Yesterday morning during my devotion time I was reading in Matthew 26 about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. It struck me how much He struggled with what was about to happen to Him. A lot of times when we think about Jesus, we think about how calm He always was and how He handled difficult situations with grace and a calm spirit. But here it shows how He really struggled with what God was wanting Him to do. I don’t know about you, but that encourages me.
As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 6 months ago. When I first found out I was caught completely off guard. As I’ve said before when I first talked about it in my post “Having Joy When You’re Going Through Hell“, I simply couldn’t believe that someone who takes such good care of herself would be the one to get cancer. But then again, why not me? How am I any different than anyone else? Yes, it is hard but knowing that Jesus struggled and was in anguish over what He was about to go through helps me to not be so hard on myself when I struggle with my situation.
What Would Jesus Do?
Let’s first look at what Jesus did. He prayed, He trusted, and he submitted. None of us will ever have to take on the sins of the world and most of us will never have to die for our beliefs but we do suffer with very difficult situations. We can learn from Jesus’ example how to handle anything that we may go through. We will look at each individually.
Throughout the Gospels we see where Jesus spent time alone in prayer. It was a habit that He had that kept Him close to God. In the Garden of Gethsemane we see this time He took Peter, John and James with Him and asked them to wait while He went on a little further by Himself. He told them in Matt 26:38 “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Have you ever been there? Have you ever been so overwhelmed by a situation you didn’t think you could handle it? Jesus, in his human nature was! He understands! He gets it!!! So let’s dig a little deeper.
Jesus Had Prayer Partners!
Why do you think He took Peter, John and James with Him? Verses 40-41 of that same chapter tell us; ” Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Do you see it? He had expected them to “keep watch and pray”. He needed prayer partners! If Jesus needed them, how much more do we? I don’t know about you but I can tell you from personal experience, especially during this season I’m going through right now, I don’t know what I’d do without mine! There are SO MANY people who I know pray for me every day! That gives me strength and hope. I know God’s got this but we still need others to lift us up. If Jesus did it, then I need to as well.
Jesus Was Persistant
Another thing I want you to see is that during this time He didn’t just go pray once. He went 3 times to pray and each time He prayed the same thing, “My Father, If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me, yet not I want your will to be done, not mine.” Three times He asked God to take it from Him! This gives us the example of persistance. God doesn’t get annoyed with us if we continually ask Him for the same thing….if it’s in His will! A lot of people forget about that last part. They forget that when we pray we need to make sure that our prayers line up with God’s will. Sometimes we may be praying for something that would hurt us. We don’t know that it will but God does, so He doesn’t answer the way we want Him to. But, if we have submitted to His will then when He gently tells us know, we don’t get sour about it. That leads us to the next thing we want to look at
Jesus knew what was coming. He knew the pain He was going to have to endure and yet He did it anyway. Why would someone do that? I beleive it’s because He also knew the end result was worth it all. He knew we needed it and He loved us enough to go through all that pain so we could live in eternity with Him. Basically He trusted His Father’s plan.
For a lot of people, trust is hard to come by. People hurt us, life overwhelms us, and sometimes we suffer from our own mistakes. So, we learn to not trust other people, our circumstances, or even ourselves. This world teaches us that trust=hurt so we avoid it like the plague. How can we learn how to trust like Jesus did? Through studying all of God’s promises in the Bible and how He kept each and every one.
Scripture Was His Foundation
Jesus knew scripture. He used it against the devil while being tempted in the desert. He used it against the church leaders who tried to trick Him so they could have Him put to death. And, He used it to teach the people who He was and how to come to God through repentence. It was the very foundation His earthly ministry was built on! And He calls us to build our foundation on the same foundation. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus says;
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
The Word Is Where We Learn Trust
The Bible is where we will learn to trust God. When we look at His Word and all the promises He kept throughout scripture, how can we not trust Him? God is faithful. In Deuteronomy 7:9 it tell us;
9 Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.
We can trust God’s Word because he can’t not be faithful because He is God! We can put all our trust in Him and He will NEVER let us down! But, in order to have that deep trust like Jesus did we must know God’s Word. Studying the Bible and memorizing scripture is the only way to build that firm foundation and trust that we will need in order to make it through those hard times.
I can tell you that without the firm foundation of God’s Word, I would not be able to make it through my battle with cancer and be able to have the peace and joy I have right now. I know God’s got this because He has promised in His Word to heal me. Whether it’s here on this earth or when I get to heaven…..I AM HEALED! It’s my trust in God’s plan that has helped (and is still helping) me to stand firm. I learned that from Jesus example. Jesus trusted God and submitted to His plan. Let’s look at the last thing Jesus did.
Most people don’t like to talk about submission. The world today portrays submission as a weakness. Think about how a wrestler submits when he’s defeated. Submission is looked at as giving up. But in Matthew 26, Jesus gives us another example of submission that isn’t giving up, but givin in.. You may say “Well, isn’t giving in just like giving up?” NO! Giving in means you are admitting you don’t know what’s best, you are trustin (there’s that word again) that someone else knows better than you what’s best for you, or that you don’t really have control and you need help. Submitting to God is saying “Lord, you know what’s best for me and I will be obedient to what you tell me to do.”
Submitting to God in a word, is OBEDIENCE. It’ saying “I’m willing to do things your way.” That’s exactly what Jesus did. I don’t think for one second that, in the flesh, Jesus wanted to die by crucifixion. But I think He wanted to be obedient to God’s will so He chose to. You may think that’s crazy! And from a human standpoint, it is. but Christ knew that it was the only way for mankind to be saved from their sinful nature and be able to spend eternity with Him. And that is what He wanted more than anything else. He was willing to suffer for you and me because He loved us that much!
Jesus Warns His Disciples AND Us!
Not only did Jesus set the example but look at what He told Peter in verses 40-41 of that same chapter;
“Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
Twice he warns Peter that He has to keep watch! And He gives us the same warning today. Jesus didn’t just tell us, He didn’t just show us…He did both because He knew how hard it was going to be for us to fight against the enemy. We have to stay alert! Diligence in watching out for the enemy’s attacks, being sensitive to the subtleties of temptation and spiritually equipped to fight it! We must be steadfast in praying for strength and guidance so that we will able to obey even when the choices are difficult. Jesus’ strength came from His close relationship with God. He is the source of our strength as well…if we go to Him in prayer like Jesus did.
It’s Not Sin To Ask God To Remove Suffering
Jesus show us it’s not sin to ask God to take away our suffering. That’s being human and He understands. We sin when we choose our own way instead of God’s. The world wants us to believe that God put us here to live a comfortable life without any suffering. That’s the devil’s deception at work. God put us here to glorify Him and lead others to Jesus. Because that’s the opposite of what the world wants, we are going to go through struggles if we obey God. Are you willing to say, “Not my will God, but may yours be done”?
Jesus Understands….Let Him Help You!
Knowing that Jesus struggled makes it easier to believe He understands the struggles I go through every day. Knowing that He cared enough to send His Holy Spirit to be with me all the time gives me courage to know I can make it through anything that comes my way. How about you? Are you struggling with something today? Has life taken a turn you didn’t expect? Are you overwhelmed by the difficulties facing you? Jesus is there for you. He gets it! He understands and is waiting for you to turn to Him for help. And, He has provided a way for you to be able to make it through the tough times and come out on the other side with victory! Pray, trust and submit. I know for a fact, He will NEVER let you down.
If you are in a battle today and needs support, please let me hear from you. I pray each and every day for those who visit me here at Live God’s Way. You can comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am here for you and so is Jesus. Sign up for my email if you’d like to know when anything new is posted. I promise to not overwhelm your inbox! Have a great day and I pray this has helped you to be encouraged to know that Jesus understands and is there for you no matter how bad it may seem….He’s there for you.