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What do you call God's kindness?

The Bible has many names for God's kindness, including grace, mercy, lovingkindness, favor and others.
The Bible has many names for God's kindness, including grace, mercy, lovingkindness, favor and others.

It’s not that I doubt that God is kind. It is just so hard to see right now.

In the last 7 years, I’ve spent months waiting to see God’s kindness manifested in my life on several occasions. I know others have been waiting years. The days drag by, you are emotionally drained by your circumstances and you just can’t get a grip on why The Lord won’t turn the heat down a little.

There are many stories in Scripture about those who know exactly what it feels like to wait on God’s kindness to show up. Or, to put it another way, they waited on the promises of God to become real. Some of them, like Abraham, Moses and Stephen, never got to see them fulfilled. They left this earth in faith that what God told them would indeed come to pass. Others, like Rahab, Esther and Jesus’ Disciples, had dramatic moments where they stood on the purpose and plan God had for their life and saw deliverance firsthand.

Our stories usually fall somewhere in between. We get glimpses along the way, and at the end, we will see the newsreel of His works in our life come together. We will one day get to see us through God’s eyes.

Such was the life of Ruth - the Moabitess who became an archetype for biblical fidelity. Her loyalty and commitment passed down the line to our Lord Jesus – whose human and divine genetic makeup brought the kindness Ruth showed to Naomi; and the faithfulness of God, The Father, full circle.

God’s kindness is more than just being nice. It is a measure of Who He is – a tangible aspect of The Lord. We call it many names – mercy, grace, faithfulness, goodness, thankfulness, lovingkindness, favor, joy, bounty, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness, good-will and affection. It is all of those things wrapped up in two words found in Scripture.

In the Old Testament – we see it called the Hebrew word, checed. This word appears 248 times in 241 verses in the King James Version. In the New Testament, we see the Greek word charis used, which is where we get our English word charity. It occurs 156 times in 147 verses in the King James Version. Both words carry the tone of deliverance, getting much more than is deserved. It is what we would call an abundant blessing of the Spirit, whether it comes to us physically, emotionally or spiritually. God not only saves us, He opens the treasure chest of blessing to provide us more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Paul says it this way in his letter to the Philippians:

My God will meet your every need out of his riches in the glory that is found in Christ Jesus.(4:19 CEB)

In the Old Testament, there was an expectancy of God’s lovingkindness to be demonstrated, in advance, by His Chosen people. In the New Testament, we find that His Grace has finally taken the form of Jesus. For those that believe in Christ, we are to live like He did; knowing we are fully steeped in riches through God’s favor.

With either definition of God’s kindness towards us, it is clear that Scripture was written to tell the world that there is a God and He has a name – Jesus Christ. Christ, Who is was, is and is yet to come; Who makes it His business to bestow mercy on those who seek in Him in Spirit and in Truth.

Maybe this is a season of your life that is trying or hard to get through. Or perhaps you are living in a season of blessing. Either way, put a name to all the ways He has blessed you. Whether it is favor, kindness, goodness, grace or any other - meditate what God has done for you. It will produce a spirit of thankfulness not soon forgotten and will show others what is possible!


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