Discover God’s love, debunk misconceptions, curb discouragement, and find solace in the relatable nature of Jesus in our human experience.
No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind, and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Recently, I was looking back at journals and could see a trail, my pathway of life through years of memories recorded there. Looking through the pages, I was struck by how I had seen the love and goodness of God through the years, even when I could not at the moment feel it.
One of the weights I have carried through the years is this misunderstanding that somehow God is disappointed with me when my faith is less than perfect. I know there is nothing I can do to deserve the love and grace of God, but somehow it is written on my heart because of years of bad theology that He is looking for my performance, not my heart.
The writer of Hebrews knew that those he was writing to were discouraged. He knew they needed to see what God was really like, and we need to see this reality, too. In referring to Jesus as our intercessor who prays for us day and night, Hebrews 4:15–16 tells us:
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need.
Understanding Jesus: The Human Connection
Jesus lived, walked, ate, and slept on this very earth where we live. He experienced broken relationships, pain and suffering, temptation, disappointment, and death. Jesus was a human being who felt deep need and weariness and all the emotions of life we feel. He can sympathize with our weakness, and He understands our fragility. He was tempted, too.
I actually picture it like this: While we are struggling, Jesus is sitting near—perhaps with His arm around us—praying for us, cheering us on that we might make it through our darkness with faith intact. We are told in this passage that we can approach the throne of grace—not the throne of condemnation, but the throne of grace, where He is ready to listen and help, so that we might receive mercy and grace in our time of need. It is quite amazing to realize that in every situation, in every moment of our lives, Jesus is there as our defender, our advocate, our God, ready to comfort us with sympathy and understanding.
God knows our fragile human state. It is why He gave His life for us. He looks at us with gentle, generous love just as a loving parent looks at his own precious child who is suffering. If we really lived into this reality, if we came to Him with all of our thoughts and feelings as one does to an intimate, trusted companion, we would find the grace of His sympathy and the hope of His help.
We Need to Depend on the Word of God
There were so many throughout the history of scriptural times who could identify with us. David was very clear about his own dark times. Sarah spent the vast majority of her life childless and then was subverted by the handmaiden she gave to her husband. Jeremiah had such a life that he is called the weeping prophet.
Job suffered nearly incomprehensible calamity. Through God’s Word we learn that in the darkness of our own lives, we are not alone. Not only are we not alone—we are surrounded in a way by other women and men who have walked with God and yet suffered deep, sometimes paralyzing, grief, confusion, and despair.
Seasons of darkness, weariness, discouragement, and exhaustion will come, and we are companioned. Not only do we have countless others whose stories validate our own challenges, but Jesus himself is literally present with us at every moment.
He will give us the grace we need to walk through our journey.
In His Word
Dive into the wisdom of Psalm 25:1–2, 20–22, where the psalmist reflects on trust, guidance, and deliverance. Discover the profound messages embedded in these verses, inviting you to seek solace and direction in challenging times.
As you meditate on these words, consider three questions: How does trusting Jesus play a role in your life? In what ways do you seek His guidance? And how do you find strength in moments of adversity?
In Your Life
Discouragement can feel overwhelming some days. How does that feeling change when you remember God is with you?
What might it look like for you to wait on God when you are discouraged? Can you think of ways to give your situation to God on a daily basis?
To understand more about how God is with us in all of life’s storms, check out Help, I’m Drowning: Weathering the Storms of Life with Grace and Hope by Sally Clarkson.
Sally Clarkson is the beloved author of multiple bestselling books, including Awaking Wonder, The Lifegiving Home with her daughter Sarah, Mom Heart Moments, and Different with her son Nathan. As a ministry leader, inspirational speaker, and author of over 20 books, she has inspired countless thousands of women through her conferences, her blog posts, and her popular podcast, At Home with Sally. You can find her online on her website and in Instagram.