Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts to do them. The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.  Psalms 103:13-19

This section in Psalm 103 gives us a picture of the anatomy of compassion. God’s compassion for us grows out of his knowledge of “our frame.” God knows how we are. He knows our weakness, he knows our fragility, and he knows our mortality. God understands his creation intimately. Knowledge about a person’s actual soul condition can help us develop compassion for them.

There may be in some of us a fear of being truly known. It is a fear that makes sense for us as humans. If People know our sin and mistakes, they may choose to dismiss us as unlovable. As we develop, we begin to learn this about other human beings. That deep experiential knowledge then incorrectly informs us about what God is like. God does not reject us based upon his knowledge of us. He cannot be surprised by some new discovery about us. He knows it all. Instead, God’s complete understanding of us produces compassion in him.

Look at the text, it says, “But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting.” God knows everything about you, and his lovingkindness is everlasting towards you. This is why boldness in prayer can be one of the most freeing experiences. God knows it all; why do we try to speak to him as if he doesn’t? Let us pray as if we trust he already knows our dark secrets.

God’s complete intimate knowledge of us is a beautiful freedom. We have no need to hide. That truth, combined with the fact that God’s “sovereignty rules over all” is powerful. God is a strong yet loving father. He is powerful, and he has compassion on us.

Take a moment to visualize this. Picture the size and strength of a God who spoke the universe into motion and sustains it by the power of his word. Then picture that same powerful God seeing and smiling at you with compassion. Finally, pray to him with honesty. Tell him how you really are doing. Ask him for wisdom about the secrets in your life. Enjoy his presence.

By Aaron Bjorklund