Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Matthew 26:36-46 ~

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

When I was a teenager I was a member of the varsity soccer team.  At the beginning of each practice, we had to run three miles.  Part of that run led us up a long and steep hill.  I hated running up that incline and dreaded it each day.  My chest would burn, my knees would ache and I could barely breathe as I ran up the hill.  Yet, as time went on, the run got easier.  Daily practice conditioned my body so that over time, I adjusted to the run. I even got to the point when I could look around and enjoy the view.

“Lord, I don’t want to do this.”  “Can’t you change the circumstances?”  “Why are you allowing this?”  I’ve spoken these words so many times in my life.  Often, there have been situations that the Lord has allowed that I didn’t want to go through.  And yet, I knew that I needed to walk that road.

Jesus, in his humanness, had no desire to die.  He was sorrowful and anxious.  He wanted God to take it all away.  Yet, he spoke the wonderful words, “Not my will, but yours.”

Can you say that?  Is there a situation in your life that you are going through and you want God to take it away?  Are you willing to walk the hard paths laid out for you if it means God will get the glory?

That’s so difficult to do, isn’t it?  Yet, if we are going to follow Christ and share in his suffering, that means walking those hard ways.  It means going through a trial that God may use to help you grow. It means running up those hills.

Allow God to work in this.  Give it to him.  Let His will be done.  He will bring His glory about if you let Him have His way. When you follow the Lord through the rough paths and up the steep hills, you will begin to grow.  You will find that the view can be beautiful from the hill when you are trusting God in the midst of the struggle.