Does Jesus Understand Our Suffering?
- Vivian Bricker Contributing Writer
- 2023 15 Mar
Suffering is something we are all familiar with. Despite our efforts to avoid suffering, nobody can escape suffering in their lives. We will all have various pains and suffering over the course of our life on earth.
While one person’s suffering may look different from another person’s suffering, all suffering is equally painful. Since we as human beings suffer daily, does Jesus understand our suffering?
How Does Jesus Understand Our Suffering?
Jesus does understand our suffering. The Bible tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
When Jesus came down from heaven to be born into the world, He knew He would endure pain and suffering. He grew up and felt the same pain we all experience throughout our lives.
Since Jesus was both fully man and fully God, He was able to know what it felt like to experience the same human suffering that we feel.
Similar to us, Jesus knows what it feels like to be hungry, thirsty, and tired. He also knew what it felt like to be tempted, yet unlike us, Jesus never committed a sin (1 Peter 2:22). Since Jesus knew what it felt like to be tempted, He can help us in our struggle against sin.
Even though the world causes sin to look appealing, it is not. We suffer when we are being tempted by sin or we are living in sin. Jesus can help us overcome sin through the Holy Spirit in us. Once we have placed faith in Christ, we are given the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit permanently stays with us, and He never leaves us. He is able to guide, instruct, and convict us.
If we are walking in the Spirit, we will be better at avoiding sin as Paul tells us, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). All sin causes us to suffer, and God doesn’t want us to suffer in pain.
While avoiding suffering is impossible, suffering and pain were never part of God’s original plan for mankind. He wanted us to live with Him in Eden, yet due to our sin, we were separated from God and banished from Eden.
It is only through placing faith in Christ that our relationship with the Father can be repaired. Thus, even though we have suffering in the world does not mean God created it. Suffering and pain came into being after the Fall of Man.
While suffering will happen to us throughout our lives, Jesus is always with us. He knows what it feels like to experience suffering and pain. When Jesus died on the cross, He took on all of our sins, and He felt all the same pain that we feel.
Even before He was crucified, Jesus was in extreme emotional pain. He was stressed and anxious to the point that He was sweating blood (Luke 22:44). This condition, known as hemosiderosis, is extremely rare and only happens when a person is in extreme distress.
Since the Lord had this happen to Him, we can know for a fact that Jesus knew what it felt like to suffer not only physically, but also emotionally.
We can think of Jesus as being distant from us to even know what our pain is. I, too, have struggled with these thoughts before, yet they are only intrusive thoughts that are lying to us. Jesus understands our suffering and our pain.
No matter what you are going through today, know that Jesus understands your pain. Maybe you’re struggling with a physical illness, a mental illness, or an emotional problem.
Despite the various different ways that we suffer in our lives, Jesus understands all of them. Jesus doesn’t condemn us for our suffering; rather, He is compassionate to us. He understands our pain, and He is walking right beside us through every step (Psalm 23).
Why Is There Suffering?
These past years have been difficult for most of us, and many of us have gone through trauma, pain, and loss. During times of suffering, turn to Jesus. He completely knows how you are feeling, and He desires to surround you with His love.
Often, when we are suffering, we complain or compare our bad moments to somebody else’s life. Don’t gauge your own life on what is shown on social media. Social media is a highlight reel of other people’s lives.
We don’t need to weigh our bad days against someone’s highlight reel. Social media is extremely bad for our mental health and can actually contribute to depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
Nobody is alone in their suffering because Jesus is always there. He promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6). Bring your struggles and pains before God and leave them at His feet. Tell Him about your suffering and how you need His help. God knows we are not strong enough on our own.
He wants us to turn to Him and acknowledge our dependence on Him. He understands every single pain we have, whether that is feeling tired or having a loved one die. The Lord understands our suffering, and He wants to bring us peace, serenity, and comfort.
After my mom passed away, my family and I suffered greatly. As much as I would like to say that I praised God despite the pain, I didn’t. Instead, I grew angry at God, and I believed He didn’t truly understand my pain and suffering.
When we are in pain and suffering, it can be easy to lose sight of facts. Rather than being guided by facts, we are guided by our emotions. While emotions are normal, they can often get difficult when we are upset.
Instead of trusting God, I blamed Him for my mother’s death because, in my teenage mind, I knew God could do anything, so why didn’t He save my mom?
It took time for me to fully understand that God works even bad things out for His good (Romans 8:28). God does understand our suffering and our pain because He has already experienced it Himself. Jesus knew what it was like to lose a loved one. He wept when His friend Lazarus died (John 11:35).
What Does This Mean?
If you are presently going through suffering, know you’re not alone. God is with you, and He is walking with you through this pain. Even if you feel alone, you’re not alone.
There are other Christians throughout the world who are experiencing the same suffering you are going through. While knowing this doesn’t make the pain go away, it can help us know that we are not alone in our pain.
Turn to the Lord and pour your heart out to Him. He loves to hear how you are feeling and wants to comfort you with His love. Jesus completely understands your suffering and pain. While suffering was not part of God’s original plan for mankind, it now happens because of the fall of man.
One day, all suffering and pain will go away as God will create the New Heaven and New Earth. There will be no more pain, crying, or death in the New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21:4).
Throughout your suffering, remind yourself God is with you and that the suffering will not endure forever. Even if the suffering lasts a lifetime, you have eternity with the Lord of lords and King of kings.
For further reading:
Why Does the Christian Life Lead to Suffering?
What Does the Bible Say about Suffering?
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/ArtistGNDphotography
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.