The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Full of Compassion"
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ" (II Corinthians 1:3-5).
What "sufferings of Christ" abound in the believer? Certainly not redemptive pains and sorrows. Our blessed Lord "offered one sacrifice for sins forever" and then "sat down on the right hand of God" in a completely finished work of atoning for sins (Hebrews 10:12). Our Savior's sufferings rather involve His caring for people. The pains of people are His, even as the Psalmist declared God to be "full of compassion" (Psalm 86:15). The Lord does not look dispassionately upon a creation ravaged by sin and its consequences. Nor will we ourselves as we walk with Him, and as His character of sympathy and empathy becomes formed in us.
"The Lord is good to all, and His tendermercies are over all His works" (Psalm 145:9).
The pains of others will matter to us as the Spirit of Christ lives in us, and as we live through Him. This presents great challenge in our communications generation wherein human misery throughout the world is far more realized than previous generations could have imagined. What can we do for so many, hurting so much? We often possess no means to help the hurting, other than to care, and of course, to pray. This we can do and must do always with our hearts, along with being of service with our hands and our means whenever possible. People in pain matter to God. They will matter to us as we walk with the Lord because"the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
Along with the sufferings of Christ, Paul declared "our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." He referenced this not in terms of our personally receiving comfort, but rather of God's comfort administered through us unto others. Again, caring and prayer will be our only ministry of consolation on many occasions. What a service this can be as our hearts enlist the help of God because we not only view people's sufferings with compassion, but we also seek our Heavenly Father's doings on their behalf. Such a sensibility will also prepare us for times when we can do other things to help the hurting. God often answers prayer through whoever is doing the praying. This especially includes those who intercede for people in pain. "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2).
American President Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Scripture confirms this wonderful statement by calling believers to "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men" (Galatians 6:10). The Bible goes further, however. We might say it calls believers to ask God to do what He can, with what He has, where He is. Believers may always do something, again, by our hands whenever possible, and by our hearts of care and prayer when we see need and remember the abounding sufferings of Christ for the hurting, whose heart can be found with tendermercies over all His works.
"His compassions fail not."
Weekly Memory Verse
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich."
(II Corinthians 8:9)