– Luke 22:40-46
Many times on this faith walk or journey we encounter situations that seem impossible. When we encounter those situations, we know it just means I need a little more faith, a little more prayer, a little more supplication, or a little more worship to help get me through this. However, there are those other situations that will arise when the road that you have to take is more different or seems to be worse than you imagined. These are the situations where you say to yourself, “I know God ain’t telling me to do this or that I have to go through this!” As a matter of fact, it is in those times when you begin to beg and plead with God that He will reveal another way of passage or make the road more easy and bearable for you. Question: What do you do when you make that request, but God doesn’t answer you? What do you do when it seems that Heaven has gone silent? What do you do when your soul is in so much agony and pain that all you can do is cry and pray, but there is still no answer of a better way from God? What Do You Do?
Jesus gave us a perfect example of what to do in times such as this. He simply went to the garden, and not just any garden. This garden was a garden that he frequented whenever he needed to get away from the crowd and seek the face of the father. The garden was not simply a place of last resort or spur of the moment, rather this garden was where he and God met up to discuss the process. How do I know this? When he went into the garden he first told his closest friends stay here and stand watch and pray. Then, as he went further into the garden, he dropped to his knees as a sign of humility, and made supplication on behalf of the process. Watch. He never discussed the process in this passage; however, he simply says if thou are willing please remove this cup from me Lord. That tells me that they have discussed this numerous times before. Not only does it tell me that they had discussed it numerous times before, but it also tells me that Jesus was not a big fan of the process that awaited him. Therefore, I’m lead to believe that Jesus was making supplication in hopes of God offering a better way for him to accomplish his mission. God didn’t, and as a matter of fact I would suggest that God had even stopped responding. Why would you say that Kean?
It wasn’t until he surrendered himself to God’s will that the angel appeared to strengthen him. Now, I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking that the Bible says he continued praying even after the angel appeared and strengthen him. You are right; however, this was no longer about the cup that he had to drink from. I want to suggest that it was now about him coming to grips with the knowledge that God would have to turn away from him whilst he died on the cross. Why? He bore up all the sin of mankind on that cross within his body. If God would have continued looking upon him, He (God) would have had to place judgement upon him due to no unclean, unjust, impure, or unholy thing being able to stand in his presence. Therefore, God had to turn away from him, which is why it is recorded that the heavens were dark. So, let’s put it all together. When Jesus went into the garden to pray he was not simply praying for houses, cars, money, fame, or other carnal and materialistic things. No! Jesus was bringing himself into full submission to the fact that he must die. That wasn’t the hard part, because he knew that before he even came to the earth. The hard part was him coming into the knowledge of how it must be done. As if that wasn’t enough, Jesus had to even bare the knowledge of knowing that God would have to turn away from him until the matter was fully complete. Watch this. Can I give y’all the first shout cue? Jesus was not praying for the reward; instead, he was praying for strength to trust the process! You missed it!
Jesus was not praying for the glory that was to come. He was not praying for the eternal crown and throne that he would inherit. He was not praying for the power that would be given unto him. He wasn’t praying, God I need you to bless me with such and such blessing or this and that miracle. He wasn’t praying, Lord, Lord, Oh Lord please give me a raise on my job, a bigger house, or a nicer car. He wasn’t praying, Father God in the Name of Jesus I come claiming the victory over this disease and for manifested healing in my body. No ma’am and no sir! Why wasn’t he praying that? That’s stuff he already knew was his if he simply followed the path that was laid before him and brought himself into complete submission to the will of God. In other words, he wasn’t praying for the promises of God. Why? The promises of God are yes and amen in him. Instead, he was praying regarding the process by which God was taking him. Jesus knew if I could just get through the process then the promise automatically comes next; however, this process thing is not as easy as it sounds. Oh yes, it sounds good to sang the songs and make the declarations about it, but it is another thing when your time comes to actually walk through it. Somebody said they need another example, because the road that Jesus had to walk on is understandable seeing that his reward was to be so great. Come here Job!
“And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.”
– Job 1:7-12
You know the story. Job had four different people come to him one directly behind each other with a bad report. In one day he lost all his possessions and all his children. That wasn’t enough, because the next day the enemy came again and this time attacked his body with boils. Then, of all people he could’ve expected to go crazy his wife comes to him and tells him to curse God and die. Then, his friends came and made matters worse by accusing Job of winning against God for surely they thought that him sinning was the only way, reason, and explanation for all the bad that had happened to him. Can I give you the second shout cue? Through all that had happened, Job was not praying Lord restore the things that I lost. Job was praying for strength to make it on through the process. You missed it again! Now, there’s one thing that I noticed that is a little different between Job’s process and Jesus’s process: Job had friends with him while Jesus was alone. Could it be that Jesus was portraying that there are some things that God will take you through where you don’t need the advice of friends or the presence of friends? I believe so. Why? Friends don’t always understand the situation, so they make assumptions about the situation based on their perspective of said situation. Then, they begin to base their advice or counsel concerning the situation on the presumption they have arrived at. Truth be told, most of the time when the enemy attacks us we don’t even know the whys yet, but how many times do we allow our friends to come in and offer advice before God has even revealed the reasoning or why to us?
That’s why I made mention of the garden being the place where Jesus frequented often to meet with God and discuss matters. There needs to be a place where you and God know this is where I come to tarry, toil, and cry out to you and patiently await your response to me. There needs to be a place where you can retreat to when times get to hard to process on your own. There needs to be a place where as soon as you get there God knows that you are getting ready to labor and make supplication unto him. Question: Do you have a place where you go to often to meet with God and discuss matters? Or, are you the person who is going to sit around friends and debate with them about the cup that has been set before you that you must drink from? Can I make it more plain for you? Are you going to the Father who has the answers, or the friends who have their assumptions? The reason why I asked those questions is because Job and his friends has a conversation with themselves for an entire 34 chapters according to the Bible. I would be okay with that if they were speaking of what God says, but they were not. Finally, God interrupted their conversation and began his rebuke of Job and his friends in chapter 38 telling him that they have spoken of things which they know not. All the while, it appears that Job only had to separate himself and get alone with God in order to discover the reason behind the process.
Can I close this thing out now? Now, while I do believe Job made a mistake, I can’t count it all a mistake. Why? Job had made a resolve within himself during the process that I believe we all ought to have when we encountered our processes. Job boldly declares, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him (13:15).” In other words, Job had decided that my faith and expectation in God is so great in him being a just God and in my being just before him. So, even if He (God) should come and take my life from me I have the faith to believe that He is more than able to resurrect me. Therefore, come hell or high water I’m going to remain grounded in the fact that I serve a just God and in due time He shall vindicate me, reestablish me, and make me whole again. Need Bible? 1 Peter 5:10 says, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” In other words, the process is my suffering that qualifies me to be resurrected at the appointed time. I feel my help coming now!
Shout I Trust You! I trust you is more than a saying that we offer up to God simply out of merit. Shout I Trust You! It’s more than a phrase that we use to attempt to signal outwardly what can only be validated inwardly. Shout I Trust You! I trust you is really not what you say to God with your mouth, rather it is what you show God what your life. Shout I Trust You! It’s your ability to willing strip off and strip away anything that may seem to be a hindrance to the will of God being done in your life. Shout I Trust You! It’s your unwavering stance that demonstrates to God that He has full control, complete reign, and ultimate ownership of your soul, which is shown or proven by your total submission to his will, to his way, and to his plan each and every day of your life. Shout I Trust You! Can I make it plain for you? I trust you is not demonstrated when you are on the mountaintop enjoying all of life’s pleasures, but it is displayed best when you are in the valley low enduring heartache, headache, and every other ache. Shout I Trust You! It’s displayed when you feel that your life is in the come up, and all of a sudden you hit a snare in the road that causes it to appear that you are taking 20 steps backwards from whence you came. Shout I Trust You! It’s when the devil has come against you in such a way that everything you amassed is gone, friends and family seem to be none, and your entire being is left for question by everyone. However, in spite of all that you still have the nerve to tell God “Though you slay me YET will I trust you!” Shout I Trust You! It’s displayed when you have to walk through somethings that seem as if they are going to be the death of you, yet in spite of you still have the nerve to tell God, “Not my will but THINE will be done!” Shout I Trust You!
It’s not an outward, materialistic, carnality, or superficial public display for everyone to see. Rather, it is an intimate, inward, spiritual, and whole-hearted resolve that is displayed by our being able to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God fully expecting him to avenge and resurrect us in due time. While I was writing this I was reminded of a song that my grandmother and the older saints would sing, and I believe it has relevance for this article. “Pass me not ole gentle savior. Hear my humble cry! While on others thou art calling, Do not pass me by. Savior! Savior! Hear my humble cry! While on others thou art calling, Do not pass me by!” It’s only from a humble heart can you cry out these words to the Father and remain steadfast in your suffering season. So, as you are on this journey of passage in life, remember that suffering is apart of the walk with God and it requires a peculiar trust from his servants. The trust is not out of self-pity or low self-esteem, rather it is out of total belief that sooner or later He will show up and restore unto me my due reward if I hold on and faint not! In other words, God is not looking for people who are trying g to play it safe, but He is looking for those who say come hell or high water, I will continue to Trust The Process! Be blessed and stay encouraged!