Jesus understands our suffering


By the Rev. Ben Hunt - Your pastor speaks



I feel as though My strength has been poured out of Me like water, and all of My bones are out of joint.

My heart has become like wax that has melted within Me.

Psalm 22:14

Christ’s suffering upon the cross was necessary to cover the sins of every one of us, and so – in His great love for and great mercy upon us all – it was approved by God, knowing that Christ, through God, would not only be resurrected from that suffering, but by it would be able to accomplish the fullness of God’s will to His glory and our blessing.

So it is and will be with us, when we are in the midst of some great suffering that we sense has been approved by God.

It may be that we are only minimally comforted by the notion that God approved it, yet we all take our turns suffering, don’t we? It doesn’t “feel good” when we’re in the midst of it, but there’s more than just that suffering in this world. In Christ Jesus, Who understands what it’s like to go through that same suffering, there is wisdom, help and hope.

Let’s look at the three statements made about suffering in this Bible verse, Psalm 22:14:

~ “my strength has been poured out of me like water” ~ Sometimes it’s not just the difficulty of the trial that is hard, but also how long it seems to go on. It seeks to wear one down, exhaust one’s hope, and drain one’s life strength entirely. The phrase “poured out” in this verse means “to spill forth, like blood from a body, like alcohol from a bottle, like metal from a vessel in which it has been melted by intense fire…” Sometimes it feels like that, doesn’t it? But Jesus understands.

~ “all my bones are out of joint” ~ In times of intense and prolonged suffering, we can come to feel as though everything within us that ordinarily strengthens, supports and holds us together is being torn apart. The phrase “out of joint” in this verse means “to be broken in two, to be spread apart or separated so much as to feel separated from one’s own self…” Sometimes it feels like that, doesn’t it? But Jesus understands.

~ “My heart has become like wax that has melted within me” ~ It is our human nature, not our Godly one, to become so weakened as to give up hope and quit. When it seems that the battle is too much, or has been going on for too long, or that hope doesn’t seem to be on the way, we have this tendency to consider giving up the only hope that we have. In our pain and weakness, we think that we’re giving up on the battle, but we’re not; we’re giving up on the hope that Christ will come and save us from out of that battle. The phrase “has melted within me” in this verse means “to liquefy (by fire), the waste with disease, to make faint through fatigue, fear or grief, the center of one’s soft heart…” That really speaks to it, doesn’t it? We’re in the middle of trying so hard to be obedient to Him, and to walk in His compassion for others, and then “Boom!,” a ruthless attack from somewhere gets launched against the very center of our soft heart. Sometimes it feels like that, doesn’t it? But Jesus understands.

Maybe what you’re reading today isn’t so much a new revelation.Maybe it’s more of a gentle reminder of things that you have already learned at His feet.

Maybe what you’re reading today isn’t so much “fresh manna.” Maybe it’s more a whiff of your faithful, loving, and Truthful Trainer’s smelling salts as you sit on His stool, in His corner, between rounds in your latest big “title fight” in life.

Or maybe all He wants you to hear today, as you consider whether or not (a) you’re going to give up or (b) you’re going to get up and go out there and win this fight in this next round, is this:

“You see, it was necessary for Jesus to be born and live on this earth exactly as we, His brothers and sisters, are, so that He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Because He was made just like us, and suffered in exactly the same way that we do, yet did so without sin, He could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. And not only this but, because of the fact that He himself went through and obtained victory over every suffering and testing that we will ever experience, He is able to now help us when we are being tested.” “So this High Priest of ours, Christ Jesus, understands our weaknesses, because He faced every single one of the same weaknesses that we do, yet did not sin as He suffered. So let us come in prayer – with all outspokenness, frankness, bluntness, openness, and assurance in Him – to the throne of our gracious God; because there, we will receive His mercy, and we will find His grace, to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 4:15-16.

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By the Rev. Ben Hunt

Your pastor speaks

The writer is a bishop in The International Church Network, a network of 400-500 churches in North America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

The writer is a bishop in The International Church Network, a network of 400-500 churches in North America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.