I would be willing to bet that there have been times when we have all felt we were helpless victims at the mercy of our circumstances. There are times when life seems to spin out of control and there appears to be nothing we can do about it. I am glad to be able to tell you that this is not necessarily the case.
What Are We Talking About?
First of all, what are we talking about when we say we are at the mercy of some one or some thing? To be at someone or some thing’s mercy is to be in a vulnerable situation where the outcome is determined by factors outside of ourselves. If these factors are benevolent or merciful, things will turn out well. If these factors are not benevolent or merciful, it sucks to be us!
A Recent Experience
Recently I was at a place where I felt I was totally at the mercy of others. I felt completely powerless to do anything about my situation. Needless to say, I was very frustrated.
However, as I was stewing in my juice, it suddenly dawned on me: as a child of God, I am never at the mercy of others or my circumstances at any time. I am only at the mercy of the One who loves me and always has my best interests in mind. My frustration comes from leaving Him out of the equation. And don’t we see that played out in the lives of God’s people in the pages of Scripture?
A Look at History
A quick look at the history of God’s people in the Bible will show that those who looked to be at the mercy of others were actually not at their mercy at all. They were only at the mercy of their God.
It looked like the children of Israel were at the mercy of their Egyptian taskmasters, but they weren’t. (Exodus 1 – 12)
It looked as though the armies of Israel was at the mercy of a Philistine giant, but that proved not to be true. (1st Samuel 17)
It looked as though Jehoshaphat and his people were at the mercy of three armies arrayed against them, but they weren’t. (2nd Chronicles 20)
It appeared that Hezekiah and all of Judah was at the mercy of Sennacherib, the Assyrian Commander, but they weren’t. (2nd Chronicles 32)
To everyone it seemed as though the three Hebrew children were at the mercy of an insanely angry Nebuchadnezzar, but that wasn’t true. (Daniel 3)
Everyone thought Daniel was at the mercy of a den of hungry lions, but he wasn’t. (Daniel 6)
It looked as though Jesus was at the mercy of Pontius Pilate, but He wasn’t. (John 19)
To anyone looking, it appeared that Peter was at the mercy of the wicked Herod, until that proved false. (Acts 12)
Paul and Silas looked to be at the mercy of the Philippian courts, but they weren’t. (Acts 17)
It appeared as though Paul and his travelling companions were at the mercy of a horrendous storm, but that was not the case. (Acts 27)
No One But God
It can be clearly seen that God’s people are at the mercy of no one but God. He has the final say on everything. He will take everything in our lives, no matter how bad it may seem at the onset, and turn it for our good (Romans 8:28). He can even take our most dismal failures and turn them for our good and His glory, because that’s who He is. He is our Heavenly Father who will cause everything to maneuver us toward His ultimate goal for our lives. This is the security of those who are living in the Reign. At whose mercy are you?