↓Audio link to the sermon:(1st worship recording)
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personalities are different from mine. We are all different from each other. When we
relate to people, we need to know their personalities. Same thing… When we relate to
God, we should know His personality. The more we know His personality, the better
we relate to Him.
Today, I would like to talk about God’s personality. In particular, I would like to share
with you about our compassionate God. I guess that all of you guys know the story of
the burning bush. Right? What happened to Moses in the book of Exodus chapter 3 is
that for the first time God appeared to Moses in the burning bush. Moses was surprised. “Wow!” Moses wanted to know who God was. Especially, Moses wanted to know God’s name. God said to Moses, “I am who I AM. My name is I AM.” The answer that Moses
received from God does not sound like a name. But it tells Moses something about who
God is. “I am who I AM” means that God never changes. God has no beginning and no
end. He will be with us eternally.
In the book of Exodus chapter 34, God passed in front of Moses. God spoke about His
personality to Moses in a more detailed manner. God showed to Moses more about what
He is like. In verses 6 and 7, we can find out God’s personality more specifically. According to these verses, what is God like? He is… Compassionate(merciful), gracious, slow to anger(patient), abounding in love(a very loving God), faithful(steadfast, true to His
word) , showing love to thousands of generations. But He cannot just forget sin. There
has to be a punishment for those people who do wicked things. God would forgive those
people who stopped doing wicked things. But He would punish the guilty persons. The
punishment would affect their future generations, too. These things are about God’s
Today, I’m going to narrow them down to one thing. I will try to focus on the God of
compassion and the God of comfort. Brothers and sisters, our God is the Father of
compassion and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles.
In today’s passage, Apostle Paul experienced great pain. But amazingly, in troubled times, he praised God. He gave praise to God regardless of the situation he was in. It is very difficult for us to praise God in tough times. Right? But Paul praised God because he knew that God understood what he was going through. Believe it or not, God cares about our pain. God comforts us in our pain. “Comfort” here means more than mere sympathy. Sympathy is kind of like “I am sorry to hear that. I feel sorry for you.” But “comfort” here means more like empathy, not sympathy. Empathy is kind of like “I feel hurt. I hurt with you.” In fact, God empathizes with us. He understands and feels our pain. He hurts with us. Moreover, God gives us practical help when we are going through tough times. Brothers and sisters, have you ever experienced God’s comfort? The genuine source of comfort is God. The genuine comfort comes from God. That’s why we need to find comfort in God.
In addition to that, God comforts us so that we can comfort other people. We can
comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we have received from God. If we
received comfort from God, we could pass it on to other people. We Christians suffer
because we follow Jesus. We may call it “suffering of the righteous.”
Strangely enough, other people’s pain comforts us. Have you ever experienced that? I have… For example, suppose we are going through tough times. But the people around us are going through tougher times. When we hear that they are going through tougher times, it is comforting to us. We might think, “I am not the only one. Moreover, they are having tougher times.” We might receive strength and bounce right back.
Believe it or not, suffering in Christ is good. A painful experience for the sake of
Christ is beneficial. If we hold on to our faith in the midst of suffering, we can grow
spiritually. If we hold on to our faith in the midst of pain, we can learn a lot spiritually.
As a result, we can comfort those who are going through difficult times because
we’ve passed through difficult times, too. We can be transformed from receiving
comfort into giving comfort. We ourselves can become comforters.
Our Lord, Jesus Christ is the Comforter. We always receive comfort from Jesus when
we look up to the cross. And Jesus is very compassionate. He is the Lord of compassion.
He is the Lord of all comfort.
Some of you might remember this story. It goes like this… Jesus went through all the towns and villages. He taught in their synagogues. He preached the good news of the kingdom. And he healed every disease and every illness. When Jesus saw the crowds, he felt great empathy for them. They worried a lot and they were very weak. They were like sheep without a shepherd. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but there are only a few workers. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Jesus is our High Priest. And we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize
with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we
are—yet he did not sin. Jesus was despised and rejected by mankind. He was a man of
suffering, and familiar with pain. He took up our pain and bore our suffering. Jesus was
pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that
brought us peace was on him and by his wounds we are healed. That’s why our Lord,
Jesus Christ can comfort you and me in any and all circumstances.
Lastly, the Holy Spirit is our Comforter. The Holy Spirit comforts us, too. He dwells
within us to offer us encouragement, assistance, and comfort. Romans 8:26 says, “In the
same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray
for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” We
do not know how to pray in our present situation. We do not know what is best for other
people or for ourselves. But we have the Holy Spirit to help us. The Holy Spirit knows
our pain. The Holy Spirit feels our pain. the Holy Spirit prays for us with cries of pain
that words cannot express.
Brothers and sisters, I don’t know what you are going through right now. I don’t know
how hard, how tough, and how difficult it is. But our God knows it. He understands it. And He cares about it. I am praying that all of you would receive comfort from God. I’m praying that you would receive comfort through reading the Word of God daily, through praying to God daily, through singing praises to God daily, through worshiping daily, and through fellowshipping with other Christians daily. Not just receiving comfort from God and from other Christians, but I want you to give comfort to other people. I want you to become comforters who can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort that you yourselves have received from God. Let us all pray.