Give Thanks for God’s Mercy

Open Your Bible

1 Timothy 1:12-20, Psalm 32:1-5, Acts 9:1-22

I never wanted to join the circus. And yet, here I am, breathlessly perched on the tightrope of terrified obedience. It’s that narrow road we’re called to walk as followers of Christ. Our faith in Jesus Christ compels us to go and to do, to serve and to minister, knowing we don’t have what it takes to do so on our own. 

As we look at Paul’s words in 1 Timothy, we can squint our eyes and see him walking on the tightrope ahead of us. As he describes his qualifications for ministry, it’s clear Paul knows how unqualified he truly is. 

It was Paul, after all, who approved the persecution of Stephen. That event was the spark that ignited a raging fire of persecution among God’s people. While the Church wept and wailed, “Saul…was ravaging the church. He would enter house after house, drag off men and women, and put them in prison” (Acts 8:3). 

Based on Saul’s resume, there’s not a single one of us who would pick him to teach the gospel, encourage the saints, plant churches, spearhead missionary journeys, and appoint church leaders. And yet, God Himself described Saul (a.k.a. Paul) as His “chosen instrument” (Acts 9:15). 

This is the seemingly upside down way of our sovereign God. He never calls us into kingdom work because we are the most fit, the most prepared, the most gifted, or the most popular. He doesn’t ask us to do things that we could easily do in our own strength and power. 

Instead, He invites us out onto that tightrope where we know we aren’t qualified, where we must trust His Spirit for every step. A life of ministry and obedience can feel scary because we know we cannot grit our teeth and do what is required on our own. We aren’t capable of reaching a lost and dying world or serving selflessly in our own strength. We can’t generate enough elbow grease to produce faithfulness on our own. Our résumés are just good kindling in God’s economy. 

That reality can paralyze us. And yet, when human eyes only saw Saul’s failures, God looked at him and saw future faithfulness:

“I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry” (1Timothy 1:12). 

While we tend to evaluate our qualifications based on what we see in the rearview mirror, only God is able to see our forward faithfulness. In His sovereignty, He knew that Saul was weak and sinful. He also knew the tsunami of grace that would sweep Saul away from his rebellion. 

The next time you look at the ways God calls you to live, love, and serve, thinking “I can’t do this,” know that you’re right. We can’t walk the narrow road on our own. May the gospel steady our feet as with eyes on Jesus we dare to take the next step toward faithfulness.

(90) Comments

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90 thoughts on "Give Thanks for God’s Mercy"

  1. Melinda Taylor says:


  2. Jami Piringer says:


  3. Ruthie Long says:


  4. Lily James says:

    Exactly what I needed to read today (and everyday that I try to rely on my own strength, ability, and power)

  5. Juliana Gall says:


  6. Gabrielle Mathis says:


  7. Melissa Kiser says:


  8. Kaitlyn Patrick says:


  9. Pam Medendorp says:

    Thank you

  10. Maria Beck says:

    I love that story

  11. Mary Hunt says:


  12. Natalie Echavarria says:

    Praying for you. You got this!

  13. Natalie Echavarria says:

    Wow, so good I needed this. God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called. God works in us preparing us for that big thing he has called us to do. When we don’t feel like we can GOD already knows we can.

  14. Cheryl Williams says:

    I also like the extras of the books. I used to get the digital versions. May go back to that next study and renew my subscription. Praying everyone has a great rest of the week:)

  15. Rita Jordan says:

    Reading this passage was so comforting. Like even if our sins were “Heavy” sins God will still love and forgive us. God knows our past but looks forward to what are future can be. Which is amazing because that is so so so hard for us to do!

  16. Deirdre Twyman says:

    Amen! Such a powerful message!

  17. Stormi Messmer says:


  18. Elizabeth Carlock says:

    Thank God I don’t do it alone.

  19. Claire B says:

    Yay, Victoria E!

  20. Victoria E says:

    GramsieSue !!!! Praise God! I’ve been praying for you and Steve regularly !

  21. Victoria E says:

    Hi All! Trying to slowly regain my rhythms here after having our miracle son in March! Please pray for continued guidance, patience, wisdom, and rest for myself and my husband. Ali- I believe God will help us both and give us wisdom as we ask ! Missed you all dear sisters

  22. Alyssa Wells says:

    Whoa, what an amazing day of Scripture! I’ve been doing the studies and normally get more out of the book honestly but I didn’t order this one but I don’t know, something about today’s readings just hit me. Praise Jesus.

  23. Sandy says:

    @Kasper, I get the Lent and Christmas books for certain and then occasionally a subject that interest me like Do Not Fear or I wish I had gotten the Armor of God, otherwise I just write out in a journal regarding the study we are in

  24. Madison Cox says:


  25. Stephanie G says:

    Ali, the first few months are so hard, but you will find your groove! When I tuned in to my babies and trusted my God-given instincts to provide for their needs, I felt much more relaxed and so did they. Rest in His peace and give yourself grace at every opportunity. Praying for you!

  26. Alayna P. says:

    I prefer the books because I like to have them in hand and write notes in them. I like the reflection questions and the study wrap up reflection at the end of the book. I also like the extras. But mostly for me, it’s to write notes and the reflection questions.

  27. Emma Bet-sayad says:

    I am so grateful and excited for this study! It is the first one I am doing with the community! I can’t wait to grow and learn through this study!

  28. Melissa B says:

    I personally like to be able to make notes and answer the questions in the book so that I can go back and review if need be. I also listen to the podcast with my study book and note anything important for each day. I also would like to go back and do the study again in the future and see where I learn or find something new in the text that I didn’t the first time.

  29. Ali Adair says:

    I had a baby last month and feel really unprepared to be a mother. But praise Jesus – the one who will guide me. Lord, please let my life honor you. Amen.

  30. Claire B says:

    Kasper, I don’t find them necessarily helpful and no longer order them.

  31. Claire B says:

    Kasper, I don’t find them necessary

  32. Jen Lin says:


  33. Teresa Donley says:

    Jasper, I’ll be interested in the answers you get. I’ve considered buying the book, but have thought if all it contains are the verses to read, I can do that just as well on my iPad or in my Bible. If there is additional information and teaching, then it would be worth it to me. Otherwise, I think online is sufficient.

  34. Teresa Donley says:

    I love the comment in the study that says we tend to view ourselves in the rear view mirror. That is so true of me. I had a time in my life when I was far away from God, after being a Christian and devoted to him for most of my life. Thank God that while I was wandering far from Him, He never left me, and was right there waiting for me when I found my way home. He forgave me and set me on the path He prepared for me. I know God forgave me. But, forgiving myself is a whole other story. I can’t possibly count the number of times I have confessed to God and asked for His forgiveness for that time in my life. I absolutely know that I only needed to ask once, and I was forgiven. His grace IS sufficient. I pray, anew, that God will enable me to accept His forgiveness once for all so I can live in the true freedom of His salvation.

  35. Lehua K. says:

    GRAMSIESUE – praising God and rejoicing with you.. Such great news!

    You are all such a fabulous community. I love reading through the comments, gleaning wisdom from your perspectives, and hearing your testimonies. Continuing to pray for all of the requests shared.

    Thank you for the prayers for my husband. Yesterday he was randomly watching a video on YouTube of a pastor sharing his thoughts on a game that has a cult leader… At first I was hesitant but after I watched it with him, the points the pastor shared were helpful. I was able to share with my husband what I learned in yesterday’s reading because it tied in with discerning Truth from lies. Praise God, that was recommended to my husband on YouTube somehow. I think it’s God’s way of connecting him with Truth through what fits his interests (games, movies). We have watched the Chosen as well so we have been able to have really deep conversations on the Bible and God. I’m hoping we can have more consistent conversations around those topics. Please continue to pray – God is working diligently on his heart and our marriage and I’m so touched! I am so grateful for you all.

  36. Donna Wolcott says:

    Gramiesue, PRAISE for the wonderful news! Prayers lifted for each request. Today’s reading made me look back on times when the Lord has equipped me and I wonder how many times I wasn’t consciously aware. Thank you Lord!

  37. Mercy says:

    Christ comes to the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. When Paul says such thing, it already shows a renewed mind. He did not mention how vast his knowledge of the law, what a great pharisee he was but he realized his true condition. The name change from Saul (big, the great one) to Paul ( small, little one) is such an interesting revelation. God wants you to be little (humble) to fit through the narrow gate, to follow Him, empty yourself of who you used to be. He renamed Jacob (trickster) onto Israel (one who struggles with God, or prince of God according to some other sources, multi layer name) on the night Jacob wrestled with the angel of God. He got renamed. Sarai to Sarah. Abram to Abraham. What is your name? The name that people call you or was given to you, or the name you might have defined yourself by whatever reason. May we let that go. Embrace your God-given name. Ask God, Lord what do you call me, and He will reveal to you. Don’t let your past give you a name. God is above all, and He will transition you on this beautiful (yet also painful) to new glory. Temporary pain is worth it. Praying for you sisters for your struggles shared and rejoicing with the amazing testimonies of God’s deliverance. I love love reading your stories. Please keep on sharing so we know we are not alone. To God be the honor and glory! Be blessed dear beautiful sisters.

  38. Jessica Timperio says:

    Amen. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for loving us. I pray that we may be able to recall your word and look to you in our times of need. You give us the strength that we do not possess on our own. Thank you, Lord.

  39. Traci Gendron says:

    KASPER – I have to have the books. I found I do not get as much out of the study without them. Maybe because I’m so visual. I like to underline and write notes in them. I could do this in my Bible, but the paper is so thin. I do tend to underline in my Bible verses that I want to be able to go back to. I keep all my books on a shelf in a “library” area that we have in our home.

    GWINETH52 – I love your idea! I would join if I was in your area. God will help you pull this together. I say, go for it!


    I remember when Tanner was diagnosed. I was 27 years old. I was so afraid that I would have a nervous breakdown in the beginning. That I would cease to be me. It was terrifying. There are only 2,000 Cystinosis cases in the entire world. BUT GOD… He helped me with the challenge of taking care of Tanner. I prayed consistently for courage, strength and perseverance. He gave me all 3. I was a hairstylist and I didn’t get paid if I wasn’t working. No benefits. I thanked Him for my hands and the ability to do the job and provide for the two of us. He brought a wonderful husband into my life that jumped right on board to help me. I was blessed with a wonderfully close relationship with my son. We have been able to help other families with this disease. I would not have been able to do this without my God.

  40. Emelia Burks says:

    Same girl same. I messed up big this last weekend so this hits hard

  41. Elevate says:

    MORGAN LATHAM, if you are still doing the SRT studies, please know that I am praying for you daily. I am concerned that you have stopped posting, because you have indicated you are struggling in your faith. Please know God loves you and has His arms wide open for you to keep you solidly in His family. I pray Jesus’ strength for you that you not become discouraged. He loves you and is always smiling down on you. Never fear, YOU ARE ENOUGH!! Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. [Psalm 107:1]

  42. PamC says:

    Y’all! They needed to put more writing room in this study book for all the great encouragement, comments, prayers & all everyone has shared. I can’t fit it all in. I thank each of you.
    I’m headed to the doctor today to hear/learn what all the exclamation points on the test results mean. I’m grateful for all the prayers you’ve already said on my behalf. I’ll give y’all an update in the morning.
    Praying for all here.
    Hugs & love & blessings

  43. Joan says:

    Wow, this devotion is just the reminder I needed, as I pray for my husband and my grown children, who have stepped away from the Lord. God can & does reach the hardest of lost souls. “He will take out their stony stubborn hearts and give them new hearts…” Thank You Lord Jesus for being our merciful and loving Savior!!

  44. Leslie Gray says:

    Praise God!! He is so so good!! So happy for the two of you @GrammieSue ❤️

  45. Kasper says:

    I’m considering getting a book for the next study. I’m not someone who needs to hold a book in my hand and artwork/beautiful imagery is lost on me. For those of you who use the books, why do you prefer them? Is there a lot of additional helpful information?

  46. Tara Workman says:

    Know that I’m praying for you. I’m a stay at home mom also!

  47. Angelina Ruby says:

    Sauls conversion is the perfect example of Gods mercy and that He can change the heart of anyone.

  48. Rachel says:

    GRAMSIESUE! What amazing news! Rejoicing with you! Praying for the other requests.

  49. Gwineth52 says:

    Oh how wildly & wonderfully appropriate the words of today’s devotional & its echoes in Comments by Shes. I’d been thinking for several years of engaging a small group of women at my church to delve more deeply into the Bible…knowledge based, Christ driven, life enriching. As we’ve returned to in person worship, our desire has only increased & my nerves have steadied enough to present this idea publicly, with the foreknowledge of our female deacon. Now, I’m scared witless! Can I really make this happen? Who am I to do this? What comes next? Will any woman join me? I’m a self professed, NSTLP…non-seminary trained lay person! What on earth have I gotten myself into?! I confess I’ve been tempted to duck under the covers & let my fears of rejection & lack of credentials have the day! And, after another fitful night, I rise & begin my morning ritual of pulling out my SRT study book…praying, reading, reflecting. AND finding strength & solace in HIS word & my Shes community. “Forward faithfulness…Abundant grace…Unqualified yet chosen…Ill equipped, called because or because of it!” So His power can be revealed through my weakness. So I can approach His throne boldly. And trust He will meet me there! God has provided real resources already through my participation in SRT community reading plans, seminary level classes & discourse through the Bible Project, and a prolonged pandemic period of private prayer & communion in spirit & truth. Please, dear Shes, hold me in your hearts as I go forward. Help me experience your generosity & the will of God as I come out of hiding & find the “beauty, goodness & truth” waiting there. There’s Jesus, a Paul, an Ananias & a Timothy beckoning me on. “Now the goal of our instruction is Love that comes from a Pure Heart, Good Conscience & a Sincere Faith” (1 Timothy 1:5 )Thanks be to God!

  50. Dana Cook says:

    Thanks be to God for the mercy he sees in us! Praying fot those sisters standing in the need of prayer.❤️

  51. Amy Anderson says:

    I thought about this too today! And how he must have rejoiced when he saw what all Paul did for the kingdom!

  52. Cindy Hanna says:

    My failures testify to the patience and grace of God’s righteous goodness. In love He yearns to forgive and extend the hand of salvation to all who will believe. Even the worst of us. Praise God!

  53. Janine Longoria says:

    Trusting God to pull my eyes from the rear view mirror to focus on Him and his grace abundant

  54. GramsieSue . says:

    Oh Ladies! Praise the LORD!!! Yesterday Steve’s MRI was CLEAR! NED (no evidence of disease)! God is good! We know that there could still be tentacles in his brain…this cancer is known to cause recurrences. But we are growing in our faith day by day through this journey. Thank you for your continued prayers. Blessings to you all ❤️

  55. Patricia Stewart says:

    He doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called. Lord, make me an instrument of your work. Give me the tools and create in me a servants heart.

  56. Amber Trimble says:

    I needed to read/hear all of this this morning

  57. Churchmouse says:

    How humbling it is to know that I am no longer the person I was. God does not view me as I was BC, before conversion. He sees Jesus in me. Praise God!

  58. Brittnie Blackburn says:

    That’s a great point! Thanks for sharing.

  59. Rebecca Ibarra says:

    Just prayed for you Sarah D.

  60. Mari V says:

    Philippians 4:13. And only through Christ. No one else! On this earth I may be a nobody But God… sees me as His Child. When I am feeling down I remind myself that I am a child of the most High King!

  61. Amanda Mayes says:

    Good stuff!!

  62. Kathy Smith says:

    This is a reminder of how we all if willing to admit it are a mess

  63. Kristie Paradis says:

    I love reading about the journey of Saul to Paul! However, Ananias stuck out to me today, too. It is no telling the fear, anxiety, nervousness he was feeling when walking in to lay hands on Saul! He knew exactly what Saul was capable of, what Saul did to Christ believers. But God!! Ananias trusted God, so even though he had to be feeling some sorta way, he did what God asked him to do! He went in and laid hands on Saul and told him that he was sent by Jesus so he would regain his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. How brave and courageous of Ananias!!

  64. Terri Baldwin says:

    The next time you look at the ways God calls you
    to live, love, and serve, thinking “I can’t do this,
    know that you’re right. We can’t walk the narrow
    road on our own. May the gospel steady our feet
    as with eyes on Jesus we dare to take the next
    step toward faithfulness. We can do all things with faith in God!!

  65. Terri Baldwin says:

    While we tend to evaluate our qualifications
    based on what we see in the rearview mirror,
    only God is able to see our forward faithfulness.

  66. Heidi says:

    NATALIE VANDUSEN- girl you’re in it! This is definitely such a challenging time but it’s also pretty amazing. I never had such understanding of God’s love and direction for me until kids. Suddenly I hear myself saying things like “I know you don’t understand, I can see a bigger picture than you can so I need to just to be obedient and trust I know what’s best right now..” – and other things like that- God always taps my shoulder and whispers “huh. Sounds familiar.. like maybe I’ve said that to YOU before..?? ;)” I understand my relationship and how to trust so much more now, it’s nuts. But- Know you’re not alone :) It can be a lonely space sometimes. I didn’t ever see myself with 3- all of them unplanned by me but very much purposed by my Heavenly Father. And when we thought we were for sure DONE (after having 2 and then donating EVERY BABY THING WE OWNED) – a few years later God said- wait, I’ve got one more for ya to add to the circus! :) It’s not easy- but nothing worth it ever is right? I made a follow request on IG (TIUgrlHeidi)- would love to encourage you!!

  67. Brittany Osborn says:

    Praying for you, Sarah!

  68. Zaria Brown says:

    My God. He is awesome. I thank God that He can call on us and renew us despite our resumes. Thank you God.

  69. Heidi says:

    I’ve always seen Paul as the greatest example of how we can use our God-given personalities and gifts for good or evil. We are given that choice. God instilled in each of us pieces of Himself with the blessing of living His purpose on earth, to be literal examples of Him. But we get the choice of using them to further His kingdom or our own. Paul’s mission is the only thing that changed following his conversion. His zeal, passion, willingness to get his hands dirty and be IN the action instead of just delivering orders- ALL of this was true about him as Saul and as Paul. Up until his conversion, however, he was using it for his own kingdom.
    It’s just such a reminder to me to be sure I’m seeking God’s plans and heart when I step out in action with the gifts He’s given me. To be prayerful and intentional that they’re being used for Him and for the good of others. ❤️

  70. Gaby Thompson says:

    In a season of feeling like failure after failure, this passage is hard. Staying faith and patient. Amen

  71. sydney dubreuiel says:

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Not because of my strength. Not because of my works. Not because of my merit. But because I have a God who has forgiven me, loves me and gives me the strength to do all things. Thank You, Jesus ❤️

  72. Arina says:

    “God doesn’t ask us to do things that we could easily do in our own strength and power.” I need this reminder. Often I’m tempted to think: if God asks me to do this, I should be able to do it. So I just keep trying, mustering up all the courage I have, but at the end of the day still feeling like I’m failing. Instead the opposite is true: if God asks me to do it, I probably can’t do it on my own. It’s His strength and abundant grace which enable me to do the impossible.

  73. Taylor says:

    Two thoughts from today’s devo is that 1. God does not call the equipped, He equips the called. and 2. My sin is no match for God’s grace. Praying for you @Ally M and @Sarah D! Sarah I would definitely encourage you to start looking into other jobs as this current job is causing you so much anxiety. Praying for God to open doors and that He will lead you to a job you love where there is no anxiety but joy <3

  74. Ashley says:

    Praying for wisdom and strength for you! I’ve been in a similar situation and understand how hard it can be but the Lord will carry you through. <3

  75. Mary Hayden says:

    God knows what we are capable of. He is with us every step of the way. ❤️

  76. Ally M says:

    Good morning sisters, I would love prayers for discernment. I’m struggling with a decision about a ministry program that I might attend this summer. I would like to go, but I feel overwhelmed by some of the logistics. If you could pray for me to be strengthened and for God to lead me to make the choice that will best glorify Him, I would really appreciate it. Thank you

  77. Aimee D-R says:

    Lord thank you for Your mercy and Grace. Amen

  78. Natalie VanDusen says:

    As a stay at home mom with an almost 2 year old and a baby due in July, this was very encouraging to me. This was not a role I ever even really thought about wanting (that was my sister’s dream) and there are days where the gospel is the only thing that gets me through. If there are any other sahms who want to connect, I’m searchable on Facebook (my whole name is in my post), I’m on Instagram, and I’m in the She Reads Truth Facebook group. Know that I’m praying for you. I also highly recommend checking out Risen Motherhood. They have a community on all the socials, a podcast, and an excellent book.

  79. Sydney Smith says:


  80. Melanie says:

    Praying Sarah d. That God will give you His peace

  81. Anna Lee says:

    Thank you for your mercy Jesus!

  82. Sarah D. says:

    I need Jesus in every single moment. I can’t do this life without him. I would love your continued prayers sisters. Yesterday morning before work I was crying, just with being overwhelmed at feeling anxious at work everyday. The mornings can be hard, because I feel anxious before work and sometimes to the point where I don’t feel like eating, although I do anyways. I feel like my mindset is getting better, but the physical symptoms are still there most of the time during the day. Praying I could learn coping mechanisms and that the mornings before work I would not be anxious. I talked with my parents yesterday, and I’m going to start looking for other jobs in the area that are in person vs. call center jobs. I feel like I have done a lot better in a in person setting. Please pray for direction and guidance on where the Lord wants me, and to be strong and faithful in my current job. It’s hard, but it’s just reminding me how much I need Christ and to rely on him.

  83. Pursued by Him says:


  84. Ashley Roberts says:

    He is so merciful

  85. AG says:

    I loved the reminder that we can’t do things without God and that he can see our future faithfulness.. that is how I need to start thinking when I wonder why things are happening – what God is bringing me to and why. Praying for all requests!

  86. Kate Easlee says:


  87. Kristen says:

    The next time you look at the ways God calls you to live, love, and serve, thinking “I can’t do this,” know that you’re right. We can’t walk the narrow road on our own. May the gospel steady our feet as with eyes on Jesus we dare to take the next step toward faithfulness.

    Yes, none of this is on our own! To start, He is a Holy God. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. By His grace we have been saved! Praise God!
    Thank You, Lord for Your plan to redeem us. Thank You, Jesus for the shedding of Your Precious Blood. You took the punishment that I/we deserve! We can’t really fathom what You endured. Without You, there would be no way! Help us to remember that we can’t even take a breathe unless You give it. Help me/us live a life that is pleasing to You. Help me/us to live a life in gratitude and rememberence of what You have done. Our hope and help are in You! Your grace and love are amazing!

    17 Now to the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honoram and glory forever and ever. Amen.

    Prayers for you all today!

  88. Sydney Morrow says:

    So thankful that God has the ability to see in us what others can’t! We can trust Him that He knows what He is doing!

  89. Kelly (NEO) says:

    RACHEL ROMERO – praying you will seek a Godly counselor to come along side you and your husband in this time.

    PATRICIA WEAVER – praying for your MIL

    DIANE MOM – praying for your recovery

    ERIKA LYNN – how are you feeling today?

    Grace for the worst of sinners AND for the “good” sinners. From HRT “Many days, we will be tempted to think we have been so bad that grace could never reach us. Other days, the temptation will be to believe we’ve been so good that grace is beneath us. Therefore, on each and every day, take a long look toward the cross of Jesus Christ. There, we remember how desperately we need grace, and hear the good news that God is glad to freely give it.”

  90. Elaine Morgan says:

    So grateful for God’s mercy today!