Phoebe Palmer felt she had received an impression to speak a word to someone. She hesitated and then decided to pray about it first. She went away to pray and just as she bowed to pray, the Holy Spirit whispered, "Did you not, this morning, ask to be filled with the knowledge of the will of God? Why then did you not do that which was in your heart, knowing that the Lord was with you?"
She saw her error and hurried back to speak, but her opportunity was gone. She wrote, "I felt ashamed before the Lord; but I felt my heavenly Father did not condemn me, for He saw that my intention was to please him."
Although the Holy Spirit doesn't chide us unmercifully, He often uses our failures to help us in future situations if we thoughtfully and prayerfully reflect upon them. We can profit from past mistakes by looking carefully at the reasons we've failed.
Richard Taylor advised, "Do not be too cast down when you have reason to believe that you have missed the Holy Spirit's signal. If the Holy Spirit has been grieved, He will let you know in a gentle chiding....It is the devil who cracks the whip, not God."
One of the names of God is Erech Appayim, the One who, because of His goodness and tenderness, is not easily angered. We need to remember this when we've made the same mistake repeatedly. He will still respond to us with no impatience. Because God is so good and tender, He "suffers long and is kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4 NKJV).
I praise You, Jesus, for being pleased with me simply because I trust You to forgive me when I'm wrong.
"The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust" (Psalm 103:13-14).