Empathy is different from sympathy. One can be sympathetic but not necessarily empathetic. We can only be empathetic towards a person that we have walked in his or her shoes. If a person for instance does not know what it feels like to be discouraged, then he or she is highly unlikely to understand what it feels like to be discouraged. And a person who is clueless about what it feels like to be discouraged will lack what it takes to rightly encourage the discouraged.
Christ our personal LORD and Saviour is our perfect encourager because no matter how daunting the situation we find ourselves in this world, He has actually been through worse things for us in this fallen world of sin. He knows exactly what it feels like to be rejected by those you love dearly. He knows what it is like to be accused of telling lies when you are in fact speaking the whole truth. Christ as the truth itself was not only rejected and called a liar back then when He walked the face of this earth, He is still being rejected daily by human beings across the world that He died and suffered for. Even though He is the righteousness of God itself manifested in the flesh, the majority of the people who were living on this earth back then when He walked the face of this earth did not receive and embrace Him with joy. He was constantly accused by the people of lying. He was called mad. He was accused of rebellion against righteousness even though He is as the Spirit of Righteousness itself revealed, the only one who can fully deliver us from the damming consequences of rebellion against God's righteousness, which is eternal death (Romans 6:33)
Christ knows what it feels like to be wrongly accused of something you are innocent of. He knows what it feels like to be punished for a wrong that is actually committed by another. He knows what it feels like to be side-tracked and treated as unimportant. Throughout His ministry walk on earth, Christ was constantly referred to as an ordinary man who is a mere carpenter's son even though He is in fact the only begotten Son of God, King of kings LORD of lords and God in Person (Isaiah 9:6, John 3:16, 1 Timothy 3:16). Even though Christ is the King of kings and LORD of lords, no public holiday was declared back then to celebrate His birth when He was born. He was born in a manger and not in some big palace. He wasn’t regarded by the people as a Prince let alone accepted as King of kings. He had a very humble beginning with His birth in a manger and even though He is entirely sinless, He was sentenced to die the kind of death that was deemed fit for the worst criminals of that era. Christ our personal LORD and Saviour knows exactly what it feels like to be persecuted, oppressed and constantly picked on by the devil. Jesus is indeed not a High Priest who has not walked in our shoes. And as our High Priest who has walked in our shoes, He is totally empathetic and not at all inhumane in His ways and attitude toward us.
Jesus Christ as our King of kings momentarily stepped out of His eternal existence into time in human form, not to set up a worldly religion, but to finish the work of our salvation on the cross and to walk in our trial shoes so that we can through His redemption blood and victorious pass marks, overcome all to the glory of God. Christ as our Saviour who has in fact faced all the trial test that we can possibly face in this world knows just how tough it is for us as humans to live and survive the daily struggles that we constantly face in this fallen world of sin. Christ our victorious King of kings who faced all trials of the world and overcame all by His righteousness Will and holy authority is with His redeemed daily as our Immanuel. He is invisibly with us in this visible world to encourage and take us through each challenging day of our lives safe and sound, preparing us daily for eternal life abiding with Him in His everlasting kingdom of peace, rest and joy. Therefore, no matter how tough or challenging the situation or circumstance you can possibly find yourself in the world, as a redeemed in Christ, always remember that Christ is not only taking you through it, but He knows exactly what it feels like to be going through whatsoever you are going through!
Christ as our holy Saviour has indeed walked in every trials shoes that you can possibly find yourself in. He knows just how tight our trials shoes can be and He knows just how daunting and discomforting it can be for us as human beings to suddenly find ourselves endlessly struggling in extremely tight trials shoes that we have not bargained for or feel we deserve to be in. Christ as our Saviour is not detached from our pains. He knows our pains, feelings, emotions and He is the only one that is perfectly qualified to encourage, empower, take us through all our challenges and bring us out of it all full of His might and strength, perfectly refined and in complete wholesomeness.
No matter how daunting the challenges you are facing today, my word of encouragement is, that you should keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and never look away from Him. He knows exactly how you are feeling and why you are feeling the way you are feeling. Look daily unto Christ our holy and righteous High Priest (Hebrews 12:1-3). Give thanks to the LORD Jesus daily for His finished work on the cross and rejoice in the knowledge of His pure love for your soul. Magnify His presence in your life by reaching out daily to impact the lives of others. Delete worry with your daily worship of Christ the King of kings. The joy of the LORD is your strength. Step out of the daunting feeling of problems and step daily into the joyous rest of your Maker with your hallelujah praise! Amen.
Wishing all the redeemed of Christ out there a joyous and restful day in His presence.
"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" ~ Hebrews 4:14-16
Pastor Olabisi was a mother, Senior Pastor, Evangelist, Prophet,Teacher, Psalmist, Author, Writer, Publisher and a Housing Practitioner.
She set up Encouraged by God as a means of encouraging and strengthening the faith of Christians everywhere.
Lived and died in Christ, 06 October 2016, aged 49 years old.