Reading: Mark 11: 12-19
“Yet not my will but Yours be done.”
After sharing that last supper with His disciples Jesus gave us such a beautiful yet heart wrenching picture of perseverance. Jesus knew He was about to be betrayed and executed. He had lived a perfect life. In all His interactions with those who opposed Him Jesus never sinned yet He would be ridiculed and hung on a cross to die the most painful death for all people who believe that He is Lord and Savior.
His heart must have been so heavy, yet He persevered.
As Jesus walked toward the Garden of Gethsemane he knew what the next few hours held. This was the ultimate reason He came to earth; to live a sinless life and then give up His life to stand in the place of each person who believed that He is the Son of God so that they may walk into His Father’s perfect Heaven someday.
While He had always known this time would come Jesus was human just like you and me. That evening He went to the garden to pray for God’s will. Matthew’s gospel tells us that Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” He didn’t receive an answer so He prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Jesus prayed a third time in the same manner, persevering for an answer from His Father for what He was facing.
Perhaps you’ve had a time when you knew you were headed into a potentially painful situation and you’ve prayed that God would miraculously change the situation, taking the responsibility away from you. When He didn’t you walked toward it, facing it because it was right regardless of how much it hurt.
The outcome of Jesus’ perseverance was not His deliverance from the coming ridicule and death. It was not what He desired but for Him glorifying God was more important than for Jesus to be comfortable.
Thankfully because Jesus persevered and completed the purpose for which His Father sent him to earth we reap countless blessings. Every year as we remember Jesus’ sacrifice for us we are reminded that if He had not persevered through His times of tribulation we would not have the gift of eternity in Heaven with Him.
Each one of us has challenges to work through and overcome. Maybe you think yours is not significant compared to tragedy in the world or the circumstances of those around you. Thank God He doesn’t measure things the way the world does. If something is significant to you it also matters to God.
Whatever you are facing as you read this I pray for your perseverance. Don’t give up – on yourself, a solution, and especially your faith that God will bring good out of your circumstances. As you persevere remember that through Jesus’ gift of salvation we can have the blessing of peace that passes all understanding.
Lord Jesus, what an example You gave us in persevering in prayer. You poured Your heart out to Your Father as a man – a fragile, broken and vulnerable man. Knowing what was ahead You still reached out and pleaded for God to find another way. In the end while paying the ultimate price You did so with the peace of knowing with certainty that it was your Father’s will.
As I meditate on this time you spent with your Father I am reminded that I give up far too quickly. I act like the victim sulking about my trials instead of bringing them to You boldly in faith, believing You can take them away if it is Your will and will give me the strength to persevere if it is not.
Lord, teach me to be bolder in prayer, not giving up until I have the peace of knowing You are with me no matter the challenge.