(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)

Matthew 5:7 – THE CYCLE OF MERCY


Matthew 5:7 – Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 

A merciful person feels compassion for those who are hurting.

A merciful person acts in compassion towards those who are hurting. 

Haddon Robinson – “Mercy is a response to misery; mercy understands the hurt, feels the hurt, and moves out to cure the hurt.” Robinson, Haddon, The Christian Salt and Light Company,  (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Discovery House Publishers) © 1988 by the author, p. 65-66 

Showing mercy is not easy, especially when someone is not deserving of the mercy they need.

Showing mercy is not easy, when the people who need mercy are not pretty or likeable.

Showing mercy is not easy, when the person who needs mercy has hurt or offended you. 

There is what I would call a cycle of mercy.

This cycle of mercy begins with, 


You will not be able to show mercy until you experience mercy.

You must experience mercy in order to be right with God. 

The first of the “Beatitudes” or “Blessed Attitudes” that we studied was Matthew 5:3

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

A person who is poor in spirit has come to the end of himself, realizing that he has nothing good to offer to God. He is actually throwing himself upon the mercy of God. 

A person who is poor in spirit recognizes that he is a sinner in need of forgiveness. Isaiah 64:6   

A person who is poor in spirit realizes that he or she as a miserable lost sinner is in need of mercy.   

And mercy is exactly what God has shown on mankind. 

Psalm 85:10 – Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 

This verse was fulfilled on the cross of Calvary where Jesus died for your sins.   

The truth is that someone has to pay for your sins in order to satisfy God’s perfect sense of righteousness. Someone had to pay!

Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, suffered and died on the cross in your place. That’s God’s mercy at work. He took your punishment. 

Righteousness and peace “kissed each other” as God’s righteousness was satisfied by the payment of His Son and peace with God was secured for all those who want it.    

God has already shown you mercy.

He requires only one thing.

You need to accept that mercy by faith. Romans 5:1 

If you have accepted God’s mercy, you now know what mercy is, because you’ve experienced it.

And if you have accepted Christ as Savior, you still need God’s mercy.

When we sin as Christians our fellowship with God is lost. Isaiah 59:2 

When we come to God, confessing our sins, He forgives and restores the fellowship that we have lost. 1 John 1:9 

Every time we accept God’s forgiveness for our sins, we are shown mercy afresh.      


A bad attitude is what keeps us from showing mercy.

There are some mindsets that will hinder us from being merciful. 

  •  Pride will keep us from being merciful. 
  •  A critical spirit will keep us from being merciful. 
  • Selfishness will keep us from being merciful. 
  •  Unforgiveness will keep us from being merciful. 

Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. 

Because God has forgiven me, I need, with God’s help, to forgive others.    

A merciful attitude is an attitude of compassion, because we have experienced God’s compassion. 

It is compassion for the person who does not have enough to eat.

It is compassion for the person who is suffering illness.

It is compassion for the person down on his luck.

It is compassion for the person who is hurting.

It is compassion for the person who is going to hell, because he or she has not trusted Jesus as Savior.

It is compassion for the person who has hurt you. Matthew 5:44 

If God didn’t have a heart of compassion, of mercy, towards you, where would you be? 

Ask Him for a heart of compassion, of mercy.   


An attitude of mercy is not enough.

Attitude must be translated into action! James 2:15-16, 1 John 3:16-18 

When we start to feel an attitude of mercy, or compassion towards someone or towards a situation, the first thing we should do is pray.  As you pray, ask God what to do. 

  •  Do you feel compassion towards an unsaved friend? Ask God for the person’s salvation, and ask God what you should do about it.
  •  Do you have compassion on someone hurting because of the loss of a loved one, a marital problem, or some other sort of problem? Ask God what to do about it.
  •  Do you have compassion on someone who has physical needs? Ask God what to do about it.
  •  Do you have compassion on a situation in another country? Again ask God what you can do, if anything.  If you can’t help, you can still pray.
  •  Are you now feeling compassion for someone who has chosen to be your enemy? Ask God what to do about it. 

James 1:5 – If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 

After you have asked God for guidance, take action.

Do what you can to show mercy, to relieve the suffering of someone else.

When we show mercy, who are we showing mercy to? See Matthew 25:31-40 


Matthew 5:7 – Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 

Does this mean that people will be merciful to you, because you are merciful to them? Not necessarily.

Jesus was the most merciful man who ever lived.

They hung Him on a cross.     

However, it is not man’s mercy that I am in constant need of.

It is GOD’S MERCY that I need! 

And the more mercy I am willing to show, the more mercy God is willing to give to me. 

(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)



We all face trials and troubles often.  It is what Cole Porter called “Stormy Weather” in a song that he wrote.  

There were a couple of times when the disciples faced storms on the Sea of Galilee.  

As we look at this story about literal storm, we also learn lessons about the figurative storms that cause trials and troubles in our lives.  Let’s see what lessons we can learn this morning about stormy weather. 


Vs. 23 – Think of the boat as our lives.

Although God is present everywhere, there is a special sense in which God is present in our lives.  When He indwells us, He has taken up special residence inside of us. John 14:16-17 

God the Holy Spirit dwells inside of the Christian.

He is there to guide us, protect us, keep us, teach us, and comfort us.

And God has promised the Christian that this presence is unending! Hebrews 13:5-6 

You have heard people say, and might have said yourself, “I wouldn’t want to face this problem without the Lord!”

How true!  If God is willing to take up residence in our lives through his Holy Spirit it would be dumb not to avail ourselves of His presence. 

When you trust Christ as your payment for sins, you are what the Bible calls, born again, by the Spirit of God.  And God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life. Romans 8:9    

If you have truly trusted Christ as your Savior, you have God’s presence in your life no matter what the storm may be.  Make sure that you have Christ in the boat that is your life!    


Vs. 23 – The Lord Jesus entered the boat.  The disciples followed Him into the boat. It was the Lord Jesus who decided where they were going. Luke 8:22 

The disciples ended up in a storm on the Sea of Galilee because they were following Jesus in obedience.

Of course, being obedient to God as a Christian and following Jesus’ leadership in our lives is the right thing to do. Luke 9:23-24 

Following Jesus after trusting Him for forgiveness does not mean that it will be an easy life.  In fact, we will have storms. 2 Timothy 3:12, James 1:2-4 

The storms that Jesus leads through will make us strong and mature.  And I’d rather follow Jesus in the middle of a storm than to not follow Jesus.  Being in the center of the Lord’s will is always the safest place to be. 

But you’ll also face storms if you’re not obedient to God. 

Would you rather face storms being in the center of God’s will, or out of God’s will? Which makes the most sense?   


Vs. 24 – I don’t have to tell you how dangerous storms can be.  Just consider last year’s tsunami and hurricanes Ivan and Rita.

This storm was a very violent storm, and even seasoned fishermen like Peter, Andrew, James, and John were having trouble with it. 

The storms of life which we face are also dangerous.

Sometimes we will be in physical danger because of persecution, accidents or illness.

Other times we are in emotional danger with our “storms” threatening to overwhelm us with fear and/or depression.

Other times we are in Spiritual danger, with Satan’s attacks challenging us to give up or to sin. 

And this verse alludes to another danger.  We might be concerned because in the midst of the storm God appears to be asleep.  He does not seem to be responding to our problems during the storm.  He seems to be silent. 

Our Lord Jesus was able to sleep because He had a human body that got tired.  He was also able to sleep because, being sinless, He had a clean conscience.  He was also able to sleep, because He quietly allowed Himself to rest in the hands of His loving Heavenly Father.

If you are doing what is right before the Lord, confessing your sins as a Christian, and striving to live for Him, don’t panic when God appears to be asleep. He’ll show Himself to be very much alive at just the right time. 


Vs. 25 – When storms come we tend to fear. And sometimes when storms come we will go into a panic.  The situation seems to be absolutely hopeless! 

Humans tend to be fearful.  If we didn’t tend to be fearful, God would not have put so many verses in the Bible telling us not to be afraid. I’ll just give you two samples, but there are many more “do not fear” verses in the Bible. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:10 

We tend to fear and worry about what might happen but hasn’t happened.

We tend to fear and worry about the future.

We tend to fear and worry about the opinions of others.

We tend to fear and worry about our children, our parents, our spouses. 

Then comes the times our problems are so real to us that they tend to overwhelm us.  We hit the panic mode. 

Yes, many fears are justified.  But there is a proper way to handle fear.

These seasoned fishermen were literally in over their heads and they knew it, coming to Jesus in panic. 


Vs. 25 – The disciples awoke the Lord Jesus.

Their anxious prayer was an indication that they had come to the end of themselves, and that they had at least a little faith that Jesus could help. 

I personally think that they waited too long to ask Jesus for help.  The moment things got a little stormy, I think they should have come to Him. 

We are like that.  If things seem to be just a little stormy or troublesome, we’ll just worry over it and try to solve it ourselves, instead of bringing it to God right away.

But when problems get full blown, we come in a panic with a little, but not much faith that God can help. Philippians 4:6, James 1:5-8 

Vs. 26 – Note that Jesus did not rebuke the disciples for waking Him up.  Like I said, I feel that He would have welcomed being woken up sooner.    

Notice our Lord’s calm rebuke in the midst of the storm.

He was not in a panic. He’s totally under control.  He can even take the time to rebuke the disciples before He did anything.  He is master of the situation. 

Let’s remember when we give our stormy problems to God He is not in a panic.  He can solve the problem leisurely if He chooses to.  There is no reason to get in a dither or bent out of shape. 


Vs. 26 – Jesus said the word and there was perfect calm. It was like there had been no storm. There was no rocking of the waves that normally follow a storm. There was perfect peace. 

When Jesus speaks the Word there is perfect peace.

Sometimes the problem totally disappears, but more often than not the place where the greatest miracle has occurred is inside of us. 

We are at peace.

God has calmed the ragging in our souls. 

Vs. 27 – The disciples were absolutely amazed!  The Lord Jesus had done what they had never seen before.  A human being told the storm to cease and it did.  The winds obeyed Him! The waves obey Him. 

They had a new appreciation for the power of Jesus!

They had a new appreciation for the glory of Jesus!

And when Jesus calms our storms, we too, should have a new appreciation for the power and glory of the Lord Jesus.

We should be amazed!

We should be filled with praise and worship.

We should be ready to trust Him when an even bigger storm comes.