Do you need comfort as well as pardon? Consider Well the Name of God!

Written by Thomas Goodwin.
Taken from, “A Child of Light Walking in Darkness”

nameThe Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” –Exodus 34:5-7, ESV

The name of God, that is, God’s attributes and Christ’s righteousness…

…do sufficiently and adequately and fully answer all wants and doubts, all objections and distresses we can have, or can be in.  Whatsoever our want or temptations may be, he has a name to make supply.  For example, take the attributes as mentioned Exodus. 34: 5-6.  Consider every attribute ascribed to his name, and every one of them answers to some temptation we experience.  Are you in misery and great distress?  He is merciful; ‘The Lord merciful.’  The Lord, therefore is able to help you; and merciful, therefore willing.  Yes, but you will say, I am unworthy; I have nothing in me to move him to mercy.  Well, therefore, he is gracious; now grace is to show mercy freely.  Yes, but I have sinned against him long, for many years; if I had come in when I was young, mercy might have been shown to me.  To this he says, ‘I am long-suffering.’  Yes, but my sins abound in number, and it is impossible to account for them and they abound in heinousness; I have committed the same sins again and again; I have been false to him, broke promise with him again and again.  His name also answers this objection, he is abundant in goodness; he abounds more in grace than you do in sinning. 

Though you have been unfaithful again and again to him, and broke all covenants, yet he is abundant in truth; also better than his word, for he cannot to our capacities express all the mercy that is in him for us.  Yes, but I have committed great sins, aggravated with many and great circumstances, against knowledge, willfully, etc.  He forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin; sins of all sorts.  Yes, but there is mercy thus in him but for a few and I may be none of that number.  Yes, there is mercy for thousands.  And he keeps it; the treasures of it are with him, and are kept, if men would come and take them.  Object to what you can but his name will answer you. 

Do you need comfort as well as pardon? 

He is both ‘Father of mercies ‘ and ‘God of all comforts’; that is his name, 2 Corinthians 1:3.   Do you need peace of conscience, being filled with terrors?  He is the ‘God of peace,’ 1 Thessalonians 5:23.  Yes, but I have a heart empty of grace and holiness, and full of corruptions.  He is the    ‘God of all grace’ to heal you, as well as of peace to pardon you.  Do you need wisdom and direction?  He is the ‘Father of lights,’ as the Apostle says.  Is your heart inconsistent and full of double-mindedness?  He’s ‘unchangeable’ also, as he speaks of in  James 1:17.  Thus all objections that can be made may be answered out of his name.  Therefore, it is all-sufficient for faith to rest upon.