Two words that are used in similar circumstances, but are really quite different in depth – sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is defined as being in harmony or agreement with another’s feelings. Empathy is defined as the identification with or vicarious experiencing of another’s feelings, thought, and attitudes. I see the difference as one of distance. The one simply feels sorry that another is going through a particular circumstance. While the other actually enters into that circumstance with the sufferer. You see, our God didn’t just hold Himself off from us, feeling sorry for all the mess we were in because of our sins. He actually entered into our life, living and experiencing all that we do, and taking the burden of our sins upon Himself. Our God is not a God of sympathy, but one of the deepest empathy for all mankind of His creation. And in that empathy we have life and hope.