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Suffering + Compassion = Hope

Students playing with a globe

Suffering + Compassion = Hope

by Christy Johnson, Director of Communications

There are always a lot of math equations being taught around a school. From simple to complex, our students are learning how to problem solve every day. They are also learning the principle that math is consistent. No matter if you are adding numbers, candy or children, one plus one will always equal two. The timeless Truth to math is that math is consistent because God created it and He consistently holds every part of the universe in its place. Colossians 1:16-17 states “ For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

There is another timeless equation that keeps repeating throughout life and speaking its Truth to humanity’s heart. Suffering + Compassion = Hope. Until recently, I had never thought about how these three things are bound together. However, if you look closely you can see it played out in your life and in the world. When life gets hard, messy and takes unexpected turns, we often find ourselves feeling hurt and lost. It is in those moments that we must surrender to God and acknowledge our brokenness. We have to give up our need to control our lives because the truth is we are not in control of our lives. It is most often when we surrender our illusions of control and acknowledge and confess our imperfections and vulnerabilities that we find friends swooping in and offering amazing compassion and kindness. And when that happens, when we are met with compassion in our suffering, we are consistently infused with hope, every single time! It is in that compassion we feel God’s love.

He reaches down and shows his love through the kindness of people. Suffering + Compassion = Hope is as consistent as one + one = two. It is held together by God and taught by Jesus through His ultimate act of compassion on the cross. When we offer compassion to those who are suffering we are proclaiming the gospel of Christ. We are offering hope to a broken person, a person created in the image of Christ. When we reach out to those suffering, we reflect the image of Christ to them and the world. Think back to the hard times in your life and see if this equation doesn’t hold true for you too. If it does, if it is consistent and true, I challenge you to meet those hurting and broken, those oppressed and weak with compassion and kindness. For it will be in that offering that you give the gift of hope.