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God's mercy and compassion

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Psalm 145:8-9

One of the facts God stresses most about himself is his great mercy. He declares that his mercy endures forever. See Psalm 136, verses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,.10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26, for starters. See Psalm 23:6: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." Psalm 25:10 says, "All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies." God "retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18). Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "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."

Remember Jehoshaphat's singers who went out before the army? The victory was won by praising God. What in particular did they praise him for? Was it "for his awesome power maketh even an H-bomb seem like a cap gun?" No. They sang, "Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever!" God wants you to know about his power, but he wants you to know about his mercy, too! Plenty of people who believe that God is all-powerful don't believe that God would be merciful enough to heal them. Actually, he is so merciful that he sent Jesus as a one-time sacrifice to provide the mercy of healing for anyone who wants it.

Do you know what they were singing about in Solomon's temple when the glory of God came in and the priests couldn't even stand up? "For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever."

In case you haven't gotten the gist of this yet, God is good and his mercy endures forever.

Since Jesus was God in the flesh, we should expect to see the same characteristics in him. And we do.

In Mark 1:40-45, Jesus was moved with compassion and healed a leper. He could not have done this to show off his power, because he told the leper not to tell anyone about his healing. This was an act of compassion on the man, not a publicity stunt.

In Matthew 14:14, Jesus was moved with compassion and healed a multitude of sick people.

In Matthew 20:30-34, Jesus had compassion on two blind men and healed them.

In Mark 5:2-20, Jesus told the ex-demoniac go tell his friends how the Lord had had compassion on him.

In Mark 9:17-29, the demonized boy's father asked Jesus to have compassion on them. Jesus cast the devil out.

In Luke 7:12-16, Jesus had compassion on a dead man's mother and raised her only son from the dead at his funeral.

If Jesus was moved with compassion then, he is still moved with compassion today, because he has not changed (Heb 13:8). If he had compassion on the sick in his earthly ministry, he has compassion on you today if you are sick. Today he is your "merciful and faithful high priest" (Heb 2:17). If he were unwilling to heal you today, his mercy and compassion would have decreased since he walked the earth, and he would not be a merciful high priest to you.

Sometimes we can teach faith and leave people with the impression that our God "who is a faith God" is simply sitting up there with a faith meter, waiting to see when you will get your act together and believe his Word. That is a false picture. Yes, God is moved by faith, not by need, but he is very willing to help you walk in faith. He gave you his Word so that you could have faith and receive what is yours. He sent the Holy Spirit so that you might know the things that are freely given to you by God (1 Cor 2:12). The Holy Spirit will teach you all things (John 14:26) and guide you into all truth (John 16:13), including the truth about your healing. You have not just been left here to flounder around on your own, "trying" to believe God. You have his Word and his Helper!

God wants to help you receive your healing! He wants you to walk in everything that Jesus provided for you. What a waste it would be for Jesus to provide something that you never receive! That isn't God's will. God is more interested in your healing than you are. He paid a tremendous price to buy it for you.

God loves you and he cares about whether or not you get healed! He wants you to be in health and prosper, even as your soul prospers (3 John 2).

Since God is merciful and compassionate, we should be imitators of God, and be merciful and compassionate ourselves. As he is, so should we be in this world. Therefore, it is never an appropriate response to news of a sick brother to say, "Well, that's his problem; if he would just get in faith, he'd get healed!" We are to bear another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2). This does not mean that you should bear the person's sickness, but it does mean that you should pray for the person instead of judging him. You are part of the same Body as that person, and when one part suffers, all suffer (1 Cor 12:26). You should never have a "That's his problem!" attitude. Be glad that Jesus does not have that attitude!

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