Glory in Gethsemane
June 23, 2018
by Maria Fontaine
Glory in Gethsemane
In a previous post, I wrote about how worries and fears can produce stress in our lives regarding things that might happen, but which in many cases never come to pass. It would be nice if all our troubles fit into that category. However, some stress results from things we are actually experiencing. Such events are happening or have happened, and their impact on our body, mind, and spirit are very real.
Sometimes we experience serious illness, inexplicable tragedy or loss, or other difficulties. Such events can cripple our lives and hinder our outlook for the present or our hope for the future, unless we exercise our “clinging-to-Jesus muscles” and make use of the power of His promises in the midst of our trauma.
Our circumstances don’t always improve immediately in the way we would like them to. There may be situations that continue to weigh on our bodies, minds, and emotions. We may not feel immediate relief, but we can know by faith that He is going to provide what we need to help us keep going. What Jesus has promised is that as we run to His sheltering arms, He will give us a peace that passes all understanding, and He will provide what we need to eventually turn our troubles into greater good for us and others.
Many times, the physical suffering or the emotional trauma of things that are happening isn’t necessarily going to end. We aren’t going to be able to just make it all go away. Perhaps we won’t even understand why something happened or turned out the way it did.
What is the solution to overcoming in such overwhelming circumstances? The key is found in building such a strong bond with Jesus that nothing can shake it. Our faith and trust in God has to grow day by day. As we do what we can, Jesus will provide what we need so we can extend our faith beyond the circumstances, to the knowledge that no matter what we face in this life, we are inseparable from Him.1
Jesus explained it like this:
In the Garden of Gethsemane, I was about to face the horrible events that would culminate in My death. My Father allowed Me to walk through what was to come and to freely choose the price that Our love for mankind was going to cost. I was one with My Father, but that didn’t take away the agony, the torture, the indescribable pain that I was choosing to endure for your sake. Although I needed to face the cost of what love was compelling Me to do for you, it was My Father’s love for Me that gave Me the strength to choose “not My will but Thine be done.”
His presence was a more certain reality than any physical trauma. His comfort soothed the anguish when even My friends deserted Me. In His eyes I found joy to replace the shame and jeers of those who didn’t understand what I was doing for them.
That oneness with the Father didn’t remove the suffering. It didn’t take away the pain or the agony of what I was going through. Instead, it overwhelmed the situation with the power of Our love. It gave Me the strength and grace to turn My crucifixion into the most glorious event in history.
Everything in Me as a human being cried out against facing such fearsome things! However, I knew the only way to accomplish My purpose was to accept His will. I had to face the reality, knowing full well how horrific things were about to become and the anguish I would face. I went through all that mankind experiences, even the torment of feeling lost and separated by sin from My Father.
And when My earthly mind could not bear it, I cried out, “Why have You forsaken Me?” My humanity bore the “wages of sin”—a death without hope. Though in My humanity I bore the weight of the sins of the world, My spirit could never die; it could never be separated from My Father! Together we destroyed the power of death and hell over all who will come to Me. That’s why, in spite of the suffering and all that man and Satan could do to prevent it, with all My heart I overcame death and commended My spirit into My Father’s hands. That was the ultimate declaration of overcoming, of holding on to Him through everything.
I have provided you with the way to become one with Me, and through Me be one with My Father. The greatest defeat of fear and pain and even death is the supernatural peace that comes through faith, even in the midst of terrible suffering.
You might wonder how so many of My children throughout time could endure long-term traumatic events. It’s because they had something that you, too, can have if you’re willing to hold on to Me as you grow in faith and trust day by day. The adversity, the tribulation may continue, the battle in this world may be hard, but your spirit grows stronger because you know that I’m right there supporting you, and when necessary, carrying you, every inch of the way. As you look to Me, I can give you peace and the determination to carry on through the troubles. I can supernaturally overcome the strain with My peace. I can help you to eventually turn your troubles into strengths and fruitfulness.
That is the kind of bond you need to be developing with Me. It’s an ongoing process. You don’t just meditate or pray or commune with Me a bit here and there, and you then have great faith and a strong bond that will carry you through the rest of your life. It’s a learning process, as you gradually find ways to bring Me into every situation.
I have promised to always be with you. I will provide all you need. I will not allow you to be burdened with more than you can bear. Remember, I look on your heart. I know when you are doing what you can. Keep persevering, keep growing, and keep taking the steps I show you to take. You’ll have what you need in order to endure whatever comes into your life. My Spirit and My Word can help you see the challenges of life from a new perspective. Keep trusting Me, even when your circumstances seem unbearable or impossible to overcome. I can do for you what the Father did for Me.
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Maria: Jesus’ death on the cross is the “ultimate testimony” of yieldedness and trust, and I’ll never tire of hearing about it. His example continues to come to life in the lives of His children in many forms as they follow Him. The Lord recently brought to my attention an example in the life of one of His faithful followers. It demonstrates what God is able to do.
Things couldn’t have been more hopeless or desperate for Dr. Helen Roseveare, a missionary doctor who was in the Congo during a period of intense upheaval in the 1960s. Most of the foreigners fled, but she and a few others remained in order to help the people there who were being terribly brutalized by different militarized gangs. The missionaries and their Christian converts were savagely attacked multiple times.
Jesus didn’t miraculously keep her from suffering along with the others. He walked with her through the terrors and hard times. She said that, in some situations, immediate death would have been a positive outcome for her and a number of others with her when they were in the depths of their troubles. But even there she found miracles taking place, including many hungry souls willing to risk everything to listen to what she would tell them about her love for Jesus. She chose to run toward the need, in spite of the troubles, because she knew that this was where she would be able to help others the most.
Here is her story. Each part is ten to twelve minutes long, but well worth the time to listen through.
1 Romans 8:38–39.