As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
— Psalm 103:13
Growing up, I always wanted to be around my dad. Whether at the store grabbing groceries, outside mowing the lawn, or on the couch watching our favorite shows, I just wanted to be around my dad. I knew that when I was around him, I would be around someone who dealt with me gently, kindly, and compassionately. Whenever I started hearing about God being a good and perfect Father, that didn’t sound like some far-off and aloof idea because of the way that my dad loved and raised me.
But if God truly is a perfect father, how much more expectantly and eagerly should you and I delight in him because of that? That’s a truth that I had heard and maybe even acknowledged, but it didn’t sink into my bones until I read a stellar book by theologian Michael Reeves. In his book Delighting in the Trinity, he explains how, eternally, God has both been in community with himself and in perfect love, even before creation. That because God the Father, along with the Holy Spirit, has always eternally existed with his only Son, Jesus Christ. He has always known what it is to be a father. Before the Father made any of creation, he was already a Dad, perfectly loving his only Son.
When we take a look at Psalm 103:13, we see this same image of a father showing compassion. But how exactly is God compassionate to you and me? What does that look like in our day-to-day lives? It first looks like forgiving us of our sins. Forgiving us not because we are lovely, but because he is. Not when we “get it all together,” but when we realize our great need for a redeemer. It’s when we sin that the very heart of Christ is drawn to those who are in him. While God is holy and righteous, he is also the God that walks with his people, draws near to them, and embraces them with a pure love only he can and provide.
God also shows compassion to us through other people. Many times in my life, it’s been friends and family that have been the means through which God pointed me back to himself, and I’d bet that it has been that way for you too. When you were having a rough day, your Community Group may have been the people to give you encouraging words to lift your spirits. It could’ve been the visit from your grandmother that you hadn’t seen in a while that always gives you wise words, a warm hug, and a home-cooked meal that reminds you of your childhood.
God does not lack in finding ways to show and remind you of his good graces and compassion every day. So whether you’re in a season of spiritual vibrancy or in a drought, here are some reminders that I pray will help you throughout the week.
- God loved you by sending his Son to die on a cross so that we may be redeemed and renewed by grace through faith in him alone.
- God loves you and delights in showing you that every day.
- God sustains you by his Spirit, both to encourage you and admonish you.
- Every time you read your Bible, you are reading the very words God said himself, and it is working and growing you towards greater love and faithfulness to God.