Wednesday, September 10th
Knowing and Believing in God’s Character Brings Peace
Jesus wept. John 11:35
Please read: John 11: 32-44
There is a “buzz word” that has become popular in today’s corporate and educational worlds…“Emotional Intelligence,” or “EI”. As a matter of fact, I just completed a very interesting book study on the subject. Now unlike several of our Soul Sisters whom I know to be experts on this subject, I only have a very basic overview of Emotional Intelligence. But I can share with you that basically, EI is the capacity of a person to have an emotional awareness of both their own emotions and those of others.
“Empathy,” which is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel what they are feeling is a big component of how one scores on an EI evaluation! When we see a post on Facebook where someone is hurting and it touches our heart strings, that’s empathy. We have the capacity to feel the pain that we imagine our Facebook friend is feeling. But, if we really want to make a difference in this world and in our relationships, we don’t’ want to just feel empathy, we want to use that emotion to take action and influence/change the situation.
In our scripture, Jesus felt empathy for Mary and Martha, who were grieving their brother, Lazarus’s, death, along with relatives and friends. Jesus felt so much empathy that the Bible says “He wept.” He shared in their emotion.
But Jesus didn’t stop there. He did more than share in their empathy. He felt “compassion.” Compassion is the next step beyond empathy because it involves action. Compassion implies that you are motivated to help that person in some way. Jesus felt compelled to help his friends in their grief, so He did something amazing! He ordered them to open up the tomb and then He called for Lazarus to come out of the grave. A very confused and shocked Lazarus hobbled out of the grave still tightly wrapped in his grave clothes. Jesus showed compassion by acting on His empathy.
Compassion is a vital part of God’s character. When we see how Jesus turned His empathy into compassion, and how that compassion was expressed in action, we understand that God does that for us and that He wants us to do that for others. Let’s make sure that when we feel sorrow or concern for someone in need, that we immediately search for a tangible way to do something that will touch their hearts and minds, supply their need, comfort them or help them heal.
God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. His character—WHO He is and HOW He acts toward us—hasn’t changed either. The same compassion that led Jesus to take action at Lazarus’ grave is the extended to us today. As we experience God more and more each day, we realize that we can depend on His consistent nature, His compassion, and His action in our lives. This enables us to trust Him and that brings a sense of calm into our earthly walk. Sister, no matter how chaotic the circumstances, trusting God’s character lets us experience His peace all the days of our lives.
For further reading: Isaiah 30:18; Isaiah 54:10; Matthew 15:29-38
Thank you, God, that You don’t change with the times or the situation. You are consistent. Your love for us is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Your ability to act is consistent. We can depend on you to come through and do the impossible in our lives! Thank you that not only do You feel empathy toward your children, but you pair that empathy with action to move us to where we need to be. Your compassion and your consistency bring us peace. In Jesus’ Name and for The Father’s glory, Amen.