I was listening to a sermon the other day and heard the pastor reflect on the way that Jesus handled stress. This sermon sparked a great interest in me to truly dig deeper and reflect a bit more on how Jesus truly handled stress.
My initial thought of Jesus and stress… No Way! He was Jesus!
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Jesus was always in stressful situations…
- Jesus was always being attacked by the religious leaders of the day;
- Jesus gained such popularity that everywhere HE went there were crowds following HIM;
- Jesus was known as the healer and everyone brought their sick to him for healing;
- Jesus experienced betrayal;
- Jesus had the weight of the world on his shoulders to cover all of OUR sins with HIS blood.
So really, how did he manage all of it?
Above all, he was never stressed out! In every stressful situation, Jesus practiced a few things, but here is one of the best examples:
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.”
And I like the ending of that same story here in Luke 22:42-44
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.“
What did we learn from these readings? Jesus handled stressful situations by:
- Seeking solitude to pray
HE didn’t make a public display of stress! HE didn’t decide to ignore it. No, HIS first step was to seek a place of solitude to go and pray.
God is our hope in stressful situations. We need to run to HIM first!
- Out of his disciples he choose three to walk with him
HIS inner circle became even smaller. He chose 3 out of 12 to join him as he went off to pray. We don’t have to let everyone know what we are going through, especially if they are not your close friends or family.
Never bring your stressful situations to social media. That will never help.
Choose your inner circle wisely.
- HIS inner circle fell sleep… Jesus was distraught by this. To me, that is like chilling with your BFF and telling them the stresses you are experiencing and they fall asleep on you! Not a good moment!
Our close friends and family will disappoint us… but our faith, need for support and reliance should never be on humans. Know that your redeemer lives. Believe in HIM and don’t be crushed when humans dissappoint.
- An angel came to give Jesus replenishment. Not his disciples. Not the government. Not the religious leaders.
Only God can replenish us.
Important note: Jesus faced daily stressful situations but never gave up. In all things HE was still obedient to the will of God.
Food for thought: We can’t do it on our own. We will fail. But remember that you have Christ in you! In Christ, all things are possible. He will give you the strength you need to overcome any stress or pressure you may be feeling.
Prayer: God of comfort, love and peace. Thank you for your living word that is available to help us through any situation that we may face. Thank you for the example of Jesus and the lessons that we learn even in HIS sorrow. May we take this lesson and be obedient to this word. For those that are going through the storm right now, facing stressful situations or feeling the pressure coming down on them, grant them your peace that passes all understanding. May the seek your face Lord and cast all their burdens on to you knowing that you care and love them. In Jesus name. Amen
May the God of peace, love and mercy be with you.