“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19
How many and diversified are the peculiar trying circumstances of God’s dear family! Each heart has its own sorrow—each soul bears its own cross; but Jesus is enough for all—He has sympathy for each and all His suffering people.
Are you suffering from pining sickness? are your days wearisome, and your nights sleepless, from the inroads of disease? Then there is sympathy in Christ for you: for it is written, “Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.” He remembers that you are but dust—and we doubt not, His blessed body knew what languid days and sleepless nights were.
Oh, then, think of Jesus. That disease that wastes—that pain that racks—that debility that unnerves you, Jesus knows full and sympathetically. True, He is now beyond all physical feelings, yet His tender heart sympathizes still.
Are you suffering from temporal poverty? Are sources on which you depended broken up? Friends on whom you have leaned removed? Does want stare you in the face? And are you at a loss to know from where the next supply may come? Even here, my brother, even here, my sister, can Jesus sympathize with you. He, like you, and like the greater part of His people, was poor in this world’s goods.
No home sheltered, no daily-spread table provided for Him; He was a poor, homeless, houseless, friendless wanderer. The foxes had holes, and the birds had nests, but Jesus had not where to lay His blessed head—that head that ached and bled for you. Take your poverty to Him—take your needs to Him. Let the principle of faith now be exercised. Has He died for your soul—has He pardoned your sins—has He given you Himself, then will He not with Himself freely give you all things necessary for your temporal comfort, while yet a pilgrim upon earth? Take your poverty and your want simply and directly to Jesus; He has an ear to hear your cry, a heart to sympathize with your case, and a hand to supply all your need. Then again we say, take your needs simply and directly to Christ.
Has death entered your domestic circle, plucking from it some precious and valued member? Has He put lover and friend far from you, leaving the heart to weep in silence and sadness over the wreck of hopes that were so bright, and over the rupture of ties that were so tender?
Oh, there is sympathy in Christ for this! Jesus knew what it was to weep over the grave of buried love—of friendship interred; He knew what it was to have affection’s ties broken, leaving the heart wounded and bleeding. He can enter into your sorrow, bereaved reader; yes, even into yours.
See Him at the tomb of Lazarus—see Him weep—”behold how He loved him.” What! do you repair to the grave of the dear departed one to weep, and Jesus not sympathize with you? Let not unbelief close up this last remaining source of consolation—the tender sympathy of Christ. He can enter into those tears of yours: the heart’s desolateness, loneliness, and disappointment are not unknown and unnoticed by our blessed Immanuel. And why has the Lord dealt thus with you? why has He torn the idol from its temple? why has He emptied the heart, and left it thus lonely and desolate?
Oh why, but to prepare that temple for Himself; why, but to pour into its emptiness the full tide of His own precious love and sympathy. For this, beloved, has He been, and, it may be, is now dealing with you. That heart belongs to Him—He bought it at a costly price; it belongs to Him—He vanquished it by the omnipotence of His Spirit; it belongs to Him—He sealed it with His precious blood. And He would have you know this, too, by deep and sweet experience. He would have you know how He has loved you, and loves you still; He would have you know that you are His—His by eternal election—His by gift—by purchase—by conquest—by a covenant that all your departures, all your unfaithfulness, all your unworthiness, all the changing scenes through which you pass, shall never and can never alter.
All this it is His will you should experience. Then bow with submission to the discipline; as a weaned child, sit you at His feet, adopting His own blessed words, “Not my will, but Your be done