GOD’S LOVING-KINDNESS

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While God’s loving-kindness is clearly evident to those who pause a moment and recognize it, many people are in the clutches of evil forces. War, violence, heartache, and death are prevalent in much of the world. But in these storms, God’s loving-kindness often shines through. We read of miracles experienced by those mired in hopeless situations. We hear of crying hearts reaching out to a welcoming Savior. These are expressions of God’s loving-kindness extended to mankind.

Many of us enjoy lives that are sheltered from some of the evils that pervade much of the world. We have come to expect blessings and advantages that others only dream of. Unfortunately, when we suffer affliction, we are inclined to unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Our high expectations of life tend to obscure our vision of God’s loving-kindness.

Lucifer was cast down to this earth, and it is his domain. Who can imagine what would happen if God—even for one moment—would withdraw His loving-kindness from this world? Indeed, His good influence is all around us. He gives us our children and provides us a means to care for them. He gives us the invigorating springtime each year. And in the deeper, heartfelt matters, He lifts our burdens. He provides wisdom when responsibilities are heavy and comforts us when tragedy claims loved ones. Behind the scenes He works miracles on our behalf that we may not know about. All of these are expressions of God’s loving-kindness.

While God’s love is expressed to the world at large, those who have surrendered their lives to Him experience His kindness in a special measure. No one is more aware of God’s love than the one who walks close by His side. As we mature upon our Christian journey, we become more aware of our sinful inclinations and difficult natures. We see where we have been selfish and insensitive to others. Perhaps I see faults which have strained my marriage relationship, or I see some deficiencies in my child nurture. I stand humbled before God as I realize my selfishness. The mistakes I have made may have resulted in broken hearts, but as I confess my faults, God forgives me and gives grace for restoration. Truly, God’s loving-kindness is everlasting!

God’s loving-kindness is not restricted to those who live a godly life. His loving-kindness can be observed in the stony heart that suddenly crumbles. It is His loving kindness that calls the prodigal back to the fold. God’s love causes even the atheist to reach for something beyond himself in a time of crisis.

Christians who realize God’s loving-kindness and who are persuaded of His goodness live a thankful life. They are not deeply disturbed by the glitches and disappointments of life, because in the end “all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28). They do not fret and worry for they are not oppressed by a constantly disapproving judge. They serve in God’s vineyard because they find their Master is kind and rewards them bountifully. Indeed, it is the heartfelt realization of God’s loving-kindness that opens the door to a truly rewarding Christian life. May we renew our awareness of God’s love toward us and be filled with thankfulness!

From Adult and Youth Sunday School Lessons, Vol. 53, No. 3, Lesson 9