PSALM 103:8-12 (NLT)
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

King David describes the nature of God. The Lord is not one to be harsh in His judgment, but is instead compassionate and merciful towards us. God does not get angry quickly with us, but instead allows us time so we can repent. God does not hold all our sins against us for He understands our human nature and so He deals with us as we deserve. God’s love never fails us and is greater than our understanding. When the Lord forgives us as He promises to do when we repent; the Lord forgets our sins as though they have been moved to a place of infinity.

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch impressionist artist whose paintings are some of the best known and most expensive. What some don’t know about van Gogh is that for a period of time he served as a missionary. Vincent chose to live as those around him; he bore the same hardships as those he ministered to; he slept on straw in a hut behind a baker’s house. Appalled church leaders dismissed van Gogh after learning about his to choice to live in poverty feeling it was undignified. Even as a missionary he had a desire to be an artist and so he started his new career. He once said, “to try to understand the real significance of what the great artists, the serious masters, tell us in their masterpieces, that leads to God; one man wrote or told it in a book; another in a picture." Vincent dealt with mental illness and feel into depression often, which eventually lead him to commit suicide. His pain and grief were often expressed in his works of art. In the painting “The Resurrection of Lazarus” he placed his own face on Lazarus showing his own hope for resurrection. In one of his darkest and depressed moments he painted “The Starry Night”. It showed swirls of yellow representing God’s love all around the sky, which looked down on a dark empty church. Vincent may have felt deserted by the church. Vincent van Gogh expressed a great love for Christ, but he become hardened to the teachings of the church. He once said, “Oh, I am no friend of the present Christianity, though its founder was sublime." Vincent van Gogh loved the Lord, but he saw the failure of man. And like many of us his resentments of humanity took hold of his life, while the love of God was waiting on him. Pray you never forget God’s love for you. Pray man will not be your influence, but God alone. Praise God who removes our sins as far as from the east to the west and gives us hope of eternal life with Him.