Compassion in Action

May 2-6


The Blessing of Compassion

Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; – Psalm 41:1 (ESV)

A little five-year-old boy one day was playing with his two-year-old brother when the two-year-old reached up and pulled his older brother’s hair. He screamed in pain, and his mother came rushing in. He cried and said that his younger brother had pulled his hair. His mom said, “Well, he’s only two years old, and he doesn’t know what it’s like to have his hair pulled.”The mom left the room, and seconds later, she heard another scream, but this time it was the two-year-old screaming in pain. She rushed in and asked what had happened, to which the five-year-old explained, “You said he didn’t know what it felt like. Well, now he does.”

Pastor Jim preached about having compassion for the needy and hurting yesterday. Psalm 41:1 begins with the fact that there are blessings for the person who puts compassion into action. The word blessing shares the idea of happiness and joy for the one who shows compassion for others.


In the service, we celebrated Compassion International Sunday. What were some of the blessings of our partnership with Compassion International that stood out to you?


Praise God for the ministry of Compassion International. Ask God to show you who he wants you to show compassion for. 


Consider the Poor 

Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; – Psalm 41:1 (ESV)

There was a poor family in this little town that was brought to the attention of the Baptist minister who got the word to his congregation. They provided appropriate clothing to the family and invited them to come to church the next Sunday. They agreed. When Sunday came they didn’t show up at the Baptist Church. The minister went to visit and asked why. The family said, “When we got all cleaned up and got on those nice clothes you bought, we looked so good we decided to go to the Presbyterian Church.”

“Considering the poor” means to look at, to behold; then, to attend to; The idea is that of not neglecting; not passing by; not being indifferent to; not being hard-hearted and uncharitable toward. It’s obviously more than just mental activity. The result is action on behalf of someone in need. Action that actually helps the poor/helpless/powerless.


The word used for “poor” means something hanging or swinging, like a weak, feeble, branch that is powerless. So it also represents those who are feeble and helpless either by poverty or by disease, and who need the aid of others. Who comes to mind when you think of someone who is “poor” or “needy”? What have you done to meet their needs?


Thank God for His concern and action for the poor. Ask God to grow your heart of compassion toward the poor and hurting.


God Delivers

Blessed is the one who considers the poor!  In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; – Psalm 41:1 (ESV)

Edwin Hood, shares the following in Dark Sayings on a Harp, “When I visited one day, as he was dying, my beloved friend Benjamin Parsons, I said, ‘How are you today, sir;’ he said, ‘My head is resting very sweetly on three pillows; infinite power, infinite love, and infinite wisdom.’ Preaching in the Canterbury Hall, in Brighton, I mentioned this, some time since; and many months after, I was requested to call upon a poor, but holy young woman, apparently dying. She said, ‘I felt I must see you before I died.’ I heard you preach in Canterbury Hall, and tell the story of Benjamin Parsons and his three pillows; and when I went through a surgical operation, and it was very cruel, I was leaning my head on pillows, and as they were taking them away, I said, ‘May I keep these?’ The surgeon said, ‘No my dear, we must take them away.’ ‘But,’ said I, ‘you cannot take away Benjamin Parsons’ three pillows; I can lay my head on infinite power, infinite love, and infinite wisdom.’”

God’s sufficiency for godly sufferers is the theme of Psalm 41. One of the first things we learn is that God helps those who Help the Helpless. Psalm 41:1 teaches God will deliver the one from trouble who shows compassion toward others. If you are a person who has compassion and helps others, then God will help you. It doesn’t promise that others will help you, but God will help you.


You can trust the compassion of God because of His infinite power, infinite love, and infinite wisdom. How should each of those characteristics give you hope when you are going through a difficult season?


Praise God for His power, love, and wisdom.


God Protects 

 …the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. – Psalms 41:2 (ESV)

Grandma is baking a cake. She asks her granddaughter if she would like a snack, which of course she does. “Here, have some cooking oil.” “Yuck,” says the girl. “How about a couple raw eggs? “ “Gross, Grandma!” “Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?” “Grandma, those are all yucky!” To which Grandma replies: “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! God works the same way. Many times we wonder why he would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!”

Hold on to the truth.  Give the cake time to bake.  See what God is going to do, don’t shortcut the process by bailing.

In Psalm 41:2 the psalmist has faced sickness and abandonment. Yet, God’s promise to the one who has compassion on the suffering psalmist will experience God’s protection and preservation. The application here is, that if anyone has helped to keep someone suffering alive or protected that they could expect God to keep them alive and protected in return. Of course, this is to be regarded as a statement made under the general principle. It is not to be interpreted as teaching that this would be universally true, or that he who did this would never die, but the meaning is, that he might look for special divine aid and favor when he in turn should be sick.


When’s the last time you tried to shortcut a process God had for you to walk through? Can you recall a few people who have had compassion on you while you walked through a time of suffering?


Praise God for the people who have been a blessing toward you when you needed a listening ear. Ask God to help you recognize any areas where you are trying to shortcut His process for you.


God Blesses

 …the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. – Psalm 41:2 (ESV)

A famous film producer shared this story. As a child, he had a fight with another boy and lost. While his mother was bathing his black eye, he told her how it was entirely the fault of the other boy. It was the other boy who had started the fight, he claimed. His mother said nothing, but when the first aid was completed, she took her son to the back door of their home. Nearby were several hills that created a fine echo. She told him to call those hills all the bad names he could think of. He did so and the bad names all came back to him. “Now,” she said, as the story goes, “call out, ‘God bless you.’ ” He did so and back came, “God bless you.” The movie producer never forgot that lesson. What you give to others you get back from them. (Stevenson, P. 5 Things Anyone Can Do to Lead Effectively)

That is exactly the principle of Psalm 41:2. Be a blessing in the lives of others and you will be called blessed. Pastor Jim shared that when it comes to compassion, we have to do our part and God will do His part. Compassion never goes unrecognized or unrewarded by God.


How have you been blessed by God as a result of blessing others?


Praise God for the blessings He has given you in recognition of the compassion and blessings you’ve placed on others.