And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. (Matthew 26:37)
There were several tactics in Jesus’ strategic battle against despondency.
- He chose some close friends to be with him. “Taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee” (Matthew 26:37).
- He opened his soul to them. He said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Matthew 26:38).
- He asked for their intercession and partnership in the battle. “Remain here, and watch with me” (Matthew 26:38).
- He poured out his heart to his Father in prayer. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39).
- He rested his soul in the sovereign wisdom of God. “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).
- He fixed his eye on the glorious future grace that awaited him on the other side of the cross. “For the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
When something drops into your life that seems to threaten your future, remember this: The first shock waves of the bomb are not sin. The real danger is yielding to them. Giving in. Putting up no spiritual fight. And the root of that surrender is unbelief—a failure to fight for faith in future grace. A failure to cherish all that God promises to be for us in Jesus.
Jesus shows us another way. Not painless, and not passive. Follow him. Find your trusted spiritual friends. Open your soul to them. Ask them to watch with you and pray. Pour out your soul to the Father. Rest in the sovereign wisdom of God. And fix your eyes on the joy set before you in the precious and magnificent promises of God.