Sympathetic Suffering (Hebrews 2:18)


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When I was a young pastor, a member of the church I served said to me, “You just don’t understand. You have never experienced the grief I feel.” It was true. At that time in my life I hadn’t.

Those who have not suffered are unable to enter into the hurts of others with genuine understanding. George Duncan tells of his hospital convalescence following an operation. He was in a great deal of pain. A man in a nearby bed had a similar operation and was moaning loudly. A young, energetic nurse, obviously very healthy, came into the room and told the man to be quiet. Duncan said to her, “Nurse, have you ever had an operation?” “No,” she replied. With a faint smile Duncan said, “Then I think it’s about time you did!”

You and I have a High Priest who understands our weaknesses and trials. His name is Jesus. Because He personally endured pain and temptation, “He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Since He can identify with our hurts, our sorrows, and our sufferings, should we not avail ourselves of His divine sympathy?

Friends and loved ones may not be able to identify with the deep burdens of your heart, even though they long to do so. But Jesus knows and cares, and He is able to help. – Paul R. Van Gorder

 The Great Physician now is near –

The sympathetic Jesus;

He speaks the drooping heart to cheer –

O hear the voice of Jesus! – Hunter

Comfort is most effective when it comes from the one who has suffered.

  • July 7, 1990, Our Daily Bread

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