ODJ: Overwhelmed

May 23, 2016 

READ: Luke 22:39-5 

He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (v.44).

Their faces are wrung with anguish. Bloodied survivors of a terrorist attack stumble out of their Kenyan campus. German families grimly gather at a crash site in the French Alps. Nepalese parents dig through rubble, desperately calling the name of their lost child. As long as we live in a fallen world, humans will have moments when it seems we can’t go on.

Even if they’re the Son of God.

Jesus was always in control. He knew exactly what to say and do in any situation. When a mob tried to throw Him off a cliff, He quietly walked right through them. He calmed stormy seas, healed the hurting and shrugged off trick questions with ease. What to do with a woman caught in adultery? Should He heal on the Sabbath? Pay taxes to a corrupt government? Each time Jesus’ answer stymied His opponents and elevated the discussion. He seemed prepared for anything, until He wasn’t.

Jesus never gave up, but He faced a time when His heart was deeply troubled. Sweat poured out so profusely that it ran like blood, the blood He knew He must shed. Jesus confided to His friends, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.” Then He staggered onwards alone and prayed, “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” (Matthew 26:38-39).

Jesus arose and steadied Himself. Choosing to rest in His Father’s will, He marched out to meet the band of arresting soldiers.

What storms are you facing? You are not alone. Your Saviour “has gone through suffering and testing”, and “he is able to help us when we are being tested” (Hebrews 2:18). Jesus has been where you are, and He will carry you through.

—Mike Wittmer

365-day plan: Isaiah 53:1-12

Read Hebrews 2:5-18 to learn why Jesus understands whatever painful trial you’re suffering. 
What has sunk your spirits today? Give it to Jesus. Ask Him for the grace you need and praise Him for His presence.