Jesus Understands Your Struggles
By Rick Renner
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
— Hebrews 4:15
If you’ve ever been controlled by hurt feelings and offenses, you know it’s a miserable state to be in. Everyone has opportunities to get offended, upset, or “ticked off” at someone. Take a moment to think about a time when a friend or family member did something disappointing to you. How successful were you at dealing with it? Be honest!
It can often be very difficult to rein in your emotions when you’ve been hurt, but the good news is that Jesus understands. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” This verse emphatically declares that although Jesus was God in the flesh when He walked on this earth, He still faced every temptation you and I face in life. As a result, this verse says that Jesus is “…touched with the feeling of our infirmities….”
That phrase “be touched with” comes from the Greek word sumpatheo, which means to share an experience with someone or to sympathize with and have compassion for someone. What a comforting thought! Jesus empathizes with every temptation and struggle you face in this life. He identifies and sympathizes with you, and He has compassion for you regarding what you’re feeling and the situation you’re facing.
Jesus has been where you are. He has felt what you feel. He has overcome the temptations you are now trying to overcome. And because of His experiences, He understands the emotions, frustrations, and temptations you face in life. There is no need to feel too embarrassed to go to the Savior. If anyone can understand what you are going through right now, it’s Jesus! He has been tempted in all points just like you, yet He never succumbed to temptation. As a result:
- He understands your dilemma.
- He has experienced your problem.
- He is familiar with disappointment.
- He knows the temptation to get frustrated.
- He sympathizes when you get upset.
*[If you started reading this from your email, begin reading here.]
Jesus never fell into one of Satan’s traps, but He definitely faced the same frustrations we do in life. In fact, if Jesus hadn’t been tempted in every realm that we are tempted, He wouldn’t be able to understand us and serve as our great High Priest!
For instance, I can only imagine the frustration Jesus must have felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. He had invested three and a half years of His life into His disciples, and for the first time, Jesus needed them. Jesus asked three of His disciples to pray for Him during His hour of temptation (see Matthew 26:37-45). He asked them for only one hour of prayer, but instead of praying, they fell asleep. He came and pleaded with them a second time to pray with Him, but once more they fell asleep. For a third time, Jesus came and besought His disciples to pray, but again they fell asleep on the job.
What if you had been in Jesus’ position that night? What if you had given three years of your life to these disciples — but when you asked them to help you for the first time, they failed you again and again?
It would be normal for a person in this situation to be tempted to become resentful, upset, or even offended. Anyone in that position would be tempted to think, How dare you sleep on the job after all I’ve done for you! I’m sorry I ever did anything for you bunch of ingrates! However, Jesus never fell into the trap of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. In fact, even as He hung on the Cross, He prayed for those who had perpetrated this evil on Him, “…Father, forgive them…” (Luke 23:34).
Jesus is on your side! Hebrews 4:16 goes on to promise that when you go to Him for help, you will obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. So the next time you feel tempted to get upset or frustrated with someone, run to Jesus! He’s your faithful High Priest, inviting you to come boldly to Him to receive the grace you need to resist that temptation. Remember, Jesus understands precisely what you’re going through because He experienced that same temptation when He walked on this earth. But He also knows how to help you walk in love and forgiveness — just as He did in every situation, without fail!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I am so thankful that Jesus is my Great High Priest and that He understands everything that I face and feel in life. I can come confidently before You in His Name to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. The next time I feel tempted to get upset or frustrated with someone, Father, I make the decision now that I will walk in love and forgiveness just as Jesus did. I am so thankful that as my faithful High Priest, Jesus invites me to come boldly to Him to receive the grace I need to yield to His love and wisdom in me and to resist any temptation that comes against me!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I declare that Jesus understands precisely what I’m going through because He experienced that same temptation when He walked on this earth. He knows how to help me walk in love and forgiveness. Jesus has been where I am. He has felt what I feel. He has overcome the temptations arrayed against me. Therefore, I hold fast to my victory in Him. Because of Jesus’ experiences as He walked on this earth, He understands the emotions, frustrations, and temptations that I face in life. There is no need for me to feel embarrassed to go to the Savior. If anyone can understand what I am going through right now, it’s Jesus. And because of His blood and by the power of His Name, I am more than a conqueror through Him!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!