God stands ready and able to show His boundless mercy

Published 8:43 am Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham


Dear Rev. Graham: I am a social worker and also engage in humanitarian work. I see some terrible situations: famine, disease, violence in homes, and people who have lost their jobs and have nowhere to turn. They don’t seem “blessed” to me, but very poor. How can being poor be seen as a blessing as the Bible declares in Matthew? – H.W.

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Dear H.W.: When Scripture uses the word “poor” it does not always mean financially poor. No one is more pathetic than the person who is in great need and is not aware of it! If we are to be poor in spirit, we must be aware of our spiritual poverty; it means being conscious of our constant dependence on God. Perhaps inserting the word “humble” in place of the word “poor” will give clarity of mind.

The great 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “The first link between my soul and Christ is … not my riches but my need.” Only God can satisfy our soul’s emptiness – its deepest longings, desires, and appetites – but not everyone recognizes that truth and turns to Him.

Wise, then, is the person who openly confesses their lack of spiritual wealth and in humility cries out, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (Luke 18:13, NKJV). This passage tells about the religious man who boasted of his spirituality, contrasted by the sinner who cried out for mercy. In God’s economy, spiritual emptiness comes before filling, and spiritual poverty before riches. Happiness, Jesus said, comes from admitting that we are lacking, and then asking Him to come into our lives. God stands ready and able to show His boundless mercy. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV).


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)