You will hear people say, “God is love.” Usually, that means God accepts who I am and whatever I do. There are serious issues with that thinking because it overlooks your sin. Instead, we need to look at how He treats us. The prophet Joel tells us that God’s abounding love is gracious, compassionate, and slow to anger. We all need that.
“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping, and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.”
God Wants True Repentance
Israel had strayed from the Lord, and God was calling them back through the prophet Joel. He tells them to return to Him with all their heart. This was more than a feeling. They had to do it through fasting, weeping, and mourning. This meant that it was a process they had to go through. Israel was used to pretending when it came to their repentance. They would make a public showing of tearing their garments and acting sorrowful. Everyone was convinced except God. He wanted true repentance.
The reason God wanted true repentance is that He is gracious, compassionate, and abounding in loving kindness, and He wants to shower that on His people. To prod Israel in that direction, Joel tells them that God is also slow to anger. Are you hesitating in getting right with God because you think that He is mad at you? Find some solace in this passage because God wants you to get right with Him. Take the step today.
God’s Abounding Love
God’s abounding love manifests itself in so many ways. Joel lists a few of them. Being gracious, compassionate, and slow to anger are just some of the ways that God’s love overwhelms us. He never intended for His children to live in guilt or shame. Cast those feeling on Him and walk in the freedom of His life-changing love.