Comfort From Experience

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When faced with new situations, it’s amazing how quickly we seek help and guidance from those who have been there before. From mundane tasks like trying to fix a broken air conditioner to far more serious things like the death of a parent, it doesn’t take long for us to get advice from those who have walked the path ahead of us. Of course, situations differ and just because one person has been through a similar circumstance (especially one of a serious nature) doesn’t mean that our experience will replicate theirs. However, we take comfort from the fact that we are not alone; others have walked a similar road and have arrived safely on the other side.

It’s because of this tendency to surround ourselves with those that can commiserate in our circumstances that we should take such solace in the truth of Hebrews 4:15. In that verse, the writer of Hebrews reminds us that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Although we may be most likely to focus on the second half of that verse which describes the sinless life our Savior lived, the first half should provide assurance as well. Jesus is not unfamiliar with the circumstances in which we find ourselves. He has dealt with them; He has “been there,” and therefore He knows exactly the grace and the strength that we need to navigate safely through the trials we face.

We may be well aware of this truth, yet fail to appreciate the power that it contains. We think of God as being “up there”  – removed from the inconveniences and the hurts that interrupt our days. But God didn’t just stay “up there.” He walked this Earth. And while the times were different, the challenges were the same. He contended with them, just like we must. And just as He did, our goal should be to do so in a manner that gives glory to the King.

So the next time we are faced with an unfamiliar circumstance, we would do well to turn first to the One who not only knows what we are going through, but can provide us the way through it. While we are often quick to listen to the fallible advice of our friends, we should instead first seek the perfect wisdom of our Savior. As we do so, as we look to Him, we should take comfort from the fact that He knows what we’re going through, and we should have confidence that we can rely on Him.

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