Goodness and Mercy

This article was written by an elementary school teacher and English professor. It was not written or produced by any particular religious group or denomination. It is provided free of charge as an expression of God’s love for mankind. 

My dad and I truly enjoy spending time together. We make a great team in the kitchen, cooking various dishes, such as my dad’s cheese and onion enchiladas or fettuccine Alfredo, as well as my smothered chicken or tuna pasta salad. We also love to bake, with my dad making artisan bread and his famous deep-dish pizza, and for dessert, I enjoy making a wide assortment of homemade cookies, cakes, and brownies. I suppose you could call us, Chef Dad and Sous Chef Daughter.

Although we make a lot of different recipes in our kitchen, my favorite comfort food is a simple bowl of chili and rice. There are a lot of types of comfort food around the world, from a bowl of chicken and dumplings in the United States to a plate of Polish pierogi. A warm bowl of soup provides comfort to us when we are sick.

When we need comfort, our family and friends can provide much-needed support through their love. Comfort can even be found through the companionship of a loyal dog or cat. Yet, there is one type of comfort that exceeds all others.

The comfort provided by the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest of all. Our Heavenly Father’s comfort does not only last for a moment, like a delicious meal, but the comfort He provides will endure for all eternity. Jesus Christ is the One who will help us and comfort us every single day of our lives. He is our loving shepherd. Psalm 23:1 (NIV) says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” He will provide all of our needs. He will guide us and direct us. He will protect us. We do not have to be afraid when Jesus Christ is guiding our steps.

Psalm 23:4 (NIV) tells us, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” Shepherds use a rod to protect their sheep from predators. Living in a rural area, we have Florida panthers and coyotes venture onto our property once in a while, so we have to remain vigilant to keep our animals safe. The staff the verse is speaking of would be used to guide and direct the sheep. Sheep may not always choose the safest path, so the shepherd has to ensure they do not fall into a pit or run over a cliff.

In a similar manner, Jesus watches over you and me. Although we may or may not come face-to-face with a wild animal, God’s Word says, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV). The devil is trying to destroy the lives of every man, woman, boy, and girl. The Bible says to “resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Pet. 5:9 NIV). When we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, He will protect us from the enemy’s attacks.

Unfortunately, we often give the enemy a foothold by making poor decisions in life. Rather than listening to the still, small voice of our Good Shepherd, we decide to blaze our own trail. Even when we stray from the safety of His protection, though, He is always waiting to welcome us back into the fold. His loving hand will reach down to pull us out of a pit of despair and set us back onto the narrow road that leads to life everlasting.

You may be wondering why God, the Creator of the universe, would want to help you, even when you make mistakes and disregard His direction in your life. Why would our Heavenly Father care to be our Good Shepherd? It is because Jesus Christ loves us more than we could ever imagine. He is merciful and just. His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:23).

God is not like some people in the world who only want to be nice to us when they have a favor to ask. Nor is He someone who only loves people who love Him in return. Romans 5:8 (NIV) says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus gave His life for us when we were still sinners. He gave His life because He wanted us to have a road to redemption. He rose again the third day, and He is sitting at the right hand of God, interceding for us (Rom. 8:34). Through His great love, we can receive eternal life in Heaven.

God does not love us because we deserve love. It is only because of His mercy and grace. The Book of Psalms says the Lord does not treat us how we deserve; instead, God’s Word says His love for us is “as high as the heavens are above the earth” (Ps. 103:11 NIV). He is a loving God who cares about us. Second Corinthians 1:3 (NLT) says, “God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.” No matter what happens in the world, God will comfort us in all of our troubles. He is the very source of peace in a world of turmoil.

This world with all of its trials and tribulations is temporary. When we put our trust in Jesus Christ, we have an eternal home. He gives us hope beyond this life. First Corinthians 15:19-20 (NLT) says, “And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead.” The hope we have in Christ comforts us in difficult times. This hope is not temporal but eternal.

Jesus gives us hope for today, tomorrow, and forever. He is the friend who is closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). When we trust Him as our Lord and Savior, we will have His protection. He will be with us every day of our lives, both on this earth and for all eternity in Heaven.

Psalm 23:6 (NIV) says, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Every moment on this earth, we are one step closer to our Heavenly home. We are one step closer to seeing Jesus Christ face-to-face. We are one step closer to worshiping around the throne of God. We are one step closer to dwelling in the house of the Lord forever. These facts alone should comfort our hearts.

It is only by God’s goodness and mercy that we are able to endure the hardships of this life. He is the source of our strength, the source of our peace, and the source of our very lives. Instead of looking at our situation, we need to look to our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). He will be with us in the valleys and on the mountaintops we encounter in life.

Right now, millions of people are suffering due to the war in Ukraine. We are praying for the Ukrainians. May God extend His comfort and mercy to each individual who is enduring great sorrow and pain. We pray God will intervene by His mighty power to end this war, according to His sovereign will.

Maybe you are in Eastern Europe, living with concern for the safety of your family and friends or your own personal safety. Perhaps you live in another part of the world, battling depression, addiction, or a life-threatening illness. You may feel hopeless. I want to encourage you. We have eternal hope in Jesus Christ! No matter where you are, call on the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names. Romans chapter eight tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ our Lord, not even life or death.

Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:8). He will send the Holy Spirit to comfort you. His goodness and mercy will be with you, both in this life and in the life to come.

One day soon, Christ will return to this earth to take His children home. On that day, all sorrow will cease for Christians who have put their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is the eternal comfort we have, knowing that Christ, the Good Shepherd, will be with us now and forevermore. Revelation 7:17 (NIV) says, “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” We should all be grateful for the promise of a land without any sorrow or tears. What a glorious day that will be, when we see Jesus Christ face-to-face.

Christ’s goodness and mercy is free to all who will believe. If you are longing for comfort, for peace beyond understanding, and to be loved unconditionally, call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Then, you will have the reassurance that the Lord’s goodness and mercy will follow you all of the days of your life, and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Ps. 23:6).

If you are looking for everlasting hope, a constant friend and help in times of trouble, pray these words:

Dear Jesus, Thank You for loving me unconditionally. I believe You died on the cross and rose again. Please forgive me of my sins. Come into my heart and make me a new creation. I want to live for You. I want to worship and adore you forever. Help me share Your love with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, I encourage you to read the Bible, find a church family who can encourage you in your new walk with Christ, and most importantly, pray for God to help you.


May God bless you always,

Jennifer Campbell

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©2022 Jennifer Campbell – Permission is hereby granted to print copies of this article in complete unedited form for free distribution.


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