There are several places in the Bible in which we are told of the value of friendships and of our Christian brethren (sistren), and also how we can assist them when they find themselves facing difficult or challenging times (and vice versa).
• In Proverbs 27:17, we are told, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
• In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, it is said that “two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”
• In Galatians 6:1-2, Paul tells us, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
…And all of these things, of course, are great, useful, and needed in the Body of Christ (or else they wouldn’t have been written). However, there are times when we find ourselves facing certain challenges, or conflicts within, that feel far too difficult or shameful to share with another. Besides, it could possibly make us the center of gossip, right? So, what do you do? Who can you turn to for comfort and relief when you find yourself between this rock and hard place? The obvious answer, as believers, should be Jesus Christ, our Savior (and rock), but, you may even find yourself too ashamed to run to Him also. If so, know that you’re not alone; I’ve been there, too…too many times. Nevertheless, I came to learn something through those times of fretting and hiding that I would like to share with you; and that is: 1) God is not like man, and 2) He understands far more than we think He does.
Let’s quickly open our Bibles to confirm this truth.
Turning to Hebrews 4, verses 15 and 16, we find these words: “For 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. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Sisters, I have found God to be absolutely true to every word spoken in that passage. He truly does understand.
I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of comparing God with those of this world who taunt us, laugh at us, discount us, or discuss us behind our backs for our failings, shortcomings, or error, but I also know that it’s a mindset we must break free of. God, unlike many men, loves His children unconditionally; and until we believe that wholeheartedly, sisters, we’ll live in fear of Him, instead of drawing near to Him, as Scripture tells us to. (Note: There is a difference between reverential fear and a fear of punishment or disdain.)
When we can truly grasp the facts that God knows all (whether we tell Him or not), that He genuinely loves us as His daughters, and that Jesus’ blood has covered all of our sin and unrighteousness (past, present, and future), we will freely draw near to His throne of grace to confess our faults and repent, and to receive the unfailing love, mercy, and grace He extends to every part of our lives, every day of our lives.
It is true that God won’t condone and coddle us in our sin (as He hates sin), but it is also true that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us for them (1 John 1:9).
That noted, sisters, if you’ve found yourself running from God instead of to Him concerning a difficult matter in your life, I pray this message has spoken to your heart and urged you to change your course. Your Heavenly Father, as some make Him out to be, isn’t the big bad wolf, who’s ready to blow you away at any moment for making a mistake or getting off course a bit. Instead, as Psalm 145:8 tells us, He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
Rest in that truth today.