Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. Isaiah 30:18
To be gracious means “to favor,” “to show kindnesses” to an inferior, and “to be compassionate.” In the Old Testament this adjective applies to God, indicative of His favor and mercy, His long-suffering and general inclination of favor and kindness.
In Isaiah 30:18 it says, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.”
God is gracious because He is love. It is His character to love even if love is not returned to Him. He will give us good things because of He is good and of His goodness. He extends favor, mercy, and kindness on whoever He pleases because it’s who He is.
God is gracious because He is Grace. Even when we don’t acknowledge Him or worship Him, He still endows us with good because He wants to. God created mankind as good and He won’t turn His back on us, because He knows that His grace is able to restore us to His good.
How is God gracious?
Think of a parent. A father and mother will give good things to their children because they want to nurture their children out of love. They provide shelter, food, and clothing because they know that it is necessary for the well-being of the children. They also give them gifts out of love for their children. God does the same thing. He has provided everything for humanity in order for them to grow and prosper. He goes beyond just subsistence. He personalizes each and every gift. He does this even though we don’t recognize or deserve it.
Ephesians 1:7 shows us about God’s grace. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, on the cross we have received His grace.
When is God gracious?
God is gracious all the time, even when we are disobedient to Him. It is His character to be gracious and He “does not change like the shifting shadows” (James 1:17). He extends His mercy to us until the final moment of our lives. He wants none to perish because He created us to live in eternity with Him.
It is by God’s grace that we can have eternal life. God had so much compassion on humanity that He sent His only Son to die for the disobedience of all mankind. God is gracious in our times of need, sending provision for us:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)
We extend God’s grace to those in need by extending our hands on His behalf. Helping others find peace, comfort, and strength in times when desperation threatens to overwhelm them. This is the response that God desires us to have for each other.
As we seek God for who He is – Grace, we gain understanding and wisdom. As we receive this revelation of who He is, He then begins to mold us into a likeness of His son, Jesus the very person of Grace. Our character is changed and we become enabled to show God’s grace and kindness to the world.