Addicts suffer physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. The book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus was tempted just like we are but He never ever sinned. Actually, Satan himself tempted Jesus. Jesus hadn’t eaten anything for forty whole days and He was in the middle of nowhere and that is when Satan struck. He came to Jesus in His weakest state. Yet, Jesus did not give in. You may think, “Well then if Jesus was so successful when He faced temptation then surly He cannot relate to me. I always mess up.” Yet, the book of Hebrews tells us Jesus can relate to us. It says He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses (Heb. 4:15) and it is says that He is able to help those that are tempted (Heb. 2:18). Yes, Jesus never sinned but He can relate, He was tempted by the father of lies himself. He, in fact, faced a bigger challenge than you, He is sympathetic!
Jesus Himself suffered in all these ways. Jesus suffered great physical pain. Many addicts crave food, a substance, sex, or some such thing. As I said, Jesus fasted for forty days, He knew what it was to have physically cravings. Jesus suffered a terrible bloody death on the cross. Jesus can relate to physical suffering.
He suffered socially. He was not welcomed in His own town, He who dwelt in heaven! People mocked where He was from, “can anything good come from there?,” they would say. Jesus was not physically attractive, no matter how modern movies portray Him (Is. 53:2-3). We know Jesus was physically poor. He Himself said, foxes have holes but I have no place to lay my head. People said that He had demons, though He exercised demons. People said He was an illegitimate Son. Religious people could not stand Him. Jesus who merits eternal praise and indeed the rocks crying out, was mocked by the thief beside Him as He bleed on the cross for the sins of a sinful world. Jesus understand social rejection.
Jesus felt emotional pain. “Jesus wept,” the shortest verse in the Bible is profound. It shows us that Jesus was not some untouchable stoic. He felt grief, He felt pain, I would argue more than we ever could. He felt emotional pain more acutely, I would argue, because He understood the implications of things better than we can. He had seen, for instance, Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall. So, when He sees Lazarus in the grave He weeps understanding more than we can how sickening sin and thus death truly is. He wept over Jerusalem. He wept in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus can relate to our emotional struggles.
Jesus the Son of God suffered spiritually. This was His greatest suffering. First, He left heaven and took the form of a man (see Phil. 2:5-8; 2 Cor. 8:9). Second, and worst of all, Jesus bore the wrath of God for us on the cross. Jesus cried from the cross, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” He was crushed under the wrath of God for us, He was cast out that we might be welcomed in. Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath down to the dregs.
Jesus is everything! And He can truly see and relate to everything you are going through or ever have gone through. Not only can He relate but He has truly overcome it all, I mean everything! He is victorious. He is at the right hand of the God the Father. It is through Jesus that all things will be made new. All who place their faith in Jesus will experience the joy that He has merited for them. It is through Jesus that every tear will wiped dry and every sad face will receive an eternal smile (I think here of “Dry Bones,” by Gungor. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJWHZnZ9E6k).
Praise Jesus! Turn to Jesus!