God is capable of many emotions. We want to examine some of these in this section. We will apply this section as we go through the different aspects of God’s emotion.
Pity: What is pity? Funk and Wagnall mention, “Grief or pain awakened by the misfortunes of others…. That which arouses compassion….” (“Funk And Wagnall’s Standard Desk Dictionary”; New York: Funk and Wagnall Inc., 1976)
At times my wife and I see people stranded on the freeway with car trouble, and pity is immediately on the scene. This is probably due to the times when we have been in a hurry to get somewhere and we have had trouble. For example the time we were planning to visit my father in the hospital in Omaha and we lived in Denver. We found out late Friday that I had to work Saturday so that meant driving to Omaha Saturday evening and then back to Denver Sunday, then to school early Monday morning. At about two o’clock Sunday morning the fuel pump went out about 15 miles from nowhere. We completed the trip yet, this is why I hurt for troubled motorists, and is part of the reason that I stop if things look safe.
Psalm 103:13 should be of great comfort when we are hurting or in hard times. “As a father piteth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.”
As a parent we often feel pity for our children. Once one of the boys had a great need once and there was no way that I could meet that need as a parent nor could he meet it himself. I felt very badly for the situation, but you know what? God had perfect pity for that son as well as for me, for He knows perfectly how we feel and he feels with us.
Wrath: What does wrath mean? Funk and Wagnall mentions, “Extreme or violent rage or fury; vehement indignation.”
I suspect that the later thought of “vehement indignation” would be most fitting where God is concerned. However the first thought of rage and fury may well relate to the Lord Jesus when He was cleansing the temple of the trash.
Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”
You can rest in the fact that God will most assuredly take care of any wrongs that have been done to you. Not only will God take care of it, He will take care of it completely and justly.
Compassion: What is Compassion? Funk and Wagnall tells us, “Pity for the suffering or distress of another, with the desire to help or spare.”
When working in mid-Nebraska, a young woman came into the store and she was a shambles emotionally. She didn’t come into the store for a purchase, but to just unload on anyone that she could find that would listen. When she left, I was off center for an hour or two, trying to figure out how I could help her. The desire to help was from the compassion I had for her troubles.
Psalm 145:8, “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy.” Think of that one. FULL of compassion. If you need any, He has it. He, the infinite in size is full, Full, Infinitely Full of compassion.
Webster mentions that compassion means to sympathize or bear or suffer. Wow, when that hard time hits not only do we have all the pity that we need, but we have all the co-suffering that we need. God is there to bear with us when we have burdens to bear.
It has crossed my mind to wonder just how much God suffers as He works with His children. As a parent, there are times when I see one of the kids doing something that I know is going to cost them dearly, either in money or in emotion. I want to, at times, shield them from those costs, yet know as a parent that they need to go through those times for growth.
God must see us walking into some real problems and hurt knowing that His children are hurting.
Hate: Funk and Wagnall relates to us, “To regard with extreme aversion; detest.” My wife will be the first to tell you that she “HATES” bugs. Bugs of any type, size, color or harmlessness. One day we were driving around in the van in Scottsbluff, Nebraska when a grasshopper blew in through the vent and she panicked. We stopped and could not find the critter.
About fifteen minutes later she noticed the thing on her leg. Remembering my concern over her outwardness of her hate which resulted in a scream, which resulted in a panic stop because I thought something was about to hit us, she calmly but emphatically stated, there he is. I panic stopped again, thinking a kid was about to dart out from behind a car. She hates bugs.
Psalm 5:5, “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight; thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” I must say that I am very glad that I am saved and standing in the shadow of the Lord Jesus. God has a pure hate but it is also a complete and just hate. I am so thankful that I do not have to face that hate.
Jealousy: Funk and Wagnall has several definitions, but this one seems to fit the idea of God’s jealousy best. “Vigilant in guarding: to be jealous of a privilege.” Or in God’s case, of His people.
Deuteronomy 5:9, The Lord told the Jews not to bow down to idols for He was a jealous God. This jealousy is elsewhere likened to that of a husband for his wife. The husband jealously cares for and keeps her from all things.
The media seems to play on the jealousy of the husband for his wife and seeks quite often to poke fun at it. This jealousy is not necessarily bad. It is the total desire for his wife to be what she should be to him, and I might add that the wife should have the same type of jealousy for her husband.
The jealousy portrayed in movies of the mistrust and doubt is very negative and should not be in a marriage.
God has sought out a people for Himself and He is jealous of any attempt to take them away from Him.
Grief: What is grief? Funk and Wagnall, “Deep sorrow or mental distress caused by loss, remorse, affliction, etc.”
Judges 10:16, “And they put away the foreign gods from among them, and served the Lord; and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.” God grieved or hurt for the children of Israel. He is a God that hurts when we hurt. Indeed, He probably hurts for us when we don’t have sense enough to hurt ourselves. In the case of sin we are at times suffering before we realize it and He is already grieving for us.
Rejoicing: Isaiah 62:5, mentions that the Lord rejoices over us as a bridegroom over his bride. That’s rejoicing. Right You Married People? The only difference is that His rejoicing is perfect and complete whereas we often, as men, rejoice over the outward.
I have to wonder how God feels when one of His creatures comes to know Him as Lord and Savior.
Laughing: Psalm 2:4, “He who sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision.” The context is that God laughs at the attempts of men to cause God trouble. I can’t imagine even thinking that there is any trouble that we might give to an all powerful God.
I suspect that He may laugh at some of the antics that believers try to pull on Him as well.
Sympathy: Funk and Wagnall, “The quality of being affected by the state of another with feelings correspondent in kind.” Isaiah 63:9, “In all their affliction he was afflicted,” When the world is against us and we feel like the card I gave my wife once that said, “It’s you and me against the world and personally I think we’re gonna get creamed.”, God is on our side and pushing back at the world with us. He is with us in all things as we walk with Him.
One is left to contemplate the feelings of God at the time when man led His Son to calvary, and then killed Him on the cross. One is left to contemplate the feelings of God as He viewed the martyrdom of His saints over the centuries.
What are the meanings of the previous terms when they are used of God? The definition would be the same as with man, except that there would be no taint of sin involved in God’s. These attributes would be fully functional, and resident within God from eternity past, in a complete and pure form.
 Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.