dissolved by His goodness


Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections and bound my soul fast.

Without thy free mercy I could not live here
Sin soon would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And he that first made me, still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy surpasses the sin of my heart
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart,
Dissolved by thy goodness, I fall to the ground
And weep to the praise of the mercy I found.

Great Father of mercies, thy goodness I own,
And covenant love of thy crucified Son:
All praise to the Spirit, whose action divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.

Thy Mercy My God was originally printed in 1776, and almost 250 years later, John Stocker’s words stir my heart. I keep thinking this week of God’s heart-melting goodness. I keep thinking how much — over and over, daily, moment by moment — I need His compassion, His sympathy, His goodness.

I love God’s goodness.

For without His free mercy, I couldn’t live here — I would be reduced to utter despair. But because His mercy surpasses the sin of my heart, I’ve felt my heart’s hardness departing, dissolved by His gracious love.

And again and again, each time I begin to believe I’m self-sufficient, puffed up with pride, ignoring my Lord’s lead and hardening my heart, He brings me back. With mercy, He rescues me from distress and despair. He forgives.

And so, from the first ’til the last, just as the sun melts the coldness of the snow and ice, the covenant love of God dissolves the hardness of my heart.

All by His goodness.

“… let your saints rejoice in your goodness.” (2 Chronicles 6:41)


Painting: Melting Snow, by Paul Cezanne, 1880.


About Jill

I'm a wife, mom to three beautiful children, and work as children's ministry director at Redeemer PCA in Athens, GA, a place our family treasures as our church home. It's been thirty years since the Lord saved me, and to this day I'm astounded at His steadfast love shed upon unfaithful me. My hope would be that I might speak and write in ways God would use to soften hearts toward Him, that we would together be enamored by the glorious beauty of Jesus and awakened to His love unimagined. Thanks so much for reading!
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2 Responses to dissolved by His goodness

  1. Kitty Pevey says:

    You always choose the most exquisite paintings. They are such a feast for the eye and perfectly frame your thoughts.

    • Jill says:

      Kitty, I’m always amazed as I view the stunning talent of painters throughout the ages. It’s such a treat for me personally to find a piece that encapsulates what I’ve tried to say with words — and then, added bonus: my own heart worships when I get to think on the talent He gave a certain man or woman centuries ago! I love that He does the same for you.

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