: So if love is not your motivation, then power is not gonna be your result. See, our power comes and is born out of the very love that the Holy Ghost, Romans 5 in 5, poured into our hearts. Man, I saw this thing today, oh, my God. God's power proceeds from his love. Everything that God does for us, it's motivated by his love. See, we're wanting the power, but we're not understandin' where it comes from. When we become people of love, Darius was preachin' on this this mornin', when we become people of love, then we will become people of power. Glory be to God.
You've gotta become a house that, you don't have, I'm not talkin' about emotional love. I'm talkin' about the love that God poured on the inside of you by the Holy Ghost, and you have that supernatural love on the inside of you, but guess what comes out of that supernatural love? Supernatural power. My God. I wanna seek that, Lord. I wanna seek your love. I wanna seek your mercy. I wanna seek Your grace. This is why the devil is workin' overtime to get you involved in unforgiveness, to get you involved in all those things 'cause it short-circuits your power. It short-circuits your power. You're thinkin', "Well, ain't nothin' wrong with it. You hurt me, and I'm never gon' have anything to do with you". You just shut off your power. You shut it off because, you know, you allow, you know, Satan to get in your emotions, get in your head, get in your feelings.
Now your feelings are governing you, and you turned over, you gave your power to Satan, and you tryin' to figure out what's wrong. All that unforgiveness, all that, just can't seem to forget. "I can't forget it. It just hurt me too much". You are not gonna see stuff happen in your life except by God's mercy. Thank God, he got mercy, and he got love, and that mercy's gonna cause you to change your mind and repent about the way you've been carrying yourself. Every time I want to hold onto somethin', God did somethin' supernatural for me. I used to, like, you know, when his favor would show up, and I'm like, "I don't deserve this. Why you do that"? And it would convict me because it'd always been the area of what he was tryin' to get me to do. You know, I'm like, "Wow, God, you love me. You're doin' this". And, hopefully, this thing, the impression you have of God will hopefully become a model for your own life, but we can't get to where we need to be, having the wrong impression of who God is, amen?
Okay, so Psalms 103, I'm ready for that. Verse 8, he says, "The Lord is merciful and gracious and slow to anger," and I love this. "He is plenteous in mercy". You know what, this lets me know that God, all God ever wants to do is find a way to bless you. God's tryin' to run you over with his blessings. He's not tryin' to keep you back. He's not tryin' to keep you down. "Well, you know, I've just been goin' through". Listen, go through. Go on through. What you think if you wanna, like, put your hand through the fire, and you just let it stay there? Move the hand. Keep it movin'. Just keep it movin'. Wake up in the mornin'. Keep it movin'. It's time to go to bed. Go to bed. Wake up. Keep it movin'. Time to go to bed. Go to bed. It might be like that for a couple of days, but then, one day, you're gon' wake up into the glory, the manifestations of what you've been believin'.
See, we gotta find out if you're genuine. We gotta find out if you're real. See, there are a lot of church folk playin' church, and we findin' out if you're genuine. And God's got to know that you have a genuine faith so that he won't put you in a position where you're showin' up with fake faith. I think the Bible calls it "unfeigned faith," and it's fake, and these trials are put in front of us to, first of all, for us to discover who he is, a God of grace and mercy, and watch this, secondly, for you to discover who you are. Okay, so today was rough. Tomorrow comin'. Tomorrow comin'. Tomorrow comin'. I mean, I talked to a few folks between yesterday and today, and it was good to hear some people say, "I had a good day today," and I was sayin' that, I said, "I had a good day". I said, "I got a good day today, had a good day today. My day was so good, I went home, and normally I just crash on the couch," and I said, "Let me put my sweats on and go for a walk and enjoy the sun".
I didn't know the sun was out, and it was still kind of cold, but I went out and just had a good day today. Are y'all listenin' to what I'm sayin'? And so God's full of mercies, "plenteous in mercy". Ain't nobody's crazy gon' ever drain God's mercy, and he wants you to boast on that. Paul boasted on the Lord, amen. All right, let's look at this, Psalms 86 in 5 in the King James. Psalms 86 in 5 in the King James. Man, amen, amen, amen, my God of mercy, God of mercy, God of grace, God of love, God of forgiveness, God loves me. Say that, "God loves me, and I know it". You know how powerful that is? God loves me, and I know it. See, if you believe God loves for you, you'll believe what he promised you. All it is, this is the stuff goin' on in your head when you're goin' through a trial that you must see. I don't understand, I don't think Christians have really digested that, trials that you must see.
"Now, I'm saved, sanctified through the Holy Ghost. I ain't gon' see no trials". No, listen, I can almost assure you, if you don't see trials, you won't see maturity. You won't see maturity, and maturity is necessary for that ultimate place that God has anointed and called you to. Don't you complain about what you're goin' through. You ain't, I started to say somethin', Lord, you're not the only one that's experiencin' stuff. Everybody's stuff is different because everybody's destination is different, but we're connected in one way because we're waitin' on you to take care of that, and when you take care of that, then it's time for you to come on in there and do that, and it's time for you to come over here and do that, and it's time for you to come over here and do that, and you just finished a trial, but now you're ready to hop on in here and do that. God know what he doin'. It's a massive chess game, and what I don't wanna do is see the Lord Jesus Christ and say, "I quit," 'cause a lot of people quit in the middle of their trials. They would not let their trials perfect them.
Another word that he used there for the word "perfect," perfect or perfect, is "mature," to mature you. Mature you for what? For every step that he's planned for your life. I got that after 40, almost 41 years, I got it. I mean, so now, when it comes, it's like, you know, "A'ight, whatever". "You know what they say about ya"? Ah, I don't wanna hear it. I don't care. You know, people call, "I got a word for you". "Ah, I have a very good communication with God. It's extremely well. I hear from him every day. I can guarantee you, if he wanted me to know somethin', he is absolutely well capable of doin' it, and I'm good. I'm good". But stop actin' like it's a strange thing. The Bible says that it's a strange thing that you would go through somethin'. Go through your trial. Go on and get it out the way.