•sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. // to recognize the suffering of others and then take action to help
The origin of the word compassion helps us to truly understand and grasp the meaning and significance. In Latin, ‘compati’ means “to suffer with.” Compassion means to take on someone else’s suffering with them. Real compassion should change how we live. I recently heard a preacher say compassion fuels evangelism, and wow oh wow, that was so eye opening to me.
But first, let’s talk about eternity..
Eternity. One of the most powerful, beautiful, and to some, scariest words ever. So much depth behind it. I mean forever and ever and ever. It is quite literally impossible for us to understand or comprehend.
Ever since I was little, the concept of eternity had always scared me. I would avoid at all cost thinking about what eternity really was. I felt like I was completely alone in being afraid of eternity. I knew that forever with Jesus was a good thing, but I just never really understood why nobody else was scared of forever like I was. It was a constant internal battle I faced every day. One day, I just decided I was tired of being afraid. I decided to give all my anxious feelings and thoughts to God. I figured that was a way to ultimately trust that God had everything under control, even if I couldn’t understand it.
The truth is, we are not meant to understand. Knowing my flesh wasn’t capable of comprehending the magnitude of eternity gave me a glimpse of how powerful God is, and helped me realize that there is so much more to this life we live. It gave me perspective. Everything we see right now is temporary. Your phone, your house, your clothes, the trees, and your body won’t last. The things you can’t see are eternal. The apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face.” Let’s keep our mind on what’s unseen.
When thinking about eternity, we should acknowledge how important what we do on this side of eternity really is. We are called to be a light in the darkness of this world, to make a difference in people around us, and to spread the Good News of Jesus. If people are going to be somewhere for eternity, it is so important for that place to be Heaven.
Is anyone going to be in Heaven because of you?
“The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me -to tell people the Good News about God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).
To do that, to live on mission, we need to be a people of compassion.
It is our own human nature to constantly think about ourselves. To only consider what’s best for us. We tend to do what’s easiest and most comfortable. What a shame it would be to live our life consumed by our own desires. What a shame it would be to stay comfortable. We are called to be bold. We must remember that we are called to live a life of compassion.
For me, I truly learned what that meant during quarantine. You know it’s about to get real when someone brings up what they learned in quarantine. Lol! In the quietness and stillness of quarantine, I had a lot of time to think, and naturally this brought me to a new internal battle. As crazy as it sounds, it was then that I began to truly realize how sad it was that people were actually going to go to Hell and be separated from Jesus. Like forever. I always knew it, but I never really stopped to think about what it meant. The people in my classes, my friends who don’t know the Lord, people I come in contact with every day, probably are not all going to be in eternal Glory. This really shook me for the first time.
I remember one night, I had a dream. In the dream I could see the people around me falling short and me knowing they would not make it to Heaven, while all the believers around me continued to go on with life and failed to notice. I remember telling myself, “how are these people not going crazy knowing what’s coming for all these lost people?”
It was so real. I felt a real burden for the lost.
I thought about Paul and his intense burden he felt for his fellow countrymen. In Romans 9, Paul even expressed that his burden was so great that he would take the place of the lost if he could. Wow. Now that is compassion. The pit in my stomach caused by my thoughts over the lost lasted for weeks. It felt like I was feeling the pain of the world. While turning on the TV, getting on my phone, listening to today’s top hits on Spotify, it became clear that the world around us is filled with evil. It just simply made me sorrowful. One night while I was reading, I thought, “If I’m feeling this way, imagine how God feels… I am only thinking about the people around me while He has all the people ever created to worry about.” It comforted me that I was not feeling that burden alone. Then it hit me. Maybe God is letting me realize the depth of eternity and letting me feel all that pain for the lost for a reason.
Maybe God was letting me hurt with Him.
The truth is, without that suffering, I may not have ever realized the true importance of sharing Jesus with others.
I see now that everything I have felt, all the confusion and pain had purpose behind it. There was purpose in the pain I felt. Because God cares, we must care. Thank you, Jesus, for opening my eyes.
As believers, we should be the city on the hill (Matthew 5:14). We need to spread the peace and love of Jesus Christ. It is still sometimes hard to not be overcome with sorrow for the fallen world around us, but we can have peace knowing that our hope is found in the Lord Jesus Christ as the way, truth, and life (John 14:6).
“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” … “But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.” (Psalm 30:5…Psalm 88:13)
Olivia is a member of Team LO and is a marketing major at Louisiana Tech University. She loves coffee dates, going on long walks, and her dogs, Max and Sophie.
Follow Olivia on Instagram @olivia_kate1