Fear And Grace
By Rick Warren
— March 10, 2009
“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:6 NLT).
God is watching over you.
When King David writes, “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me,” he’s not saying, “Surely only good things will happen to me!”
The fact is that bad things happen to good people. What David is teaching us is that God can take bad, evil, and difficult situations and bring something good out of them.
It’s one of God’s great promises to us: we can know that all things are working for our good “if we love God and are fitting into his plans” (Romans 8:28 LB). If you’re a believer, the Bible says all things are working together for good—not that all things are good, but that they work together for good. There’s no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, or disaster in life that God can’t ultimately turn toward good.
When you understand God’s grace and mercy, there’s no need to fear the future. God isn’t trying to get even with you. Jesus shouldered the penalty for everything you’ve ever done wrong or will do wrong. He paid for it on the cross. So when a bad thing happens, you don’t have to think, “God’s getting even with me.”
Mercy, like goodness, follows us in life. Picture a parent following a little child around picking up after them; God is constantly picking up our messes. Think about this:
Christians go toward the future, not with a question mark, but with an exclamation point. God will be with you no matter what happens. He will help you out.
God’s goodness provides and protects; God’s mercy pardons and forgives. God’s goodness will supply; God’s mercy will sooth. God’s goodness will help; God’s mercy will heal.
Goodness is the fact that God gives us good things in life that we don’t deserve. Mercy means God holds back the condemnation we deserve.