Posted by: ritagone | April 24, 2019

Something to Think About…

Another great daily devotional from Nancy Guthrie’s “Book of Hope,” which I’m finding to be one of the best contemporary devotional books I’ve used.  Not only is it a beautifully bound book in simulated leather and a ribbon book marker, but she deserves the right to talk about tragedy and how to overcome it through Jesus, having lost two children at six months old through a genetic disorder.  So when she writes of great loss and falling into the arms of Jesus, you know she’s practiced what she preaches.  Besides, I love the way she writes.  Read this piece from a few days ago, and you’ll understand why I say that:


MERCY SAVES ME FROM GETTING WHAT I DESERVE – “He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy.” – Titus 3:5



“We live in a world that teaches us: ‘The early bird gets the worm,’ ‘No pain, no gain,’ ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch,’ and ‘You get what you pay for.’  We’re comfortable in this world where people get what they deserve, at least in theory. But when pain invades our lives, we quickly say, ‘I don’t deserve this!’ and claim our right to justice. Believing we have a right to fairness, we feel violated when we think we haven’t gotten what we deserve.

But if we open our eyes to the rest of the world where most people do not live with even the basics of comfort and security that we enjoy, or if we look back on the living conditions and daily-life realities previous generations lived and died with, we realize that to assume we deserve a life free of loss and pain is not only unrealistic, it is arrogant. Our insistence that we don’t deserve to suffer betrays our naiveté and narcissism.  Just what have we done to deserve the lives we enjoy and the people we love?

On the surface, a perfectly fair world appeals to us. But would we really want to live in such a world? In a perfectly fair world, there is no room for grace – receiving what you don’t deserve. Neither is there room for mercy – being spared from receiving the punishment you do deserve. Suffering may be undeserved, but so is our redemption. A fair world might be a nice place for us to live, but it would only be as nice as we are. And we know we’re really not that nice. We deserve punishment but receive forgiveness; we deserve wrath but experience love; we deserve death, but God has shown us mercy.

Living in a world where we do not always get what we deserve, and one in which we sometimes get what we don’t deserve, means that we will suffer loss. But it also means we will receive mercy. We naturally dread pain, but isn’t it worth it if it means we will also experience the gift of grace and the release of mercy?


Merciful Savior, you have forgiven my guilt and pitied my helplessness. Your mercy is the hope I cling to that balances out the pain in this unfair world. Thank you for not treating me as my sins deserve, but for showing me mercy.


  1. Hey, friend! Thanks for this. I have such respect and appreciation for Nancy Guthrie. She gave her testimony several years ago at the Gospel Coalition conference in Orlando that Kim, Brenda, Linda Dunning and I attended.


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