By Pastor Doug Stauffer
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 humbled Himself to suffer with and for others.
One might assume God’s compassion only became possible because Christ took the likeness of sinful flesh upon Himself. Yet, the Bible attributes compassion to God before Christ’s First Coming. Repeatedly the Old Testament records: “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15).
The scripture declares that God was compassionate before the coming of Christ. His First coming to earth in a body of flesh confirmed that He is a compassionate Savior. The Coming of Christ, in the likeness of sinful flesh, enabled God the Son to experience humanity’s temptations and struggles. The Bible says He was “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15).
Christ’s compassion on earth reveals that He suffered WITH man, but more importantly, He suffered FOR man. He took the world’s sins upon Himself and gave man His righteousness. One of the most incredible demonstrations of His compassion is that God Himself loved us enough to be housed in a body of flesh.
God’s compassion originates from His mercy and grace, and how He deals with man displays this compassion. For example, He is “slow to anger” and “good to all,” along with many other manifestations of His character.
The Bible emphasizes the importance of this truth in the book of Psalms by stating that God is “full of compassion” on five separate occasions. God’s actions (past, present, or future) can all be traced back to His compassion, including His acts of judgment. When the Bible refers to God’s longsuffering, this means He will suffer for a long time before bringing judgment against a person, nation, or the whole world. America is a prime example of God’s compassion.
God is a compassionate Lord. The earthly ministry of Christ repeatedly demonstrated this truth. In Luke chapter 7, the Lord entered a city only to find that a widow had also lost her only son to death. It was a sorrowful time for this dear lady. The loss of her husband had been hard to bear, but her son was a daily reminder of the husband whose love she treasured so greatly.
Yet, now the son too was gone. Perhaps the young man worked to help support his mother, but now she was alone without her husband and without their son. Fortunately for this woman, God is rich in mercy. Christ intervened on behalf of the woman bringing her son back to life. Her tears of mourning turned into tears of joy. Read this testament by God of God: “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
When your heart is pained and the way grows weary, remember the words of the song, “Does Jesus Care?” I promise you He cares and He will give you relief for that deep grief. Soon you will be saying, “O, yes, He cares; I know He cares.” Christians are not promised the easy life but a relationship with a caring, loving, compassionate Savior.
Dr. Doug Stauffer is pastor of Faith Independent Baptist Church. He was saved July 6, 1980, in Niceville, while stationed at the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base and has now been in the ministry for over 35 years. He has written 20 books including the best selling “One Book” trilogy (“One Book Rightly Divided, One Book Stands Alone, One Book One Authority”); along with several devotionals (“Daily Strength” series); and prophecy books (“Reviving the Blessed Hope, When the End Begins”).