“God's strictness emphasizes the seriousness of delivering His message faithfully. Paul trembled at the very thought of laziness: "Woe is me if I preach not." And Christ reached deep into His own heart to persuade Peter: "Do you love me?... Feed my sheep" John 21:16. It is as if He had said, "Peter, you are crying and feeling guilty because cowardice made you deny Me; but there is still a way to demonstrate your love-- feed My sheep. Do this and stop worrying about that traitor of the past." Once again, Christ showed more care for His sheep than for Himself.
God expresses joy when sinners accept His peace. Joy is the highest testimony, which can be given to our peace. Love is to joy as fuel is to fire. If love gathers only a few scraps of kindling-- only small desires in the heart-- then the flame of joy that comes out of it will not be very hot. Now because God takes such great joy in pardoning sinners, His affection is also great in His offer of peace. In fact, the motive, which prevails with God to forgive the ungodly, is that "he delights in mercy." "Who is a God like you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant for his heritage? He retains not his anger forever, because he delights in mercy" Micah 7:18.
If you ask a fisherman why he stands with his hook in the water all night he will tell you it is because he enjoys fishing. Now you know why God waits for sinners-- months, years-- preaching to them; He delights in forgiving them by His grace and mercy. Now and then a government official will pardon an offender more to please others than himself; but God forgives to make His own heart glad. Thus when Christ came to reconcile sinners to God, His ministry was called "the pleasure of the Lord" Isaiah 53:10.Quoted material from, ”The Christian in Complete Armour Daily Readings in Spiritual Warfare” by Gurnall and James S Bell. http://www.moodypublishers.com/pub_productDetail.aspx?id=41823&pid=53617