When We Hurt, God Hurts

Been beat up? Beat down? Talked about? Exhausted?

Powerful biblical truth ahead:

“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.” – Hebrews 4:15, Amplified

In his book, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, Dale Ortlund offers the following insight into the passage cited above:

“All our natural intuitions tell us that Jesus is with us, on our side, present and helping, when life is going well. But Hebrews 4:15 says the opposite. It is in ‘our weaknesses’ that Jesus sympathizes with us.

The word for ‘sympathize’ here is a compound word…meaning ‘with’ and ‘to suffer.’ So, the Greek word for ‘sympathize’ here represents a depth of felt solidarity such as is echoed in our own lives most closely only as parents to children. Indeed, it is deeper even than that…. He ‘co-suffers’ with us…

In our pain, Jesus is pained; in our suffering, he feels the suffering as his own even though it isn’t—not that his invincible divinity is threatened, but in the sense that his heart is feelingly drawn into our distress….

His is a love that cannot be held back when he sees his people in pain.

If you are in Christ, you have a Friend who, in your sorrow, will never lob down a pep talk from heaven. He cannot bear to hold himself at a distance. Nothing can hold him back. His heart is too bound up with yours.” [end quote]

Below is a painting by artist, philosopher, theologian, renaissance man, Jordan Watts.  He was only 10 when he painted it. He called it, “When we hurt, God hurts.”

Hurting? So is Jesus. Feel his embrace. Hear his roar. You are safe. He’s got you.