Peace in the Pain by His Presence

I love this picture. Just look at the girl’s smile. Can you imagine laying there in a hospital bed and into the room walks Queen Elizabeth?

The Queen’s presence didn’t take away the suffering she is experiencing as a victim of the Manchester terrorist attack, but don’t you know in that moment it was a little lessened? All of the pain, the questions and anger, for a time set aside as the girl and her mom are filled with delight by this unexpected guest.

It’s a beautiful picture of who Jesus is for us. In the midst of our pain and suffering, the sin and sadness of this world he shows up. But unlike any human, he knows exactly what it is like to experience everything we go through.

As written in a chapter of my new book*, in order for Jesus to bring salvation to the world he had to become the pefect sacrifice. But do you know how he was made perfect? Through suffering! Not just on the cross, but his entire earthly life.

Therefore, he knows what it’s like to experience all the emotions that we do. He was mistreated,  mocked, dismissed, ignored, gossiped about, persecuted, rejected, hurt by those he loved. He felt anger, sadness and loneliness. And he begged the Father to do it another way (“let his cup pass before me”), but there was no other way to atone for our sins and to make us sons and daughters of the King.

So Jesus did what was necessary and because he did, he not only is able to make the great identity exchange with us but he can identify with us and draw near. His presence is not always as visible as Queen Elizabeth standing three feet from the girl’s bedside. But throughout Scripture we read verses like these reminding us that he is near:

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).”

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth (Psalm 145:18).”

“(for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God (Hebrews 7:19).”

Jesus is that better hope. And because of him we are never without hope. Things now are not how they should be and until all things are made new, we will suffer. But he doesn’t leave us to navigate the brokenness of this world alone. No matter what our suffering -because of nothing of our own doing (what seems unfair) or because of all of our doing (our sin) – he meets us with grace.

By this grace, when we are met by his presence (like the girl with Queen Elizabeth) even for just a moment all of our worries, burdens, hurts and pain are lessened. He comes to break through the darkness and gives himself – our perfect peace.

Now Lord Jesus, help us to believe better and to know this is true.

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready, stands to save you
Full of pity, love and power

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome
God’s free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance
Every grace that brings you nigh

Come, ye weary, heavy-laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry ’til you’re better
You will never come at all

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Feel Him Prostate in the garden
On the ground your Maker lies
On the bloody tree, behold him
Sinner, will this not suffice?

Lo, the incarnate God ascended
Pleads the merit of his blood
Venture on him, venture wholly
Let no other trust intrude

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
In the arms of my dear Savior
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

*Face Time comes out on May 29th. To order your copy, click here.

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