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.