Luke 22:39-46 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Prayer in the Garden
39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.
40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,
42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow.
46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
People of God may wonder why they have problems.
--They have good times, blessings; then difficulties.
--Perhaps you have experienced this. It comes to all.
--People of the Bible. Even Jesus had tides of life.
For some years we've lived near the seacoast.
--People there are used to tides, come daily.
--These are tides God controls. He can control ours.
On Palm Sunday Jesus was acclaimed with "Hosannas!"
--"Blessed is the King who comes ..." (Luke,19:38).
--A few days later crowds shouted a different story.
--They were calling for a cross, for the Son of God.
In the Upper Room Jesus had washed the disciples feet.
--Tenderly spoke final words, at the Last Supper.
--They sang a hymn. Left for Gethsemane's Garden.
--A place where Jesus often went to pray and worship.
--Asked His disciples, "Tarry with me, watch and pray."
--"Pray you may not enter into temptation" (22:40).
On a high tide of baptism Jesus began His ministry.
--Then led into the wilderness. Tempted 40 days.
--Tempted by the devil himself. Intensely suffering.
--By prayer, faith and the Word, He defeated Satan.
--The devil left Him, ".. for a season" (Lk. 4:13).
--That Holy Thursday night, Satan was there.
--By prevailing. power of prayer, Satan again defeated.
You and I can have our Palm Sundays and Gethsemanes.
--Life is checkered with tides of joy, and challenge.
--When "things work for good." Or not so good.
--In God's love and our faith, our Easters will come!
When things are dark as night, God brings out stars!
--Twinkling lights above, to keep us on our course.
--Lights that are there, yet never seen by day.
--Life hands us some trials, but we have God near.
What did Jesus pray? "Father .. take this cup ."
--Adding, "Not My will, but Yours be done" ( 42).
As Jesus prayed, "an angel appeared to Him" (v 43).
--"From heaven, strengthening Him." He needed that!
--An evidence of Jesus' humanity, as well as deity.
--His miracles reveals the latter; this, the former.
--Jesus is both God and Man. God in human flesh.
--To endure our suffering. And pay for our sin.
--To show us what God is really like, in His love.
This tells us that God cares about our own sorrows.
--Note, "Being in agony, He prayed more earnestly."
--"His sweat became like great drops of blood, falling to the ground" (v 44). That's fervent prayer.
--He faced the cross, unafraid, for you and me.
--Willing to suffer .. even to die .. for our sins.
--I believe Jesus was heart—broken, for the unbelief.
—For the indifference, of so many then, and now.
--Why do we not all trust Him? Follow Him? Believe.
Dear hurting one, let God control all your tides.
The Pacific Golden Plover birds are hatched in Alaska.
--Young ones are carefully nurtured, and taught.
--Then, the older birds leave. Fly to Hawaii.
--The young, left behind, to develop more strength.
When the time is right, the young follow parents.
--To those tiny isles of Hawaii, some 2000 miles away.
--Had never been to Hawaii. Have no maps to guide.
--No place for food or rest. Or get directions!
--Yet fly straight to Hawaii. Join their parents!
Who guided those young birds? The God Who will us!
--God puts in them the strength, ability to be led.
--A conscience, they can follow, and not be lost.
God who controls seas, tides, birds, can guide us!
--In fact, God would love to. As we yield to Him.
--As we trust in the Lord Jesus, to save and guide.
--"In His hands are the deep places of earth. The sea is His, and He made it" (Psalm 95:4,5).
If God cares for the birds, as Jesus says, don't you think He will surely care for us, made in His image?
--Even in illness. In sorrow. Trials. Old age.
Our son called, wanted us come watch a tall ship arrive.
--Coming in to Portsmouth, NH, harbor, one summer day.
--But it had to anchor awhile off shore. Why?
--To wait for the tide to rise, so they could enter.
--Coastal fishermen know this. They live by tides.
Tides are helpful. They clean our rivers of waste.
--They teach us how to wait, patiently; trust God.
--"To wait on the Lord" (Psalm 27:1). A right tide.
--From Genesis to Revelation, we see it for so many.
--David the Psalmist, said, "The Lord is my Shepherd."
--He also wrote, "Why have You forgotten me?" (Ps. 42).
--Like us all, David had his downs, but never stayed!
--His faith was firmly fixed on the promises of God.
Every life is precious to the Lord, and to us.
--It has amazing possibilities, when yielded to Him.
--In Sandringham church in England is a lovely window.
--Made of discarded, useless, broken pieces of glass.
--Of all shapes, sizes and colors - put in a window.
--A master-craftsman gathered these castaways.
--From these throw-aways, he made a window of beauty!
--A window mosaic of the Lord Jesus!
--Through broken glass the sun shines, revealing Him.
My friend, my Lord can remake broken lives, to shine!
I seem..to find when we are broken, Jesus is nearer.
--It was when the bread was broken, that it blesses.
--Don't despise the day of low tides, testing, tears!
--God is still in them. As much, or maybe, more.
In May 1963, all was well. In a large new church.
--Built on 20 acres, by members, to serve many more.
--Four large nurseries. Parking. A ball diamond.
--People growing spiritually. United. And happy.
--The Lord was blessing. The tide running high.
Mid May the annual denomination convention in Detroit.
--The 5-day meetings - missions, speakers; inspiring.
--Dr. Warner Cole and I led a communion service to over 6000 in Cobo Hall, on Thursday night.
--The Holy Spirit was in those meetings in power.
--Next night, my Seminary gave me an honored award.
The closing night we took a large group by bus and car.
--In the midst of the service, I was called out.
--My brother called, from Texas, "Mother had died."
--My dad and sister in the hospital, "Please come."
I share this to say such times we need a Living God.
--A Savior like Jesus. A Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
--It is not a time to doubt or argue over theology.
--But rather a time to fall on our knees before God!
--Not to ask. "Why ?" But "What would You have us do?"
--Jesus is that needed anchor that is dependable.
We all face all kinds of joys and sorrows.
--That is life, down here, in a hurting, evil world.
--Where innocent children get incurable diseases.
--Where tornados, floods, quakes, accidents happen.
--Where terrorists in hatred take too many lives.
--And young, brave soldiers must strive for peace.
--In so doing, they risk their own lives.
--It is the uncertainty of life. Be saved for sure!
--Each day you live, rejoice! Go, with God always!
Take time each day with the Lord. He had time for us.
--He took time to come, go to a cross, lay in a tomb.
--And to arise! Time to "seek and save the lost."
--And, until we are "born again" 'in Him, that's us!
Remember Job in the Old Testament, a very godly man.
--Read the first few chapters of that great book.
--How the devil was testing Job for all Satan could.
--He lost all his children, his health, and wealth.
--But Job did not lose his faith in the Lord God!
--He said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him," He shall also be my salvation" (Job 13:15,16).
--I say to you, that's the kind of faith that wins!
This life is a test, a proving ground, to improve us.
--Of whom we will serve. The Lord God? Or another?
--"For me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
--We have every reason to believe, and live for Him.
--Come to a blessed assurance, communion, in Jesus!
--Make sure He is with you in all the tides of life.
--Then, you and I can take life's tides, in stride.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 867