"8 For because he himself has suffered qwhen tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted "(Heb 2:18)
What does this mean? How does this help come to us? This is the question that I came across in the commentary that I referenced in my earlier post. In this season I do not feel "helped". When I think of help in this sense I think of someone coming to my rescue. I think of a merciful outpouring of the Spirit that my faith would increase as the man in Mark 9 cried out "I believe. Help my unbelief!" (by the way, it's the same word for help that is used in Hebrews). In that passage, we don't know how the man was helped. We know that the demon was cast out, and the boy was restored. Was that Christ's act of helping his unbelief: performing the miraculous exorcism? Or was there a split second Spirit-imparted faith before the casting out of the demon? We don't know. Can we find the answer to what this help is, and is it something tangible that I can say, "look, see how I was helped!" Know that we are not speaking of a miraculous event that will have physical evidence to point to. My fear is that things can happen to cause an emotional change within me that I mistake for real, lasting change within the foundation of my being. My synapses fire differently, I am a different being. You may say, "that is too much to ask, we can't expect that kind of change instantaneously." Really? How is it then that we can accept the doctrine of regeneration that states just that? In an instant we become children of light and our affections turn from death to life, we are made new, yet in a sanctificatory sense we settle for less. This is where my frustration lies. I am paddling in the mist and all of the "help" I have access to doesn't affect my inner-most being. What can I do?
To find the answer, I started by looking for the writer of Hebrews other usage of that word for "tempted".
14 Since then we have da great high priest ewho has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, flet us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest gwho is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been dtempted as we are, hyet without sin.
Here we have the author of Hebrews telling me that Jesus can sympathize with me, He's been there.
A man has found that his wife no longer stirs up feelings of ecstasy, no longer brings him any pleasure while realizing that he only married her because she was wealthy, attractive, and showed him affection. Does the fact that his father also made the same mistake years before, but remained married and ultimately found joy in his bride change the man in question? Maybe he has become infatuated with another woman. Will knowing his father's history and victory help him? Can that change the things that he feels within himself? It may give him some hope, but if he has become weary with trying and no longer wants to, what help is it? That his father has sympathy for him doesn't seem to matter.
A man, while rock climbing alone has fallen and caught himself on a precipice overhanging certain death. He has no support other than the waning strength of his fingertips. At once, he realizes that his doom has drawn nigh. He cannot be saved apart from the miraculous appearance of a helper to pull him up onto the solid ground. Does the fact that other climbers have had similar experiences and survived help him when he realizes that his fingers are exhausted and are now slipping beyond his control?
iLet us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The letter to the Hebrews continues. "with confidence…that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need". Once again, what is this mercy and grace in time of need? It must be substantive, tangible and real, not theoretical concept. After all, if faith is the "conviction of things not seen", I must be persuaded from an objective source.
"In Heb. 11:1, however, the sense of elénchos is "persuasion," but not in a subjective sense. Normal usage suggests that "things not seen" is an objective, not a subjective genitive. An elénchos is present as the basis of resting on what is hoped for. Faith does not do the convincing, but God, for the whole point in Hebrews is that faith stands on the revelation, word, and promise of God. Faith is the divinely given conviction of things unseen and is thus the assurance of what is hoped for. "
Therefore, I can't do it. The Spirit of God must persuade me…here I wait…what next?