Do you remember that old Spiritual,
“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen,
Nobody knows but Jesus.
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen,
Often times this song is sung in with an air of self pity. “Woe is me”, “No one understands what I am going through”… But it can also be sung in a glorious sense of praise: Jesus knows every trouble, every sorrow, every struggle and every trial. If you are tempted to hum this melody bemoaning your current situation, let me affirm you that someone has known your struggle, and worse. Consider Jesus. Consider the persecuted church. Consider Europe during the Bubonic Plague.
That being said, there is a way in which your struggles are unique. While Scripture tells us,
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
– 1 Cor 10.13
We also realize that there is no one who has lived your specific lust, your specific heartache, your specific set of circumstances and had to learn to cling to Jesus for strength to overcome. No one except Jesus.
“Does He not see my ways
And number all my steps?”
– Job 31.4
“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
– Heb 4.13
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
– Matt 10.30
God has the very hairs of our head numbered. He sees our ways and numbers our steps. He is more dialed in to our activities than our fitbits and smart phones. And all things are laid bare before His eyes: our struggles, our victories, our circumstances.
“Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen! Nobody knows but Jesus!” Because He now lives in and through us and gives us the strength to overcome!
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
– Gal 2.20
Jesus Christ now lives in and through me, and He is walking me through every trial. So sing it today, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, nobody knows but Jesus”! But sing it with a heart of thanksgiving and praise. Jesus knows it all. He is enabling you to overcome. He is walking the path with you.
O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
– Ps 139.1-16