Several years ago, we had a pair of cats. One Sunday morning, as we sat in church, my mother in law called. You could hear the cat wailing in pain as she explained it was trapped. My wife heard the cat crying even though she wasn’t on the phone. She had compassion on the cat and said she had to go save it. As she tried to get him loose, he scratched her. She kept working on it and eventually set him free from his predicament.
Many times, we find ourselves in a similar predicament. We’re stuck or in a bad place, and we call out to God for help. When He shows up to alleviate the pain and situation, we attack Him. He still does what a parent does to rescue His children though. Despite what you may believe, He is full of compassion for us. If you’re stuck and need to be set free, call out and He will come. He loves you and wants to set you free.
Here are some Bible verses on God’s Compassion for you.
1. For the Lord will give justice to his people and have compassion on his servants.
Psalms 135:14 NLT
2. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalms 103:13 HCSB
3. He is good to everyone and has compassion on all he made.
Psalm 145:9 GNT
4. Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.
Psalms 51:1 NLT
5. The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
PSALM 145:8 AMP
Joel 2 is known for verses 28-29 which Peter used when he preached from the balcony of the Upper Room in Acts 2. While those verses are well known, there are a couple of other ones in there that stand out to me as well. One of which is verse 13 where he is quoting God and He says, “Rend your heart, not your clothes and return to The Lord your God.” When I read that, it jumped out at me. So I began to read it in other translations and interpretations to see what else I could get from it.
The Message Bible says, “Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God.” It made me think of a show my wife and I used to watch called “What Not To Wear”. A person could nominate a friend who was a walking wardrobe disaster and the hosts of the program would secretly tape them in every day life wearing ridiculous outfits. The person would be invited to a party which would turn out to be an intervention. They had to agree to go to New York with all of their clothes for a makeover.
Once there, they tried on several of their favorite outfits and were picked apart by the expert hosts. They would be required to throw away their entire wardrobe in most cases. After throwing them away, they were taught how to shop for clothes that fit them and their style. After a day of shopping, many wouldn’t know what to purchase and would return to their former style. At the least they would lament throwing out their favorite clothes. The hosts would join them, encourage them and have a break through with them. They could then change their buying and clothes wearing habits.
That’s what God wants to do with each of us. He wants us to throw out our old wardrobe. He wants to change not just how we look on the outside to other people. He wants to change us from the inside out. We can change our clothes and how we appear to others, but that’s not what God is looking for. God looks at our hearts, not our outward appearance. That why the NLT translates verse 13 as, “Don’t tear your clothing in grief, but tear your hearts instead.” God is more concerned with us changing, tearing or rending our hearts because He knows that when we do, our outside will change as well.
Maybe you’ve tried to change how you appear to others, but haven’t changed on the inside and it’s not very fulfilling. You’ve fooled others, but you haven’t fooled yourself or God. The rest of verse 13 says, “Return to The Lord, your God, for He is merciful and compassionate… and filled with unfailing love.” God is not out to get you when you mess up. He’s merciful and compassionate. He wants to help you change your heart so that you won’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again. If you do, He’s right there to help you make better choices. All you have to do is call out to Him.