By Major Harryette Raihl
Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary
Southern California Division
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Isaiah 53:3
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Philippians 3:10
Christ offers us comfort because He truly understands suffering. We can find support from friends, loved ones and others but only the Lord can truly comfort each one of us as someone who completely understands all of our suffering. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus came to strengthen and support us in our hour of need. One way to look at this is to realize that Chris, by His suffering on the cross, restored our relationship with our Creator.
All throughout the Bible we read how He understands that we are a people who often feel hurt, bruised, or broken. Jesus alone can bring the healing that we need…because Jesus understands our personal pain. We are completely known! What a Blessing!
Christ realizes that you will suffer—sometimes because we live on a broken planet filled with broken people, sometimes as a result of our own poor choices, and still other times simply because we are a follower of Christ. But amidst all of this we can hold onto some simple truths or promises:
- Jesus understands pain.
- Jesus won’t crush you in times of brokenness.
- Jesus came to bring you freedom through His suffering.
We all can trust in God’s comfort because He sent Jesus on our behalf. Our suffering doesn’t mean the Lord doesn’t Love us. Instead of us trying to avoid suffering, we can look towards Jesus and then realize…He can use the good and the bad in our lives to draw us nearer to Him each and every day. Oh, what love He has for us!
The Lord told the people in Isaiah’s time that he would send someone (a Servant) to save them. We know that His name is Jesus and we can benefit from knowing that this Jesus understands what we are and will be going through. Jesus himself suffered more than we could ever imagine in our human minds and in this suffering we have such a good example. Christ never turned his back on God nor cursed the Lord for all of the things that he knew he would suffer at the hands of the people who condemned him and hung him on the cross. Christ simply trusted in His Father.
And so we now can worship the Holy One in EVERY season. WE can sing even on dark days because Jesus is the Servant of the Lord who will not crush us but He will free us. We can be comforted because we have such a tender and loving Christ. He is our hope when life is dark and difficult and our companion when things are going more smoothly.
We simply need to pray and ask Jesus to help us to have a biblical view of suffering so that we can understand when we feel broken, on the verge of burn-out, alone, discouraged, or hopeless, that our Lord Jesus Christ truly understands all of these feelings and can comfort us no matter what we are facing.
Charles Spurgeon (Known as the Prince of Preachers) explained it as this: “Jesus was a man not of sorrow only, but of sorrows. All the sufferings of the body and of the soul were know to him; the sorrows of the man who actively struggles to obey; the sorrows of the man who sits still, and passively endures. Affliction made Jesus heart the target for all conceivable woes.“
Sometimes we think that we have it so very bad, don’t we. We think that our struggles and problems…or sufferings….are unlike anything or what anybody else has ever been through. I think in our mind we know that this is simply not true, but at that point we are hurting so badly that our thoughts tend to think along that line.
Aren’t you so very grateful that Jesus understands and knows us through and through. We do not even need words. And the most important thing to remember is that…..because of this understanding—Christ Comforts us!
I am sure that we cannot fully understand all of the suffering of Christ that he had to endure here on earth, but it can ease our minds to know that Christ understands true suffering and thus is so compassionate with all of us who call upon His name.
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