Hebrews 4:15-16. “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (NLT)
Have you ever felt like you were carrying a load of bricks on your chest? Sometimes life drops a heavy bundle of cares and concerns on your heart that threaten to crush you. During these times friends may try to comfort with words like, “I know just how you feel,” or “I understand what you are going through.” While appreciating their concern, it is easy to wonder if anyone could truly comprehend the weight of your burdens.
There is One who does completely understand the pressures we face on a daily basis. Jesus, though fully God, took on human flesh and experienced the same testings and emotions that we do. There were times when His heart was deeply troubled. Yet, in the midst of the emotions, He never sinned.
We find three places where Jesus experienced a troubled heart in the book of John.
A Troubled Spirit When Others Suffer (John 11:33): When watching His friends suffer over the death of Lazarus, Jesus became troubled in spirit and wept tears of sadness. How often our own burdens are caused by the grief of those for whom we love and care. As we walk with them through suffering we suffer also.
A Troubled Spirit When He Personally Suffered (John 12:27): Jesus’ spirit became troubled again as He contemplated the painful death and separation from His Father that He would face in the coming hours. Jesus struggled with God the Father over His impending death. But instead of asking to be saved from this crushing burden, He accepted it as God’s will and the purpose for which He had come to earth. Some burdens are ours alone to carry. No human friend can ease the weight as we live out God’s will for our lives.
A Troubled Spirit Over the Sin and Betrayal of Others (John 13:21): Jesus became troubled in spirit as He considered the one who would betray Him. Judas, an alleged friend who had lived closely with Jesus for three years, would hand the Son of God over to His enemies. Jesus felt the heartbreak of being betrayed by one who was supposed to stand with Him. Few things are more painful than the rejection and abandonment of someone we thought loved us.
So is it wrong to feel heavy hearted when we experience tragedy or suffering? At times like this it is easy to wonder if our pain is an indicator of our trust in God. “If I truly had faith would I feel this crushing burden in my soul?” you may ask yourself. “Shouldn’t these bricks of concern disappear when I cast my care on the Almighty?”
Heartache is a part of life in a broken world. Jesus, Himself, experienced it and He was without sin. When difficulties come we will feel sadness and grief, but we can be comforted in the fact that we are not alone. Jesus understands our weaknesses because He faced the same experiences we do, and He offers words of comfort.
In John 14:1 Jesus encouraged His followers with these words, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” He was not telling them they would never be sad. He knew the difficulties that lay ahead for them, but He encouraged them to set their hearts at ease by putting their trust in God and in Him.
Life in this world will never be easy, but Jesus came to fix its brokenness. By His death He provided a way for believers to be assured of a place in heaven where all tears and sadness will finally be gone forever. The load will be lifted and we will be free.
When a load of life’s bricks threatens to crush you, remember you have a Savior who understands your troubled heart. He doesn’t condemn you, but has provided a way for you to approach God’s throne boldly – the only place to find mercy and help in time of need.