Psalm 77:9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.
Selah! There is our hint to take a moment and ponder the Word given.
God doesn’t forget. We do. In our anger we often forget to be gracious. It isn’t easy to be gracious when we are offended. Our natural instinct is to strike back when hurt. We are told to turn the other cheek. Ever been slapped hard across the face? Ever been struck by someone who means to do you harm? Ever been wounded deeply? It is in those moments when character wins.
People are quick to point to the wrath of God because it stands out as something we by nature can most easily associate with. We associate striking back instinctively. Self-preservation is instinctive. In all we do, preservation of self, family, nation and culture are instinctual. It is only natural to see ourselves in God’s wrath.
God is gracious and merciful but witnessing those moments are not as obvious. They are not as obvious in many cases because they are not found in the highlight reels. Spectacle stands out in our mind. Grace is soft and tender, nothing spectacular in grace unless you need it.
Being gracious is harder than being angry. It isn’t natural, it is not instinctual unless it is built into your character. Being conformed into the image of Christ is all about building character. Having all this word knowledge and understanding how you are expected to act gets tossed right out the window at the first blow.
Knowledge is easy. Building character is difficult. This new creature we are in Christ has to overcome so much of our natural instincts. It takes time to build character and that is done through experiencing some things that are not necessarily pleasant.
Acts 9: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
Christian is not so much name as it is character!