Cup of Suffering

We take Communion at our church every Sunday and I never want it to become a rote, automatic thing. I want to really think about Jesus’s sacrifice and all it meant for Him to give His life for me. But I do remember that in the Garden of Gethsemane, His prayer was for God to take away His cup of suffering. Oh, my! How often I have prayed to God to take away my troubles, sorrows, sickness and pain! But then I forget to go on to the next part that Jesus prayed. He sincerely prayed for the Father’s will to be done, not His own. That is the kind of prayer that we should be praying when we cry out to God for Him to release us from our suffering. We need to recall that God knows best and is in control of not only our lives but the lives of all on earth. In my little corner of the world, I may be egocentric, but I should not lose focus on who is in control of my life, even in the midst of suffering. My trials, “suffering” if you will, do not even begin to compare with that of Jesus. But He was willing to go through death on the cross in order to fulfill the Father’s will and save all of mankind. Does anyone want to suffer? Of course not! However, some suffering is a natural part of life; things happen and you just have to get through them. But, following Jesus’s example, I want to be able to say to God that I’m not liking the suffering but I am willing to go through it because I want His will to be done in my life.

Have a blessed Sabbath Day, remembering that God’s ways are always best even when we don’t see it at the time.

God’s Answers to Prayers

I am sure that if you are like me, you spend a lot of time talking to God, telling Him your problems and challenges and then waiting for an answer from Him. Sometimes, in fact a lot of times, I get impatient waiting for the answer and try to help God out. He doesn’t need my help. He just needs me to believe and to wait.

This verse says WHEN they call on Him, not if we call on Him. The expectation from God is that we will call on Him and His reply is that He will answer. He will be with us and will rescue us. I think the honor part comes in when others see that we trusted in God and He answered. All glory goes to the Father!

It is important that before we go before the throne of God with our petitions, we know what His will is. So, how do we do that? We have to immerse ourselves in His Word in order to discover what His will is. We have to have a relationship with Him in which we talk to Him daily and wait for Him to speak to us. Instead of a one-sided wish list that we present rapidly just before we get on with the busyness of our day, we need to take time to just sit in His presence and hear Him clearly. God wants a relationship with each of us, not a bunch of whiners who treat Him as though He is the genie in a bottle who will grant all of our wishes. We need to be aware of how our prayers will affect others and know that God is not just hearing our petitions but also those of millions of others (hopefully) and He has to take into account everyone all at the same time. My finite mind cannot even conceive of such power but God has it whether I can understand it or not, and He answers prayers according to His will. That thought brings me back to the first part of this paragraph. We discover God’s will be spending time with Him and with His Word.

May your prayers be answered according to God’s will and may you rest in faith and contentment knowing that God is working out things that are best for you and for the rest of His Creation.

Teach Me

For almost four decades, I was in a classroom teaching children. Sometimes I taught younger children in a Christian school, but mostly I taught high schoolers in a public school environment. No matter where I taught, I rarely heard the words, “I don’t know. Teach me.” The problem seemed to be that the students didn’t know what they didn’t know so they didn’t know to ask to be taught. That is also my problem when I approach the throne of God. I don’t know what to pray. But today’s Scripture verse addresses this dilemma.

This is ultimately what I need to be taught, to do God’s will. He is my Lord and Savior and He constantly leads me on safe ground so that I will not fall or stumble. I can trust Him to teach me to do His will while I am on earth, to follow Him as a sheep follows its shepherd’s voice. I have to learn the lesson of letting go and just following where He leads. Is this a lesson you need to learn, also?

Have a blessed and glorious day in the Lord! He is worthy to be followed and He will never lead you on a wrong path.