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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Sympathy"

January 20, 2003

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Hebrews 4:15 "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses."

The word sympathy comes from two Greek words that mean "to share suffering." To sympathize with another person means to understand the pain the other person is feeling and to actually experience the suffering.

Jesus demonstrated sympathy so often while He was here on earth. His compassion was overwhelming when Lazarus died. He so completely shared in the suffering of the sisters Mary and Martha that He wept with them. And those who saw Him said, "See how He loved him!" (John 11:36).

We, too, are loved -- loved so much that Jesus is willing to share in our suffering. No matter what our problems or trials or pains, Jesus understands them. We do not have to experience them alone. What a great comfort!

Having known His sympathy, we also know how important it is to sympathize with others. The pain we have felt equips us to share in the sufferings of others. It is said that the kindest hearts are the ones that have known sorrow. How true! With Jesus as your example -- and as your Redeemer giving you strength -- may you give to others the great and kind gift of sympathy.

PRAYER: Lord, as You share in our suffering, so may we share in the suffering of others. Amen.

(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996, Concordia Publishing House (out of print). For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800 325-3040.)

Today's Bible Readings: Job 30-31    Matthew 13:31-58

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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