We cannot fully understand God’s mercy until we have come to fear Him. That is not to be afraid of God but to understand the depth of His wrath toward sin. It is only when we clearly see the extent of this anger that we can appreciate the extent of His mercy. We often forget that the anger God stored up for our sin did not simply dissipate as if God could be indifferent to it. It was poured out in full measure. The merciful part was not that God chose not to punish anyone, but that He chose not to punish you.

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