Let’s jump right in and start looking at the life of Jesus during one of his saddest, if not the saddest, moments while on the earth. May God help us apply the same strategies that Jesus used.
And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus was nearing the time that he would be executed by the Roman government which was all part of God’s plan. (Acts 2:23) As this time was nearing, Jesus “became sorrowful and troubled.” In these 3 verses from Matthew we can watch and follow the way Jesus strategically battled his sadness.
1. He chose some close friends to be with him. “Taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee” (Matthew 26:37).
Jesus, though perfect and needing nothing, knew the importance of having good close friends! Often what makes a good friend a good friend is that this person is with you in the good times and during the sad times.
Application: Have/Find good friends to be in your inner circle of relationships. Jesus did!
2. He opened his soul to them. He said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Matthew 26:38).
Jesus didn’t just have close friends close by; he shared his sadness with them in a way that makes a person vulnerable. A key component in dealing with sadness is the ability to share/communicate openly, honestly, bluntly about the sadness.
Application: Talk out your sadness with your close friends. Jesus did!
3. He asked for their help in the battle. “Remain here, and watch with me” (Matthew 26:38).
Jesus didn’t do his sadness alone. “Watch with me” implies being involved with the situation at hand. I’m pretty sure one of the things Jesus meant here was his plea for his friends to pray for him.
Application: Ask your close friends to help you – especially in praying for you. Jesus did.
4. He poured out his heart to his Father in prayer. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39).
Jesus took the matter causing the sadness right to his Father. The picture here looks the same as when a child has a problem and is in need of help and going to his daddy for help.
Application: It may sound cliché, but boy is there a lot of Scripture that says the same thing time and time again – Pray! When you are in times of over the top sadness, pray. Jesus did.
5. He rested his soul in the sovereign wisdom of God. “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).
Jesus trusted God with the matter at hand. Jesus trusted the promises of God. This is sooo important for us to have as a part of our strategic fight against sadness. Because the sadness might not ever go away or not go away for a really long time; so trusting in the sovereignty of God is a key element when dealing with sadness (or anything else for that matter.)
Application: Live life, including the sad times, with the motto Jesus lived: “Not as I will, but as you (God) will.” Jesus did.
In recent months I have been using this following sentence for my own life and for many others who are in seasons of trouble, hardship and sadness. Here’s the sentence: “I can trust God with this.” Six words to believe, to preach to yourself, to share with others. I can trust God with this. Whatever the “this” is, trust God.
Which leads to a beautiful point: Sadness is on the clock and it won’t last forever. The Bible talks about this being true on at least two levels. Sadness won’t last forever the way Ecclesiastes 4:3 describes in that life has “seasons.”
“A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
From this level be encouraged if you find yourself in a season of sadness and difficulty. As we established from Proverbs last Sunday, sadness will never be non-existent in our life. Therefore, since it is guaranteed to be a part of our life prepare yourself for these seasons of life. And it’s important for you to know what and where God is during these seasons of sadness. Where is he? The place he always is. Close by … regardless where you go. Check out Psalm 139:7-12. What is God doing? Of course, he is ruling and reigning over all things; but he is also collecting tears and keeping track of you.
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book."
Wow! I pray you find this incredibly encouraging.
The other level of sadness being on the clock is that level that comes when Jesus fixes everything that is broken, wrong and messed up. When this happens sadness will no longer be something we ever experience again. That seems impossible to even comprehend, but it’s true. Hold Revelation 21:4 close. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.” Chocolate is a good gift from God and it might even help deal with the sadness’s we experience today, but words of truth like this are what need to “eat.”
“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
Sadness is on the clock and it won’t last forever.