How Close Does God Come to Us in Our Suffering?

 

How close does God come to us in our suffering?  Does He really understand? Can He really bring comfort and even healing now in our grief?  These questions we will pursue in today’s blog.  Though the focus here is on the loss of a loved one and I realize most people may not have lost a close relative or family member, {excepting the natural order of things}. But the day is coming, that most will have lost a close loved one. In advance of it, this blog is for you too.

 

So how close does God come to us in our suffering? The short answer is:  very close!  But how close is ‘very close’? Well, a modern vernacular of the Word of Christ puts it this way:

 

“Jesus the great High Priest is [not] out of touch with our reality. [But] he’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all”, yet without sin.   Hebrews 4:15

 

As a modern author has stated commenting on this passage: “Not only does He feel your weakness, your sickness, but He is touched by your weakness. He is tenderly affected—as He feels what you are feeling in empathy, His heart goes out in sympathy and He wants to help us.”

 

“…for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.”  Hebrews 2:11

 

Then the words of Jesus Himself as recorded in Matthew 25:40:

 

“Truly, I say unto you, In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”

 

How is it that ?  Here is where the gospel of Christ becomes much more meaningful and especially to those who need that comfort due to deep loss.  A modern author expresses it this way:  “He feels as I feel. How? How can Jesus be tempted in all points like I am unless He is in like as I am? For Him to be tempted like I am, He would have to be how can He feel as I feel unless He isandOnly by Him being can He be tempted as I am tempted and feel as I feel.”1 This makes it clear that the Son of man has experienced everything I experience.

 

“Jesus feels my infirmities. But they were my infirmities –they were .  My feelings—they’re His too.  Jesus was If He was not made to be me, He could not feel what I feel or be tempted as I am tempted.  He became , He became !”2 This had to happen in order for us to come to “an appreciation of what it means to be -Jesus-Christ.”3
 

As we begin to let the mind grasp the reality of how close God comes to us in our suffering we can then recognize we do not suffer alone. We do not experience heartache, loss, grief or any of the other emotions and infirmities “common to man” (1Cor.10:13) alone. And this is why the Psalmist, nay Christ says, “My heart faileth me.” Ps.40:12. Not because of what He did, but because of what you’ve done. And because He has become you, he suffers what you suffer. Your wretchedness — that’s His wretchedness.  Your misery — He has made to be His own misery. Your poverty – His poverty. Your blindness – His blindness. And your nakedness was His nakedness. As it is written, They parted His garments” as He hung upon the cross”4 (Matt.27:35).

 

So then why did He do this for me?  “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16)  God so loved me, He demonstrated that love all through the life of Christ in the flesh, to reach me where I was at. In order to do so, He became, ‘me’ in Jesus Christ.  This is incredible! 

 

“To be Jesus-Christ is to believe this!  Because then as I believe this – as , He lived a perfect life.  And in him I live a perfect life, because He was me.”5  This is what God longs for us to understand. Christ is my wisdom as the Bible says clearly, “He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).  Further “He became sin for us” (2 Cor 5:21), in essence He became sin for me.

 

Because we live in a world of sin, He became sin for us, fore me to experience my loss, my pain, my sorrow and thus to give me “hope and a future” (Jer.29:11).  And to bring comfort to me, to us, to all of us who suffer loss of this magnitude.  As the Scripture encourages us, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.” (2 Cor.1:4, 5) NLT

 

One last thing. God permits all of these things that we may become ‘partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  It’s a done deal in-Christ. He desires us to “see” as He sees, to comprehend our situation, as He sees it.  Eternal life begins .  As we see ‘ourselves’ from His perspective and how brief our time in this life really is, we will be comforted, strengthened to endure, even the loss of a child, till the Life Giver returns our daughter to us and all our loved ones are resurrected, never more to part.

 

If we endure till the end, this holy and righteous Life that has been given to us at such great cost will then clothe us with immortality—(1 Cor.15:51-55).  That day is soon to come.  Thank you Jesus for dying as us, living for us and abiding in us from now on, straight into eternity.

 

May this be your joy, is my prayer today.

 

1. From the book, “Heralding the Loud Cry” by Camron Schofield p.45

2. ibid p.45

3. ibid p.45

4. ibid p.46

5. ibid p.46