Compassion is a wonderful quality for any human to experience and possess. But of course, if you want to taste compassion beyond comparison, you look to the Lord. “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him” (Psa 103:13). Yahweh’s compassion is not cheap or superficial. Nor is it changeable or determined by emotion. Rather, His compassion is determined by mercy, by His unchangeable holiness which prevents inconsistencies or double standards.
King David, writing Psalm 103 presents a brilliant rainbow displaying some of the many facets of our Heaven Father’s loving compassion. For the Christian, exploring God’s nature provides understanding of what compassion is, and how it’s expressed. This creates a template from which to evaluate your spiritual state of health and the future direction for your life.
There’s always choices
Obviously, not everyone recognises God’s goodness or his kindness. That’s because appreciation of the Lord is determined by whether a person fears Him or not. If respectful admiration of God does not exist within the human heart, a terrible disconnection from Him will rule. This produces indifference with resentment, which in turn empowers isolation and entrenched disbelief.
However, a right attitude toward the Almighty begins by acknowledging your mortality. “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more” (Psa 103:15-16). We are finite, fragile, and temporary. We constantly change, and not always for the good either. We have this fearful habit of thinking we are better than we really are, and that God is less significant than He actually is.
God is amazingly patient, even with those who disrespect and have no time for Him. He patiently provides unbelievers both time and space to turn to Him. The Lord “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). However, sooner or later, everyone must accept responsibility for their choices toward God.
That said; God “knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust” (Psa 103:14). Realising our fleshly vulnerabilities and failings actually magnifies “the steadfast love of the LORD” which “is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him…” (Psa 103:17). Those who love the Lord are marked by a profound respect for Him which looks beyond this mortal existence.
The fact is; “the LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Psa 103:8). God does not treat us the way we treat each other, nor does he “deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities” (Psa 103:10). This in itself should inspire great thankfulness from hearts alive with worship which are quick to speak well of Him at all times.
However, nowhere is the Lord’s compassion seen clearer than at the cross of Calvary. Christ didn’t wait for you to become righteous. No, he “shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psa 103:11-12).
Today, I encourage you to think of God’s compassion for you which is seen and experienced best in Jesus Christ.