But You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness, and did not forsake them. —Nehemiah 9:17
In this short verse, Nehemiah describes God's nature by listing a few of His attributes. The first that he mentions is God's willingness to pardon. Though His people were completely unfaithful to Him, God was completely faithful to His people. We have all fallen short of His glory, but the blood of Jesus is able to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.
Just as God was ready to forgive the Israelites, He is ready to forgive you —no matter what you've done.
God is gracious. He bestows His blessings on those who do not deserve it.
God is merciful. As David—who really needed God's mercy—pointed out, God doesn't reward us according to our sins. Instead, He extends His mercy toward those who fear Him—mercy as high as the heavens are above the earth.
God is slow to anger. Sometimes I get a little upset about that. I am a lot like James and John who wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans who insulted Jesus. But God is slow to anger. He is patient and longsuffering.
God is kind. He was kind to Israel, He has been kind to our country, and He has certainly been kind to me.
God sees our failings, our flaws, and our weaknesses. And yet He stands ready to pardon. When we call on Him, He forgives us, washes us, and renews us. It is just His nature.
Father, we thank You for Your mercy. May we forsake our evil ways and receive Your pardon and cleansing. Amen.