Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17 (NIV) There is a direct connection between faith and serving. No passage of Scripture puts this more clearly than James. But this emphasis is not unique to James; it is the unanimous witness of the New...
“Spare your people, O Lord, and make not your heritage a reproach.” Joel 2:17
There are many ways in which we come to a place of feeling that years have been lost and we can’t get them back—yet God says, “I will restore the years that the locust has eaten.”
Who is this promise given to? Who’s it for? Notice the prayer that led to the giving of this promise: “Spare your people, O Lord, and make not your heritage a reproach” (2:17).
The promise of restored years is given to people who feel their need for mercy. They were saying, “Lord, look upon us in mercy. Have pity on us. Spare your people.” These people had been placed under the discipline of God, and they felt their need for mercy.
You cannot pray, “Spare your people,” as a Christian, without thinking of the words of Paul, “[God] did not spare his own Son…” (Rom. 8:32). The mercy of God comes to us for this reason: We are spared because Christ was not spared.
So here is our confidence in coming to God and asking for his help and mercy: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
Do you feel your need of God’s mercy today? If not, draw near to God and ask him for a greater awareness of his holiness and your need.