“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
No one likes to be uncomfortable, and no one likes to struggle. If we had it our way, everything would always go nice and easy, and we would get everything that we wanted without struggle. In a perfect world this would be ideal, but the world we live in is broken and needs the hand and soldiers of God in order to be repaired. This means, as God’s children assigned to show the world Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:20), we have a huge task in front of us. Just as Jesus wasn’t exempt from suffering, neither are we.
Before the foundation of the world, Jesus was destined to die for the sins of the people. During His earthly ministry, Jesus had to endure many hardships, rejection, and humiliation. When it was time to be crucified, He started to feel the pressure. Before He was taken away, He prayed to God and said, “If you are willing, please take this cup of suffering from me.” In His physical body, Jesus didn’t want to endure the cross—He’d rather save the world in an easier way. We all have felt like that at some point in our lives. The troubles of life seem to much for us that we just want it to be over in the quickest, painless way possible. We don’t want to go through the hard times, the negative emotions, and the agony.
Even though Jesus asked God to take the situation away, He (Jesus) still had the main goal in mind—saving the people from hell and giving them eternal life. Even though the way in which the world had to be saved was less than desirable, Jesus was still able to utter these words, let your will be done, and not mine. Can we take a lesson from Jesus? Even in the midst of whatever we may be going through, can we keep our eyes on the main goal and still say, “Lord, let Your will be done, not mine.” The agony before Jesus was so intense that the Bible says that He prayed fervently and sweated great drops of blood. He prayed so hard, and even though God didn’t take the situation from Him, He strengthened Him: “Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him” (Luke 22:43 NLT). You may have a similar emotional situation as Jesus where you may feel that you can’t cry one more tear, endure any more hurt, deal with one more headache, or take another heartbreak; but just as God strengthened Jesus to go through it, He will also strengthen you.
We need to understand that some of the situations that we go through aren’t for us per se. Sometimes you have to experience something in order to genuinely help some one else. Jesus didn’t need to go through what He went through for Himself, He went through it for you and I. Isaiah 53:10 (NLT) says it pleased God to crush Jesus and to cause Him grief because of what the end result would be, and now we are the results of that plan.
What was the personal end result of Jesus’ obedience to God’s will? Here’s just a couple of rewards that He received:
- Jesus is seated in honor at the right hand of the Father (see Romans 8:34)
- Because of Jesus, God has the big family that He always wanted (see Isaiah 53:10)
- Jesus has the name above all names that every knee will bow to, and that every tongue will confess as Lord (see Philippians 2:8-11)
- Jesus has all power and authority here on Earth and Heaven (see Matthew 28:18)
- Jesus is the heir to all that God has (see Hebrews 1:2)
- He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords (see Revelation 19:16)
Here’s a little secret for you as how good God is—when you are obedient, not only are you blessed, but the blessing pours on people around you as well. Jesus’ obedience not only benefited Him, but now believers have everything that He has, not to mention everlasting life (see Ephesians 1:3; John 5:24).
There’s nothing wrong with asking God to remove the cup of suffering from you, but if He says no, in prayer say boldly, “let Your will be done, not mine,” and then receive your strength from the Lord. Jesus ended up a victor in the end, and so will you if you keep pressing through with God and doing His will.