5 Ways to Enhance Your Experience of God’s Mercy

Finding Mercy in All the Right Places

One of the major issues I’ve had to face on my spiritual journey is my stinking reliance on myself. It’s only been recently (and I’m now in my 60’s) that I’ve confronted my self-reliance. While saying all the right words – “I trust in God” or “Jesus is everything to me” – I still lived as if I could make it on my own. I didn’t realize how desperately I needed the mercy of God. I need to experience the reality that “Your lovingkindness (mercy) is better than life” (Psalm 63.3). 

Fortunately, I’m walking a journey that allows me to learn and experience God and His mercy. I don’t have to know it all at once. I can gradually experience more and more of God’s mercy in everyday life. So, here are a few insights that have come on the journey:

1. Get in touch with mercy – understood & experienced with olive oil

The word mercy in Greek, eleison, has the same root as elaion which is the word for olive tree and the oil from it. The Good olive oilSamaritan poured olive oil (elaion) on the wounds of the beaten, half-dead man to soothe and heal. That’s what mercy is and does. The wounded man experienced mercy as olive oil. To him, the healing oil of mercy was medicinal balm for body and soul.

Apparently, many studies have shown the health benefits of olive oil. I’m not promoting olive oil simply for its health benefits. But, perhaps it would be helpful to experience God’s mercy more concretely by using olive oil more frequently.

Connect mercy with olive oil and see if God’s mercy becomes more real to you.

2. Get in touch with mercy – understood & experienced at “the throne of grace”     

What is often referred to as the mercy seat – the gold lid with two cherubim at the ends forming a covering over the Ark of the Covenant – rests the cloud or visible symbol of the divine presence on the Day of Atonement. Here God is seated. Here forgiveness is granted through the sprinkling of blood. Here humanity’s relationship with God is restored. Here Divine mercy mingles with human brokenness.mercy seat

Mercy is abundantly given at the “throne of grace” described in Hebrews 4.16: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Here is a place where mercy flows. Perhaps this is a veiled description of the place where Jesus is at His Father’s right hand. At this “seat of mercy” where the Lord of mercy sits is all the mercy you ever need.

Connect the mercy seat with the throne of mercy and see if God’s mercy becomes more real to you.


3. Come to the end of yourself. Like the prodigal, turn from your self-sufficiency and run home to the arms of Mercy.

4. Come to Mercy all day long. Your “time of need” is every moment of every day. There is never a moment when you don’t need God’s mercy.

5. Come to Mercy to experience mercy. God is the Source of Mercy. Sit where He sits. Live in Mercy. Ask Mercy to live in you.

There is no place where mercy is not!

God’s mercy endures forever! (Psalm 136.1)

God’s mercy is your’s every morning (Lamentations 3.23)

How are you experiencing or struggling with God’s mercy? Share below. 

Dr. K 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

4 thoughts on “5 Ways to Enhance Your Experience of God’s Mercy

  1. We speak often of the grace that God has given to us through our salvation and justly so. Mercy takes a back seat as we ignore what He has taken us from. Mercy removes the burden of my heart and Grace fills it with Joy! How can I not but praise and follow Him?

    • Hi Treestand. Thank you for your comments. You have written what is typically presented when talking about grace and mercy. I may have presented it that way myself. As my journey in mercy and grace have taken place, I don’t see them so distinctly. The reality is, we all need both grace and mercy at all times. Grace and mercy are the life of God as a fountain bubbling in us continually. They do not possess their own life. Grace is God. Mercy is God. From what other source would these realities come? So, it is as we live more intimately in our relationship with God that we experience more deeply all He is including grace and mercy, love and faithfulness, kindness and joy. Grace and mercy are not things that come to us as packages given by God. They are God Himself living in us. Our responsibility is to be receptive to, be saturated by, and be alive in God’s life (which includes grace and mercy). Thank you so much for engaging with The UnCommon Journey. Your comments are so appreciated. May God and His mercy sustain you on your journey. Dr. K

  2. I like the thoughts on the mercy seat. I wonder if in our insistence that God can’t be seen means that he actually has no visible qualities. We WILL see him one day, so what does that mean? Would be interested in more good theology on this matter.

    I’ve read quite a bit on the glory cloud, and have always found it fascinating and invigorating.

    • Hi Dean. Interesting. I’ve never thought of that. We use human qualities to describe God – hands, face, etc. But, He can’t be seen except as Jesus Christ and in his uncreated energies seen in human lives. But, you’ve entered a realm that is far above my pay grade…maybe tapping into the Mystery that is the Triune God. I hope the glory resting on the mercy seat will create even greater hunger in your heart to know the God of mercy. Thanks be to God for all things! Keith

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