“The Father of compassion [mercies] and the God of all comfort” 2 Cor. 1:3
When I was a preschooler I developed whooping cough and so did my older brother and younger sister. My Mother took care of my siblings and my father was responsible for me. I can recall one night of illness being held in his arms. Every time I coughed until I was sick he would be ever so gentle with me and sought to sooth my anxiety. My father was massive man whose powerful arms had been shaped by years of exercise as a farmer. As a child I believed he was the strongest man in the world.
During the night after I had a series of coughing spells I noticed something about my Father I had never seen before. Tears were running down his face. Somehow I sensed that those tears were for me though he did not speak. I continued to be ill through the night but the silent love expressed by my Father’s tears comforted me greatly and I felt safe as he held me close.
Here in our text we have a remarkable description of our heavenly Father. We are to see the Father as ever so loving and gentle with us. The first term means mercy or compassion and in the Bible there are two words often used for God’s action towards those who believe in Jesus.
The popular term grace speaks of God addressing us as needy. The term compassion or mercy, addresses us as miserable. The terms do overlap at times but there can be a distinction between them in usage. Here the apostle speaks of the Father in both capacities. We look to the Father for mercy in our sorrows. We need a sympathetic ear to call on. We need to feel that God is emotionally moved by our trials and He is. We see the emotional life of Jesus expressed in numerous scenes of trouble in the Gospels.
Jesus said once that if you have seen Him you have seen the Father. Therefore we may expect the Father to express the same emotions as Jesus. In Psalm 103:13 we read, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him”. Obviously God is quite willing to be compared to a loving earthly father who gently cares for his child.
Perhaps you did not have an earthly father or the one you had was not loving and merciful. Well, you do understand the ideal and therefore can identify with this description of God. It may be that today you need to spend a few moments thinking of your heavenly Father in this regard. He is always the same. He never changes so the description of Him in the Bible is as true today as when it was written.
There is no need to be afraid of God or cower in His presence. Jesus taught us to address God as Father when we pray and this warm and caring atmosphere should pervade all our dealing with God if we belong to Jesus.
Can you look to God today and sense that there is One who cares for you and loves you more than any earthly father ever could? Perhaps you need to change how you think about God and see Him for what He truly is.
If you have not believed on Jesus as your Lord and Saviour you need to settle this matter at once. There is no more pressing issue in life than to have a proper relationship with the One who came to buy sinners out of the prison of sin. Jesus offers Himself to you today. Pray to Him, confess your need and He will most certainly receive you into His family and you will experience the compassion and comfort that God alone can give in your times of need.