Let your Faith be larger than your Fear-
May your anxiety give way to Your Will Be Done
Matthew 26:37-44 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
40 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!”
42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
44 So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again.
Anxiety has been defined as the “fear of failure.” Fear is that feeling of hands around your throat squeezing the life out of you and you have no control. A body’s sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive: heart racing, difficulty breathing, sweaty palms, nausea, hyper-vigilance, and a desire to FIGHT, FREEZE, or FLEE. God given fear is suppose to draw us to Him. What we do is run and try to “fix” the problem on our own. Our fallen world and its depravity leaves us wondering what is around every corner and what will go bump in the night. Today, anti-anxiety meds are on many a routine drug list of patients: addictive means-cannot live with them or without them. Depression builds in and paralyzing fear quickly follows. Satan has yet another chained captive. Imprisoned by emotions. Attempts at self escape feel like emptying the ocean with a teaspoon. It is difficult to observe from the sidelines of lives bound in the graveyard of a life without hope.
Our Savior experienced this in the Garden of Gethsemane as He awaited betrayal, false accusation, a mock trial, being brutalized, and suffering for sins He never committed. He was desperate for His friends to support Him in these waning hours of life and yet, they were not able to give Him what He needed. I have been those friends. I have been that parent. I have been that spouse. I have been the one gripped by anxiety, fear, and depression. I have gone to the Father REPEATEDLY begging for relief and release only to be told “my grace is sufficient,” (II Corinthians 12:9) or “be still and know I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) We have all looked into the cup of suffering. We have all asked at one time or another, “Why, God?” or “What’s this for?” or “Is this the best you can come up with God?” And like Jesus, we have been met with silence. Trials, temptations, tests cause us anxiety. They did in school and the teacher was silent then too! UGH!!!!
So, how did Jesus handle this the most stressful moment of His earthly life? He asked for relief and the answer was “No.” Look at how Matthew the good news writer penned it: “My Father IF this cup cannot be taken away UNLESS I drink it, YOUR WILL BE DONE.”
How do we reach this place of complete TRUST in our Heavenly Father, regardless of our earthly circumstances? “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He WILL direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Again, it becomes a minute by minute decision. A choice. Exercising my free God given will. Deciding He is bigger than my problem. Looking ahead to the joy set before me (Hebrews 12:2) and knowing this momentary (in the grand scheme of eternity) affliction is worth the eternal glory He will give us. (II Corinthians 4:17-18)
We are in very good company when we find ourselves feeling the weight of anxiety, fear, depression, and grief. He has given us an example to follow that will serve us well. We can ask for relief, reprieve, and release. If the answer is silence, we can rest in the knowledge He has placed us in this place for an eternal purpose and HE has every confidence in our successful completion of His agenda for not only our lives but the lives of those we love! Just as the world watched Jesus suffer and die and RISE again, they are watching our lives as we become a living sacrifice for the glory of God in Christ Jesus. Is there a higher calling?
When the Father did not answer, Jesus arose and went out to meet Judas and His accusers. He set His face toward the cross. We would do well to do the same. Take the test! Trust in all He has taught you and in His love for you. He will not suffer your soul to remain in Hell. (Psalm 16:10 and Acts 2:27) In fact, His Father sent an angel to strengthen Jesus for the task. (Luke 22:43) Jehovah-jireh is the Lord who provides. (Genesis 22:14)
Dear John by Mandisa
Treading with the broken,