This is one of the most difficult scriptures for me to comprehend. A God who wills that none should be lost, hardens some hearts? The Bible gives us examples of this hardening—with Pharaoh, who refused to release God’s chosen people, and with Saul, who needed to step aside so David could take the reins of leadership. Because we know that He is innately merciful, it can be difficult for us to perceive Him giving people over to evil or depravity. But there’s that free will coming into play again. And God, who is all-knowing (omniscient), knows well in advance who will heed His voice and who will not. He knows whose hearts will be tender and whose will remain hardened against Him. His mercy is ready to be shown to all who turn to Him, but He knows that not all will make that choice. He also knows how His followers gain strength through adversity. I’ve experienced His loving mercy in the darkest, most painful moments of my life. I pray that all those I love and care about will turn to Him in repentance and experience it for themselves.
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