Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow toward us, so also our comfort through Christ overflows to you.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NET)
I met Eddie, a friend and church members outside with his wife before walking into church.
”How are you doing?” he asked as I approached.
“Fine.” I lied.
After thinking about it for a second, I decided to tell him the truth.
“Actually, I’m falling apart.” I said.
To my surprise, he took my hand and said: “That’s a good place to be.”
And he was right.
The church often becomes a place where we are taught that with enough faith, we can avoid and get out of troubles.
Of course, when troubles refuse to leave, we end up thinking—among other things—that we might not have enough faith. The Enemy isolates us, making us think we are alone in our troubles and that no one is going through what we are going through.
But the truth is, everyone is going through something. We are all in this valley of life together, and we seldom see the tops of the mountains.
And while we are sometimes encouraged to muster up the power of our own faith, the very nature of faith—of trusting in Someone outside of us—reveals we are far from being anything like Superman.
Yet even the One in whom we place our faith left all his power behind to become just like us.
Through Christ, God became weak like us. He made it so that he could get cut, feel pain, hunger, betrayal, exhaustion, and even die. Minus sin, Christ was like us in every way. He himself was no Superman. Yet counterintuitively, Jesus not being a Superman is actually a source of hope.
As we in this world go through pain and troubles, the Apostle Paul writes:
Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:1-5)
Yes, we go through troubles, but God in his mercy comforts us in our troubles so that we may comfort others with the same comfort with which God comforts us.
I spoke with a woman who was going through a rather tough time. She told me how she had spoken with another woman who was going through some similar troubles. The stress of what both of them were going through was overwhelming.
At the end of their conversation, she asked the other woman if she could pray for her. The woman agreed. As she prayed, the other woman burst into grateful, almost uncontrollable tears. She told me all she could think of while hearing the other woman’s story was “I get it.”
And that’s what grace says: “I get it.”
By becoming like us, God can say to us, “I get it.”
Pain? “I get it.”
Trouble? “I get it.”
Christ shows us his scars. His scars say “I get it.”
He suffered with us as well as for us. Christ is right there with us, hidden in our suffering.
He proved we don’t need no Superman.
Who we need is the One who was literally “touched by the feeling of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15)
Who we need is the One who “was despised and rejected by people” and “who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness.” (Isaiah 53:3)
Who we need is the One who died for our sin and rose from the dead to declare us righteous through no works of our own.
He lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured the punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. (Isaiah 53:3-5, NET)
Maybe you’ve discovered that no matter how hard you’ve tried, you’re just not the Superman you’ve been encouraged to be. But that’s okay because Christ didn’t come to this earth as a Superman. Christ became just like you (though without sin) so that in him you could be forgiven, and declared righteous simply by faith.
God has not called us to be Supermen. Supermen don’t need faith. And faith is critical since we are “saved by grace through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).
Supermen also have no need of hope.
Yet it is because we are frail and subject to death, that we can have hope.
Because of what Christ has done for us through dying and rising from the dead, we have the hope that even in the worst of our troubles – even unto death – God will raise us from the dead.
Indeed we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:9, NET)
This article was first published here