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As a Father…

As a Father…

Father compassion

“The older I get, the more I want to sing my faith and get others singing it with me. Theology, as I constantly tell my students is for doxology: the first thing to do with it is to turn it into praise and thus honour the God who is its subject, the God in whose presence and by whose help it was worked out… Theologies that cannot be sung (or prayed for that matter) are certainly wrong at a deep level, and such theologies leave me, in both senses, cold: cold-hearted and uninterested.”

I read this quote from the late Jim Packer last week just before reading Psalm 103. (Surely it is in the Psalms that the truth of Packer’s words are most evident- theology is for doxology; truth about God must lead to praise of God (and joy in God.) One verse from Psalm 103 in particular struck me as wonderful;

‘As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.’

Psalm 103:13

I had just watched Britain’s Greatest Olympic Moments on the BBC. One of those moments took place in Barcelona, 1982. We were transported to the men’s 400m semi-finals. Derek Redmond is running for Britain. He is fit and on-form. Great things are expected- until he pulls up half way around the track with a torn hamstring. In agony, physical and emotional, he watches his fellow athletes race away and cross the line. Then Redmond does something remarkable. He picks himself up and hops slowly, excruciatingly, towards the line. His dad, seeing his son in such pain, runs from the stands to meet him. The commentator assumes he will get his son to stop, but instead he puts his arm around him and helps him move on, step by step. Stewards try to stop them, but they are set on finishing the race. Eventually with 60 thousand people cheering them on from the vast arena, they cross the line and finish the race together.

‘As a father has compassion on his children
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.’

Maybe you feel like you are lying on the track of life, in pain without the strength required to pick yourself up and press on. Maybe you are hobbling, painfully, slowly, every step seems more painful than the last. Please be reminded and assured of the love that God the Father has for each and every one of his children. Don’t allow the circumstances you are facing, the battles you are fighting or the way you are feeling to cause you to question the Father’s love for you or his presence with you. He is willing and able to put his arm around you and give you the strength and help you need to press on step by step towards the prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling you. His grace will show itself to be sufficient.

Theology is for doxology, truth about God must lead to praise of God. Why not spend some time reading through Psalm 103 and giving Him praise for some of the wonderful truths it contains?

Yours in Christ Jesus


2 Responses

  1. Helen Findlay says:

    Welcome back, Ross. Thank you for yesterday’s devotional. It was what I needed to hear! God doesn’t make mistakes. He sends a word at just the right time.
    ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’
    2 Cor. 12v9.
    May God bless you richly.

  2. Margaret White says:

    Very encouraging. Our Father is always with us, encouraging us to lean on Him or we’d never make it. Somewhere around the 70s or 80s there were cassettes of Scripture in Song. I can still remember these verses when I sing them. There was one on the fruits of the Spirit, meant for children, but I loved it. And there’s the old metrical Psalms of course.

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