I am fully convinced that God is gracious. Yet I I know at times that belief in His gracious nature is challenged by others, our circumstances, our pain, evil & injustice in the world
First, is simply that the Bible declares God to be gracious in various places and I believe that the Bible is true. In the Scripture we have a record of God’s gracious dealing with His people and the abundant promises to anyone else who will come to Him. God revealed Himself to Moses as “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” Exodus 34:6-7 ESV. This is who God revealed Himself to be in Scripture and I believe this statement to be true about God.
Secondly, when I look at the beautiful design of creation I see the gracious heart & hand of God. Consider how a mother bird tenderly cares for her chicks, feeding them, sheltering them and preparing them to fly on their own. Consider how God graciously sends rain on the earth and causes crops and fruit to come forth so that all of His creation can have food. Or consider the very breathe you have in your lungs that comes from God. You are alive and sustained because the Almighty has graciously given you breathe. There are numerous other benefits that God has graciously bestowed upon His creation which could be counted and considered.
Thirdly, it has been my personal experience throughout my entire life that God has dealt graciously with me. He has graciously provided everything I need and more. He has been with me and allowed me to experience His presence in times that I needed to know He was there. God has protected me from harm and delivered me from death or evil on several occasions. One time I was on a short term mission trip in India driving through the mountains with a taxi driver that drove like an Indy car driver. He was passing vehicles on a two lane road in the mountains driving around 50 miles per hour. During one of his attempts to pass another vehicle we came head on with a dump truck that wasn’t budging. He slammed on the brakes and as we were sliding head on into the giant truck I was in the front seat with my legs in the air crying out “JESUS!!!”. Well, we came within feet of being crushed and God was gracious to me and those with me. Many times God has answered prayers that I’ve prayed for big things and smaller simple things in life. I have found God to be one who hears and answers the prayers of His people just as He has promised to do so in His word.
Read Psalm 34 and you will see that this was David’s experience in each of these areas. I challenge you to read through Psalm 34 and see if you can find these aspects of God displaying His grace to David: Personal Experience, Provision, Protection, His Presence & Prayers Answered. The same God who displayed HIs graciousness & goodness towards David is the same God who has been gracious and good to you and me.
Now I know that there are times when things just don’t work out pleasantly for us. Often times in Scripture the people of God have experienced bitter and painful circumstances. Most often because of their own sinful choices, but then there are folks like Job who was righteous before God and didn’t merit his own suffering. One might not conclude that God is gracious and merciful reading the story of Job if they stopped at the beginning or middle of his story. But if you keep reading and see the big picture, the entire story of Job, you might agree with the New Testament writer’s conclusion of God’s dealings with Job. James wrote “You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11 ESV). If you are a follower of Christ and you are experiencing suffering to the point where it is difficult for you to see God’s gracious and merciful hand upon your life then know that your story is not over yet. God is able to make your bitter circumstances sweet and or give you the grace to sustain you through them. Know that He can and will work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Part of His working things together for our good includes what we will experience when this temporary life is over. There will be a day when God will wipe every tear from our eyes when there will be no more sorrow, pain or death (Revelation 21:4).
Fourthly, I would say that gracious people who know the “God of all grace” and show the grace of God to others have helped convince me that God is gracious. Gracious people that we know give us little glimpses of what God is like. Gracious people have allowed themselves to be channels of grace which flow into the lives of those around them through their words and actions. Jesus is the who fleshed this out better than any other human being for He was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:17).
Lastly, the reason I am convinced that God is gracious is the reality that God gave us His Son to be our Savior & Redeemer. The Scripture says that “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). I believe this was the ultimate act of grace displayed towards humanity, namely the Father giving up His Son for us and Christ willingly giving up His own life for us on the cross. THIS IS AMAZING GRACE! The logic of the Apostle Paul’s statement is from the greater to the lesser. In other words, if God didn’t hold back giving us His Son then He is going to freely and graciously give us all things as well. You can count on God being gracious to you in the age to come because He has done the most gracious act on your behalf. You can count on it that God has future grace for you to experience for all eternity because of the basis of Him giving you Jesus. Let that truth sink in deep and convince your heart that the Lord is Gracious & Compassionate.