Feb
28

God’s Compassion For His Children

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Our hearts go out in compassion for anyone who is hurt or suffering. Feelings of compassion well up within us for any animal that is suffering. Why? God made us that way. It is only natural. Only over time does a person harden his heart to not feel compassion for those who suffer and cannot take care of themselves.

God placed compassion in our hearts. Isn’t it reasonable that God who created us with the capacity for compassion is compassionate? God’s concern and love in our well being are greater than we can ever grasp. Psalm 103 speaks of God’s understanding our nature, our weaknesses, and that He is slow to anger and is compassionate.

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more; and its place acknowledges it no longer. But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep His covenant, and who remember His precepts to do them. The LORD has established His throne in the heavens; and His sovereignty rules over all.” (Psalm 103:8-19)

God understands who we are. He knows we are physical, and have desires that are wrong and in temptation fail to do right. God recognizes that physically we are like the grass and flowers and on earth a short time. Consequently there is a tendency for mankind to live as the lower animal world, fulfilling desires opposed to the spiritual nature. God has not dealt with us according to our sins because of His understanding and compassion. He is long-suffering and gives us opportunity to see our condition and turn and follow His will. God’s anger is not as humans’ anger of rage and bitterness. God’s anger is merely the displeasure because of sin. Sin is contrary to the nature of God. A time will come – a time when opportunity will end and people must answer to God displeasure because of sin.

But the point of this writing is to stress God’s compassion. The Psalmist says, “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.” “The lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep His covenant, and who remember His precepts to do them.” God loves each one of us so very much. He wants only that we, as children, come to Him as a Father and do His will.

Remember the prodigal son, who left home, later found himself in a pigpen, and decided to return home. This is the story of God and mankind. The son starts on the way and after a long journey, he is almost home. His thoughts must have been, “will my father let me come home, how will he receive me?” There must have been fear in his heart that his father would reject him and turn his back on him. We pick up with the text, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ And they began to be merry.’” (Luke 15:17-24) Not only was he received back, but given a royal welcome. The father welcomed his son home with love and compassion.

Would our God do less? Indeed not! This story is our story. I’m so thankful we have a loving, compassionate Father who has not dealt with us according to our sins.

Author: Barney Cargile, Jr.