Psalm 145:8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
God’s compassion originates from His mercy and grace and the way He deals with man displays this compassion. For example, He is “slow to anger” and “good to all,” etc. It is important to note that compassion is not something God simply does but rather a manifestation of His character. The Bible emphasizes the importance of this truth by stating that God is “full of compassion” on five separate occasions in the book of Psalms (Psalm 78:38; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 111:4; Psalm 112:4; Psalm 145:8). God’s actions (past, present, or future) can all be traced back to His compassion. This even includes His acts of judgment. When the Bible refers to God’s longsuffering it means that He will suffer for a long time before bringing judgment against a person, nation, or the whole world.
- (For children): When you do something wrong, your mom or dad does not just simply snatch you up and discipline you. Rather, they generally first warn you to change your behaviour. Yet, if you keep doing the same thing after you’ve been warned, correction usually follows. God is like that with us—He is slow to anger.
- (For everyone): Can you think of a time when God was slow to anger with you? What kind of judgment did you deserve? What kind of judgment did you receive?
- When you think of the compassion of God, what comes to mind? How has God’s compassion helped you through some difficult times?
- Thank the Lord for the benefit of compassion.
- Ask the Lord for help in not abusing His compassion.
Lamentations 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever:
32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
The scripture plainly declares that God was compassionate prior to the coming of Christ. His coming to earth in a body of flesh simply confirmed that He is a compassionate Saviour. The coming of Christ, in the likeness of sinful flesh, enabled God the Son to experience the temptations and struggles of mankind (Romans 8:3, Hebrews 5:8). His compassion on earth reveals that He suffered with man, but more importantly, He suffered for man. He took the sin of the world upon Himself (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24), and gave man His own righteousness in its place (2 Corinthians 5:21). One of the greatest demonstrations of His compassion is the fact that God Himself loved us enough to be housed in a body of flesh (Hebrews 10:5).
- (For children): How would you feel if someone took you out of your home and put you in a home where you were not loved by everyone and even got mistreated? Jesus willingly did this for you.
- (For everyone): Did Jesus learn anything by coming in a body of flesh? If so, what did He learn? What are some of His experiences while on earth that you might also have to endure?
- God’s compassion stems from His mercies (Lamentations 3:32). Since each of us is undeserving of His mercies, isn’t it also likely that we are undeserving of His compassion?
- Ask God to help you sacrifice for Him like He sacrificed for you.
- Ask God to help you understand the benefits of His compassion.
Lamentations 3:22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
The word compassion consists of two components: “com” plus “passion.” Acts 1:3 defines the root word “passion” as suffering. The prefix “com” means with. Therefore, the compound word, compassion means to suffer with someone. God expects every true child of God to demonstrate compassion, but even more impressive is the thought that the Lord Jesus Christ manifested compassion during His earthly ministry. What an amazing truth—the Lord of glory willingly humbles Himself to suffer with others. One might assume this only became possible because Christ took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3). Yet, the Bible attributes compassion to God prior to the first coming of Christ.
- (For children) How do you feel when someone gets sick or hurt? What can you do to help them? You want to do these things because you hurt for them. That is how you express compassion.
- (For everyone) Upon what is the Lord’s compassion based? How does this help us understand God’s ability to have compassion before His Son came in the likeness of sinful flesh?
- What are some ways in which the Lord has had compassion on you? Were you completely deserving of His compassion? Were you grateful to Him for having this compassion upon you?
- Take time to thank the Lord for His compassion toward you.
- Ask God to give you opportunities to be more compassionate toward others.
Psalm 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Week 1 Overview (Issue 001)
Sunday, Day 1—Church Day (no devotional)
Monday, Day 2—What Is Compassion?
Tuesday, Day 3—A Compassionate Saviour
Wednesday, Day 4—Church Night (no devotional)
Thursday, Day 5—God: Full of Compassion
Friday, Day 6—The Sighing Saviour
Saturday, Day 7—The Only Son of a Widow