The God of Compassion

April 29, 2018

There are those who are living in pitiful situations. In the eyes of men, they are helpless as they struggle for their daily survival. Nevertheless, they continue to look unto the Lord for his mercies. Just like the prophet Jeremiah, they are convinced that “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).  Indeed, the Lord will not let those who trust in him be forsaken. He will sustain them with his unfailing love and lead them in the path that will bring deliverance.

Acknowledging the special grace of God for those who are destitute, the apostle Paul said, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4). There is no one who can comfort us in our hour of need but the Lord himself. He is compassionate and caring. But as we are helped and comforted, we also ought to help and comfort others. Having gone through our own difficulties, we should be in a better position to help those who are in similar situations. Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8).

The Bible is replete of stories of how the Lord Jesus Christ was moved with compassion. In every instance, he would minister to the people and meet their needs. The reason why Jesus healed the sick was because he had compassion on them (Matt. 14:14). He also multiplied the bread to feed the multitude because of compassion. He said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way” (Matt. 15:32). It was compassion that moved Jesus to raise the only son of a widow to life (Luke 7:13).

Compassion is not a passive feeling. As demonstrated by the Lord Jesus Christ in the above mentioned situations, compassion is an active and deep feeling of love and sympathy that has to be acted out. In his epistle, the apostle James was more forthright. He said, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:14-16). As believers, we need to activate our faith and do what pleases the Lord. Good work is an essential part of our saved lives. Although we are not saved by good works, we need to demonstrate our salvation by living the life that God wants us to live, which is to do good to others. It is in being good to others that the Lord, whose name we carry, is glorified.

Our good works prompted by compassion will not be left unnoticed. The Lord himself will acknowledge these and will reward us accordingly. We should not be selective in helping others. In fact, helping the least is even more rewarding. Jesus said, “‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:40). Therefore, let us be watchful of the sick, the hungry and thirsty, those needing clothes and those in prison.  Let us be more welcoming to strangers because we could unknowingly be entertaining angels.

Just as the Lord had compassion on us, let us also show compassion to others. The better way to show compassion is to love them with all our hearts. Let us always remember that our God is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Hallelujah!