If I’m honest, I’d tell you I hate going through trials. Hate it. Yet it is in trials when I really need to cling to the character of God. One of His many character facets is compassion. He is a compassionate God. But what does that mean and how can it help us in the depths of despair? Sister, let us look to scripture to help us figure out why the compassion of God matters to us today.
Biblically, compassion seems to imply empathy (sympathy or understanding) with action. In the Old Testament, God often had compassion on Israel after they had disobeyed Him. He had compassion on them and forgave them of their sin or gave them relief from a trial. Micah 7:19 says, “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” In Lamentations, Jeremiah writes, “but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love (3:32).” As we move to the New Testament, compassion is mostly used just before Jesus healed, fed, or taught people (Mark 6:34, 8:2; Lk 10:33). So scripture seems to teach that God’s compassion is most given when sin, sickness, or physical ailments abound. When these people were in their most need, God had compassion. He felt deep sorrow and pain with them and then met their genuine need. He healed, fed, cast out demons, and forgave sins, not because they earned it, but out of His compassionate love, grace, and mercy.
We serve a God who sees. In fact, that is one of his names, El Roi. He sees us in our despair, however that looks in our lives. Perhaps you need Him to help provide for your family? Or for Him to heal a sickness that threatens you or a loved one? Maybe you need Him to see a spiritual or mental anguish that needs to be released? Does God still see us and give His compassion to us today?
Yes, sweet sister! The same God that healed the leper, that touched the woman that bled, that forgave Israel for her spiritual adultery can answer your prayer today. He sees your pain and sadness and still acts on it with His compassion. But there is also a dig deeper way that He has shown His compassion.
God has seen His broken creation groan under the curse of Adam for thousands of years. Millions of deaths, untold numbers of sickness, pain, and sadness that we thought were unseen. Yet God had compassion on this creation that once was good and sent His Son, Jesus, to come and live the life that we could never live, by obeying God perfectly. Then Jesus died the death that we deserve because of our sin. God’s action was killing His beloved Son. Yet Jesus did not stay in the grave, He rose again three days later cancelling our penalty of death forever! His compassion results in our forgiveness and eternal life! What hope that gives us in our sufferings! That God’s compassion will end all sorrow, pain, and suffering. We will see Jesus face to face and only have joy forever in heaven with Him! Yes! God’s compassion matters to us today!
Your sister in Christ,