READ: Psalm 90, Amos 2, Luke 18, 2 Corinthians 9
The quicker we surrender to Jesus, the better. Mercy (God’s best for us no matter how much it hurts) is so satisfying if only we would surrender to it. We tend to unwittingly fight God’s mercy, resist the very thing that will deliver and satisfy us. The psalmist prayed: “Satisfy us early with your mercy, that we might rejoice and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:14). God’s great mercy is so satisfying to us, but often not accessed as it waits on the other side of our yielding. So many disciples struggle on through life unwilling to surrender to mercy. If only we could learn the benefit of early surrender–a deep gladness and relief of soul–whereby Jesus has made us glad (v. 15). Gladness is something that God does for us. Gladness is not a pathetic effort on our part to be happy. When God makes us glad (v. 16), we are beautiful. When we try to make ourselves happy, we self-uglify.
Mercy is accessed by surrender. God wants to help us by taking away from us that which He knows limits us. We tend to put much energy and hope into ministry or projects that over time turn into self-made prisons. God wants “to mercy us” by removing our idols, but we are reluctant to let go for the comfort our own prison affords us, for the sweat equity invested, and for the shame of something coming to a close before we intended it to do so. Jesus recognizes His competition in our heart– the “one thing” more dear to us than Him (Luke 18:23)–and He mercifully goes after that idol (often a good thing). The sooner we surrender, the better it will be–yet we foolishly prolong the battle.
When we cry, “Son of David, have mercy” (v. 38), it is a surrender prayer. It asks in essence for the one thing that hinders us to be removed and the one thing that satisfies us to be bestowed. Both the removal of the one thing we lack, and the granting of the one thing we need are mercies. Both must be surrendered to. Gladness all our days is linked to early surrender to God’s mercy. Early in the day we should surrender poor attitudes. Early in life we should surrender control. Early in ministry we should surrender ambition. The earlier we surrender, the happier we will be. The most enduring prisons are the ones we build around ourselves. God, in His great mercy with which He loves us, is willing, desirous, and capable to deliver us from the good things that bind us and sadden us. It is a sweet relief to surrender good dreams, well intentioned ministries, and altruistic efforts to Jesus. Our satisfaction and gladness is not found in our great accomplishments but in our small daily surrenders.