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In Touch - September 12, 2005

In Touch Daily Devotional 
by Dr. Charles Stanley

Monday September 12, 2005

A Lesson From Gethsemane

Matthew 26:36-46


Sometimes following the path God sets for believers requires that we trek through a personal Gethsemane. In the Garden of that name, Jesus struggled, knowing His impending crucifixion meant separation from His Father. At no other time in the gospels do we see the Son of God more brokenhearted than in these last few hours of freedom before He is seized by the Pharisees' men.


We, too, experience periods of intense turmoil and distress, and the Word of God can be a beacon at such dark times. Matthew's illumination of the Lord at Gethsemane teaches us how to respond to sorrow so that our painful experiences are not wasted.


God does not squander hurt or brokenness; rather, if we willingly accept His ministrations, He utilizes our vulnerability to teach us faith-building principles. Jesus asked that the cup of suffering be removed. The metaphorical chalice was filled with the wrath of a holy God against sinful mankind. When Christ drank, He accepted all the wrongs of man—and the righteous fury of God—on Himself. As a result, He effectively severed His tie with the Father, who cannot tolerate or associate with sin. But in Gethsemane, the Son did not plead for release from the pain; instead, He prayed three times that the Father's will be done.


As we follow Jesus' example and release ourselves to God's will, inner turmoil is calmed by a sense of peaceful contentment. External circumstances may be unchanged, but in our inward Gethsemane, we are hand in hand with a loving Father.


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