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God is a kind and merciful God, full of great love for mankind, and His compassion, which is the summary of His eternal plan and purpose in Christ on behalf of mankind, perfectly executed as the finished work of Christ on the cross, can always be trusted. In essence, compassion and comfort are the essential principles through which the glorious gospel reigns and leavens the wholeness of human beings. More below!

Reference: 2 Corinthians 1:3 New International Version (NIV) "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort."

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the divine nature of compassion and comfort, let's quickly take a look at Isaiah 61:1-3 which reveals the year of the Lord's favour:

"The Spirit of the Lord, the Eternal, is on me. The Lord has appointed me for a special purpose. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to repair broken hearts, And to declare to those who are held captive and bound in prison, "Be free from your imprisonment!" He has sent me to announce the year of jubilee, the season of the Eternal's favor: for our enemies it will be a day of God's wrath; For those who mourn it will be a time of comfort. As for those who grieve over Zion, God has sent me to give them a beautiful crown in exchange for ashes, To anoint them with gladness instead of sorrow, to wrap them in victory, joy, and praise instead of depression and sadness. People will call them magnificent, like great towering trees standing for what is right. They stand to the glory of the Eternal who planted them..." (VOICE).

If you carefully study the above passage in the book of Isaiah, you'll observe that everything about the year of the Lord's favour lays great emphasis on compassion and comfort. If you equally study Luke 4:18-21, you'll notice that Jesus came and fulfilled these very prophetic words written in the book of Isaiah. When the scroll of prophet Isaiah was handed to the Lord Jesus Christ, He unrolled it and interestingly, the very place He opened and read was exactly the passage numbered as Isaiah 61:1-2, denoting His image as a compassionate Deity. Got it? Specifically, in Luke chapter 18 verse 21, He said, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

In Christ, we have all the help, compassion and comfort that human weaknesses and despair demand. For instance, He preached the good news to the poor; He came to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners; to comfort all who mourn, to console the mourners in Zion - to give them a crown of beauty for ashes; the oil of joy for mourning, and a garment of praise for a spirit of despair.

All of the above-mentioned deliverance categories and strategies are manifold motives and acts of a compassionate Lord. Christ, the image of compassion, arrived on earth in human flesh to grant privileges to the captives and to proclaim freedom to those who are bound. In a nutshell, all of these solicitous expressions are the all-powerful sovereign codes of compassion that shape the lives of mankind and bring them to the knowledge of Christ. By reading the entire chapter 61 of Isaiah (plus Luke 4:18-21), we aim to better understand the vast characteristics of the gospel or ministry of compassion and the divine instrument by which they are being accomplished in the lives of men through the gospel truth.

Compassion and comfort are the lubricant oil in the engine of Christ's heart, which has a great power and authority to deliver the souls of men from all the shackles of bondage. Exceptionally, the image of compassion carries the government of the Kingdom of heaven on its shoulder, which is set up in the hearts of saved men, and He reigns, through righteousness, unto eternal life (see Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV). Stay tuned for part 5. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Exodus 33:19; Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 103:8.

Exuberant Declaration: The compassion of Christ and comfort of the Spirit are the works of God's grace in my life. They are well-wrought in my heart and firmly settled on the seat of my inward parts, and their rich treasures are symbolic of the glorious light of the Kingdom of heaven. Hallelujah!


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