2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

In these verses The Apostle gives praise to God the Father and Son for their compassion and comfort. The Apostle acknowledges when we are confronted with troubles of various types it is God himself who comforts us. The purpose of God�s comfort is to learn from God Himself how to give comfort to others facing the same difficulties we also have received.

In the story �A Simple Gesture�, an inspirational tale written by John W. Schlatter that appears in the 1993 bestseller, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Schlatter writes -- Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles. Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked Mark discovered the boy's name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history, and that he was having lots of trouble with his other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend.

They arrived at Bill's home first and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to watch some television. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some shared small talk, then Mark went home. They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally the long awaited senior year came and three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.

Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. "Did you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?" asked Bill. "You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn't want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mother's sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see, Mark, when you picked up those books that day, you did a lot more. You saved my life."

Jesus frequently modeled compassion so we might understand how to show compassion to others. The story above illustrates how an act of compassion had a great impact on the life of one young man. Compassion and comfort changed his life forever. Many of you have faced difficult experiences in life and managed to endure through them. When you see someone else going through something similar, not only can you have compassion, but you can also empathize with the person and be a great blessing to them. Reach out to others in compassion so they may understand God�s compassion and love for them.