How Should We Handle Distressing Situations?

How Should We Handle Distressing Situations?

What should we do when we are troubled? When we are distressed? When our emotions are running out of control? I believe we should do what Jesus did. We should pray, ask others to pray for us, and rest in God’s will.

Jesus’ Enlists Others to Pray for Him

In the Garden of Gethsemane, feeling the weight of what He is about the face, Jesus goes off to pray, but not before asking His disciples to watch with Him.

What I think He means by “watch with Him” is that they are to be on alert. They are to be aware that something is about to happen. As well as I believe that while they are awake watching, they should be praying for Him. He just told them He was sorrowful and distressed, so I believe they should also be praying for Him during this time.

Jesus Prays to the Father

After Jesus asks His disciples to watch with Him, Jesus goes further into the garden and He prays to the Father. In Matthew 26:39 Jesus prays saying,

My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Mt 26:39)

Notice: Jesus Doesn’t Try to Handle It On His Own

What I believe is important for us to notice is that Jesus doesn’t try to handle this on His own. He doesn’t try to pull Himself up by His own bootstraps. Nor does Jesus keep His distress bottled up inside. Instead He enlists others and He prays to the Father Himself. He prays to the only One who can do anything about it.

Jesus’ Prayer is Honest

When He prays, He is honest with His Father. He reveals how He feels then and how He feels about the suffering He is about to face. Distressed by the situation, He asks the Father to take the cup away, if possible.

The cup that Jesus refers to is God’s wrath. You see, apart of Jesus and the Father’s plan was for Jesus to take on the wrath of God. God’s wrath would be poured out on Him instead of us. He would pay the penalty for our sins. In an extreme act of love, Jesus has planned to die in our place. He has planned to take the punishment we deserve on Himself. Which tells us, Jesus’ death didn’t just happen. It was apart of a plan. A plan known by Jesus ahead of time. A plan three times He asks the Father to change if possible.

Jesus Rests in God’s Will

Through His prayers, however, He realizes the Father is not going to change the plan. Realizing nothing is going to change, Jesus ultimately rests in God’s will because He knows there is no better place to be.

That’s true for us as well. There is no better place for us than in God’s will, so we should rest in it. While doing so won’t change the circumstances — Jesus still went to the cross, He still suffered and died — it will help us through our circumstances because we know they are apart of God’s plan.

What We Should Do

So when we find ourselves in a distressing situation what we must do is pray, ask others to pray for us, and rest in God’s will.

Question for Reflection

  1. What are your thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Why?


Post adapted from my sermon Jesus Stayed, Even Though He Knew


One thought on “How Should We Handle Distressing Situations?

  1. Yes…three important things to do, Pray, ask for the prayers of others and Rest in God! Sometimes it’s most difficult to Rest and Wait for God…and resting in God doesn’t necessarily change the situation, it prepares you to go through it. Thanks for sharing.

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