The Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah wrote, ‘Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His COMPASSIONS fail not. They are new every morning, Great is your faithfulness . . . though He causes grief, Yet will he show COMPASSION according to the multitude of His mercies’, Lamentations chapter 3 verses 22-23, 33.
As he considered the cruel enemies that surrounded him every day of his life, David, king of Israel, wrote in one of his psalms, ‘But You, O Lord, are a God full of COMPASSION, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth’, Psalm 86 verse 15. His numerous enemies showed him no compassion but David gained great comfort and strength by turning to his compassionate God! He has not changed and we can do the same today in times of trouble. However, as we do so, it ought to provoke us to show COMPASSION to others. Peter, the apostle, challenges us when he wrote, ‘Finally, all of you be of one mind, having COMPASSION for one another, love as brothers, be tender-hearted, be courteous, not returning evil for evil, but on the contrary blessing’, 1 Peter chapter 3 verses 8-9.
If we want to see COMPASSION lived out in a Person, we only have to follow the pathway of Jesus Christ. A leper, a demoniac, blind men and a widow were among the many who experienced His compassion. When He was faced with the physical needs of a multitude of hungry people, the response of His disciples was ‘Send them away’, Mark chapter 6 verse 36. How often, to our shame, is our reaction the same? Nevertheless, in sharp contrast, Jesus, ‘was moved with COMPASSION FOR THEM, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd’, Mark chapter 6 verse 34.