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A Wicked People Who Dare To Call God - "Father"
 
"Unmercifulness is wickedness, it is great wickedness." - Matthew Henry Commentary
 
James 5:11 outrightly proclaims - "...that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."
The Apostle Peter then offers an imperative for all Christians to follow in order to get along with each other - "...be pitiful..."(1 Peter 3:8).
 
What do the Scriptures mean when they depict the Lord and His people as being "pitiful"?
 
It implies that God will never lay on His servants more trials than they are able to endure. He has an "end" to every trial - "...Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord..."(James 5:11). It is the termination, last of anything, final event, issue, result, goal, or design. It is what He ultimately brings about or the issue to which He brings any business or thing. It is the end or purpose which He will accomplish.
 
In reference to man, being "pitiful" includes being tenderhearted and compassionate...sympathizing with those who are undergoing great affliction or distress...and urging them to endure - knowing that victory will eventually arrive.
 
Psalm 103:13 likens God to a Father Who displays a natural affection and tender love for His children as well as manifests a disposition to care for their every need - "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him." He "knows our frame" that "we are" but "dust"(Psalm 103:14). Hence, He is so ready to forgive us when we have done wrong...comfort us when we are sick...lift us up when we have fallen...and give us restitution when we have been wronged. 
 
No one can describe the pity of our Heavenly Father for His children better than Charles Spurgeon in his book - The Treasury Of David - found on page 913 - "...Fathers feel for their children, especially when they are in pain. They would gladly suffer in their child's place, for the child's sighs and groans go straight to their heart. Our heavenly Father is sensitive to us. We do not adore a god of stone. We adore the living God, who is tenderness itself. He is at this moment extending compassion...His pity never fails to flow, and we never cease to need it."   
 
Did you catch what he was saying here - "...Our heavenly Father is sensitive to us...He is at this moment extending compassion...His pity never fails to flow..."?
 
Are you hurting today? Is your heart broken - seemingly into a thousand pieces?
Does it appear as though pain has moved in to stay?
 
"...Fathers feel for their children..." and certainly your Heavenly Father is no exception. Be encouraged! Know this - your "sighs and groans" are going straight to His heart. At this very moment, He is extending compassion and pity toward you. Open up your heart and receive it.
 
But realize this one thing - just as you have received pity, the Lord does require that you are ready at all times to extend it unto others.
 
Matthew Henry explains this thought further - "It is justly expected, that such as have received mercy, should show mercy...He who needs forgiveness, easily bestows it."
 
In Matthew 18:33, the Lord Jesus asks each one of us who have been recipients of His pity - "Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?"
 
As already noted, the Apostle Peter admonished all Christians with these words - "...be pitiful.."
 
In a sense, what he was saying was - just as you received mercy, be willing to give it to others. Just as God extended His compassion to you while you were in distress, even so be willing to pity those who are in the same predicament. Just as He so readily forgave you of much, forgive others of that which is little in comparison.
 
"...the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."
 
Be and do the same, O Christian!
 
How can you claim to be a follower of Christ and not - "...be pitiful..."?
How is it that you dare to call God - "Father" - yet you cannot extend mercy to those who have wronged, offended, abused, rejected, or hurt you?
 
Pastor Henry stated - "Unmercifulness is wickedness, it is great wickedness."
 
Are you guilty?
 
May God Bless His Word.
Connie

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