On Compassion

By Pastor Mark Jordan

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV)

Recently I did some study on the meaning of the word, compassion. It’s a word with which I’m familiar in terms of feeling care for someone who is struggling. A deeper dive, however, reveals that it isn’t just about a feeling, but also action.

The root of our word, compassion, comes from Latin; it literally means, to suffer with. It isn’t just about a feeling, then, but about getting into the struggles of someone else to help them know they aren’t alone. This can be a struggle for us, however, because we tend to minimize our contact with people in suffering, or minimize it as best we can. Fortunately, this isn’t what God did with us. Thankfully!

Today’s verse indicates that God is a God of compassion. He is, therefore, a God who suffers with us. Let that sink in a moment. God suffers with us, and as He does, He brings us comfort. But it doesn’t stop there. We read that God brings us along side someone else in trouble so we can show compassion and offer comfort. This doesn’t mean we do so from a distance, but right along side so we can suffer with.

Are you suffering right now? Don’t do it alone. Do you know someone else who is suffering. Don’t let him or her suffer alone. God doesn’t want it for you, and He doesn’t want it for anyone else. You now have the knowledge, and therefore responsibility, to join God in this compassion and comfort cohort with the Creator of the universe. Thanks be to God!

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for this enlightenment on compassion. Forgive me for the times I try to minimize my contact with suffering, if not ignoring it altogether. Help me to see the ones you want me to engage with comfort since this is precisely what you do for me. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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