Courageous Compassion: More Than Just Words, A Spark in the Darkness

But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, giving thanks to his God.<br />


“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”


Galatians 6:9 (ESV) 


Living a God-first life requires cultivating certain qualities, one of the most impactful being courageous compassion. It transcends simply feeling sorry for someone. It’s stepping out of our comfort zones, understanding their pain, and actively striving to alleviate it. In this chapter, we delve into the essence of courageous compassion: empathy in action.


Beyond Comfort Zones: Facing Challenges 

Life can be an unpredictable journey, often throwing us curveballs. Situations arise where compassion becomes
not a choice, but a necessity. While showing kindness during smooth sailing feels easy, it’s during challenging times that our faith is truly tested. 

Imagine encountering someone burdened by immense hardship, whether it’s losing a loved one, battling illness, or facing financial difficulties. Our response in these moments holds significant weight. It can be the spark that ignites hope in the midst of despair or the gentle hand that guides them through the darkness. 

We have the choice of how we react and what we do to help others.  All too often we get caught up in our own self-gain. Instead of taking the time to serve others. Why do we do this? Well, my quick short answer is that it is more comfortable to help ourselves than it is to help others.  

A great example of this from my personal life is the other day I was asked to do the sermon for our church. My first thought (I’m not proud of this thought) was really, these devotionals aren’t really good enough to be a full sermon. See the self-doubt creeping in there? 

My second thought was, I have sooooo much going on right now, how can I make this happen and do a GREAT job in the sermon? I should just say no because I don’t want to not show up. 

My third thought was, “A profit is never a profit in his home town.” spoken straight from Jesus. One of my favorite things to quote when I don’t want to get uncomfortable. Lol  

Then something happened. I prayed for an answer. And the good Lord came back to me with this answer, “Dan, what the heck are you thinking? You are GREAT in front of people. Don’t do this for you, do it for them! Do it for everyone who needs to hear your message! Stop being selfish you have plenty of time to get EVERYTHING done that I need you to get done!” 

Galatians 6:9 serves as a powerful reminder not to be discouraged from doing good. Showing compassion, especially during challenges, can be emotionally and resource-intensive. It can feel like pouring from an emptying cup, yet the verse promises that “in due season we will reap” if we persevere. Our efforts, though seemingly fruitless at times, ultimately bear fruit in God’s perfect timing. 

So, how do we practice courageous compassion in challenging situations?

  1. Cultivating True Empathy: It begins by truly putting ourselves in the shoes of those suffering. Stepping outside our own experiences and perspectives helps us understand their pain from their viewpoint, allowing us to offer meaningful support tailored to their specific needs.

  2. Transforming Empathy into Action: While empathy is crucial, it needs to manifest in tangible ways. Here are some steps to consider:
  • Become a listening ear: Sometimes, all someone needs is a compassionate listener. Be present, listen without judgment, and offer a shoulder to lean on.


  • Extend practical help: This could involve providing meals, running errands, or offering financial assistance, depending on the situation. Think creatively and consider their specific needs and limitations.


  • Embrace the power of prayer: As believers, we understand its significance. Take time to pray with and for those facing hardships, offering them strength and aligning your spirit with theirs in seeking solace and guidance.


  • Show your presence: Simply being there, physically or virtually, can offer immense comfort. Your presence communicates that they are not alone in their struggles and that you care enough to stand beside them.


  • Offer encouragement and affirmation: Words of encouragement can be a beacon of hope during difficult times. Let them know you believe in them and their strength to overcome. Remind them of their inner resilience and the potential that lies within them.


Courageous compassion isn’t always easy, but its mark on a God-first life is undeniable. When we translate empathy into action, we not only reflect Christ’s love to those around us, but also sow seeds of hope and healing in their lives.

Let us remain steadfast in our commitment to compassionate action, knowing that the harvest of blessings awaits, not just for ourselves, but for the positive ripple effect we create in the world around us. Remember, every act of compassion, no matter how small, has the potential to ignite a spark in the darkness, illuminating a path towards hope and healing.

A Prayer for Courageous Compassion


Heavenly Father,

As we embark on the journey of practicing courageous compassion, we come before You with humble hearts, seeking Your guidance and strength. You are the epitome of compassion, and we look to You as our ultimate example.

Grant us the wisdom to see beyond ourselves, to recognize the pain and struggles of those around us. Help us to cultivate empathy in our hearts, to truly understand the experiences of others and to respond with love and kindness.

In moments of challenge and adversity, when extending compassion feels overwhelming, remind us of Your promise in Galatians 6:9. May we not grow weary in doing good, knowing that in Your perfect timing, we will reap a harvest of blessings.

Equip us, Lord, to be instruments of Your peace and comfort in the lives of those who are hurting. Give us the courage to step out of our comfort zones, to offer a listening ear, a helping hand, and a shoulder to lean on.

May our actions be a reflection of Your boundless love and mercy. May our prayers be a source of strength and hope for those who are in need. And may Your grace empower us to persevere in our commitment to compassion, even in the face of adversity.

We surrender our hearts and our efforts to You, knowing that You are the source of all compassion and that Your love never fails. Thank You, Lord, for the privilege of being Your hands and feet in this world.

In Jesus’ name, we pray,


Dan Greer