You are not alone…that can be a comfort.
You are not alone…that can be scary.
You have help…that can be a comfort.
You have help…that can be scary.
As a follower of Christ, those statements take on a more significant meaning…and a dichotomy.
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)
Stop and ponder for a few moments. Jesus was tempted, something that gets mentioned from time to time…but do we think much about His desert time? Read Luke 4:1-13, we get to witness how the Word of God can defend against temptation…we can observe how Jesus faced and overcame temptation. Knowing He is with us, it’s His power we live by (Galatians 2:20). There is a definite comfort knowing He will never leave us or forget us (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5-6)…knowing nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8)…so many promises in Psalms referencing Him as our Rock, our Stronghold, our Peace.
There’s a scary side of Hebrews 2:18 as well…maybe not scary as it is daunting at times. The One who created the world, the One who rose from the grave, the One who is our High Priest, the One who is coming again, the One who has gone to prepare a place for us…that One is able to help those being tempted. There is great comfort in those words…but also it stabs “excuses” right in the heart. As followers of Christ, as a temple of the Holy Spirit, as someone given all things to participate in the divine life (2 Peter 1:3)…we have Him with us at all time, so when we fall – we have no excuse. We chose the action we chose, we turned away from the offer of help Jesus promises us, we turned our back on our Savior. I, for one, don’t like to think about that…at least when I have stumbled. It’s a bit scary to be exposed as someone who chose to, even for a moment, refuse the help of Christ.
Comfort — It’s still there though…Romans 8 was referenced earlier, nothing (which includes my actions) can separate me from His love. In the Imperfect Disciple, Jared Wilson talks about living in Romans 7 but resting in Romans 8. That concept has stuck with me, believe I’ve mentioned it before. Now, we can’t use that as a free pass to behave as we want to…remember the Hebrews verse at the beginning…it’s our choice. If we can repeatedly turn our back on Grace, without remorse, without thought, without care…we don’t know Grace. (Titus 2:11-12; Romans 6:1). We’re not to dwell on our failures (forgetting what is behind) but we’re not to take lightly the cost that Jesus paid to call us one of His, to be able to bring us to the point He can help us.
Let us all strive to enter into the rest that He offers…overcoming the temptations of the world, resting in His Grace…and showing His love to the world.