God’s Severe Mercy

by Sheri Schofield

Montana is lovely and dramatic, with its towering, snowcapped mountains and green valleys. When driving across it, I often sing America the Beautiful, and pray as I sing, “God shed his grace on thee.” It distresses me to see the increasing crime, to hear the twisted reasoning of the world, and to see the broken lives of those who do not know or honor God.

Lately, I’ve found myself praying, “God save America” rather than “God bless America.” For God only blesses those nations that honor and obey him. Our entire world is sick with sin. My heart has grieved over this increasingly.

When Covid flooded the world, I wondered whether or not this was a judgment from God. Many people were frightened. Many died, and pain and grief filled our hearts. But as this plague progressed, I began to see that God had been answering prayers in ways I didn’t expect. 

The government shut down churches and schools, in addition to businesses. Results? Parents were suddenly forced to be intensely involved with their children. Many families grew stronger. School lessons were done online, and parents suddenly saw the perversions being taught in classrooms. They rose up and demanded change. The home school movement grew tremendously because of what parents learned about education in the public schools, and many parents took back their role as teachers to their own children.

Churches, which had been conducted much the same way for centuries, were forced to move forward with the times and broadcast their services on YouTube in order to survive. The results were that many more people have heard the gospel around the world. Good, solid Bible teaching is now available, training new leaders, developing Bible knowledge wherever YouTube is available.

God raised up a man whose heart is searching for truth. Elon Musk has stood up to the evil flooding social media, bought Twitter, and has declared it shall be a place of free, open dialog, without undue censorship, a place where people can share their ideas. He did this to preserve democracy. Twitter is becoming a modern day version of Mars Hill in Athens, where the Apostle Paul once presented Jesus as the “Unknown God.” We can present Jesus on Twitter now and reach the world.

While he is searching for truth, Musk has broken down barriers so truth can be told. God is using him, whether or not Musk knows this, just as God has used others like King Cyrus in ancient days. Cyrus, though he did not know God, ordered Jerusalem to be rebuilt and reestablished the Jewish nation in its homeland.

Covid, which once looked only like a judgment, is beginning to look more like an answer to the prayers of the saints to save not only our nation, but also the world. I sense we are just at the beginning of God’s response to our prayers.

Sometimes what seems to be a judgment from God is in reality his severe mercy. He loves the people of this world too much to allow us to go unchecked into self-destruction.

Yes, there is a time coming when God will remove all restraints and allow mankind to self-destruct. But it could be that he is offering us one more chance to turn to him first.

So I continue praying, “God, save America…and this world…for your own glory.” It is a new year. Let there be a new beginning.

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:13, 14 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Sheri Schofield, award-winning author and Bible teacher, has added a new way to share faith in Jesus: Her latest book, Before You Find Me, is a contemporary romantic suspense featuring a strong Christian who faces a crisis that tests her courage. Tara, a freshman at West Texas A&M whose parents are dead, learns that her younger sister witnessed a murder. To protect her siblings, she must spirit them out of Texas before the murderer learns there was a witness to his act. Tara has one day in which to act. Can she do it? She remembers a family ranch in Montana…and Ben, the boy next-door, who captured her heart once. Will he still be there? Will he help her protect her family now? This book entertains while it presents godly responses to danger and struggles. Sometimes fiction can draw people closer to God when they will not be drawn by nonfiction. Before You Find Me is available at http://www.sherischofield.com.

Join the conversation: What evidences of God at work have you seen in recent days?

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