For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 NKJV
Like any other human beings, I just want to know that someone cares. When I am having a rough time in life, I need to know that there is another person that sympathizes with me, even if they are not capable of fixing the problem. I often turn to my girlfriends in hopes that they can understand my pain enough to feel what I am going through. As bad as I desire that connection, I am usually left disappointed because they just don’t get it. Not because they don’t want to understand, but simply because they just haven’t experienced what I am going through at the time. Because it is sometimes hard to find someone with genuine empathy, we often find it hard to believe that we serve a God that understands and feels what we go through, but He truly does. Maybe it’s hard to fathom the Sovereign King of the universe feeling the sorrow or pain or frustration of little bitty us, but His word confirms it as truth.
On several occasions Jesus exemplified His compassion to His people. One specific instance is revealed when Jesus is interacting with two sisters, Mary and Martha, who are mourning the death of their brother. In what is often referred to as the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35 tells us that after hearing the news about his friend Lazarus’ death, Jesus cried. Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. (John 11:33-35 NKJV) Seeing His daughter Mary weep deeply troubled and moved Him. He was so moved by her tears that it prompted Him to weep as well. How amazing it is to know that Jesus is that concerned with what’s going on in our lives that He feels what we feel! He provides the ultimate example for offering genuine sympathy.
When considering the term ‘sympathy’, the word ‘compassion’ usually follows closely behind. According to Merriam-Webster, compassion is a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc. Based on this definition, Jesus was sharing the ultimate compassion with everyone He encountered. Remember the widow whose son had died? She was preparing to lay her son to rest when she met Jesus. As the boy was being carried to the city gate, the Lord simply saw her and had compassion on her.
And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” (Luke 7:12-13)
He only had to look at her to know that she was going through a difficult time in her life. And once He saw the need He wanted to help her, which is what compassion is all about.
The next time you are going through and you search your family tree and friend circles for someone to stand beside you and just understand what you are going through, look instead to your Master. Just as the header scripture suggests, Jesus was a deity wrapped in human form to walk the earth and get a physical taste of all that we have to endure. Not only does He show up to shower you with His compassion, He also rectifies the issues. On both occasions, Jesus commanded the dead to get up and walk again. Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. (Luke 7:14-15 NKJV) This is revelation for you as you weather your storm: He cares about you and He is about to resurrect some seemingly dead things in your life!
Thank You so much for caring for me! When it seems like I don’t have a friend or a shoulder to lean on, You remind me that You truly care for me and are closer than any brother could ever be. I ask that You strengthen me to share the same compassion with others that You share with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Today I EMPOWER you to remember that God truly cares about you! Not just in a casual way, but in such a way that He feels your pain and desires to assist you in your troubles. His compassion towards you is what motivates Him to remove the sting of death from your situation and bring it back to life. I EMPOWER you to embrace your resurrection situation!
In what area of your life has God extended His warm compassion to you?
Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur and a dedicated servant-leader. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.