"Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on His afflicted."
Compassion and comfort are wonderful. What would we do without them? Life can be hard, sometimes.
"Compassion" means to suffer with another, to feel their pain together with them. "Comfort" means to be there with someone to help them be strong. "Affliction" means pain, suffering, or distress.
God’s compassion and comfort for His people when we are afflicted - in pain, suffering or distress - is so wonderful that it causes the whole created universe (heaven and earth) to rejoice, to shout and sing out loud.
It’s ironic that the very next verse points out how so often we, in our afflictions, fail to see this and think God has abandoned us, because we’re focused on our own pain.
But Zion said, "The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.”
And then comes God’s reply:
"Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you."
Even when we can’t feel His presence, He is there with us; He feels our pain and He is there to give us the strength that we need, assuring us of His never-ending love for us.
Lord Jesus, thank You for understanding me. You know that in my times of pain, suffering and distress I may doubt and feel abandoned. But I know that You are with me, even when my feelings are overwhelmed. Lord, keep me close. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles