Today’s Reading – Matthew 26
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. (Matthew 26:38)
This was no doubt the worst night in the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was in the process of being betrayed by one of the twelve. He knew also that Peter was going to deny even knowing Him, not once, but three times. The rest of the disciples were going to scatter and follow afar off, all of them distancing themselves from their leader in His time of need. In the midst of this agonizing night, Jesus desires that three of His closest friends spend some time in prayer with Him. Though it was very late, the Lord was obviously not going to get any sleep; and He asked Peter, James, and John to stay up with Him in prayer. Unfortunately the men were weary and could stay awake through the prayer meeting. It appears that Jesus was to go through this trial alone. It was just Him and His Father.
It is human nature to desire the company and encouragement of other people when we are going through our trials. However, in the end, it will only be God that will be with us throughout the darkest days of our lives. Our friends can’t possibly understand completely the pain that we are experiencing; they have their own concerns, and troubles that plague them. Friends and family can be helpful at times, but we need to learn to wean ourselves off of dependence upon man for comfort and encouragement, and instead turn to God. People can not possibly meet the spiritual needs that only God can meet. If you are going through a trial right now, look to God. Don’t be too hard on your friends. Though God may use them to edify and encourage you partially, they are severely limited in their ability to help.
Having said that, let me now speak a word to those of us who may have some friends who are going through a difficult trial. Don’t try to be a replacement for God in their lives. You cannot meet their spiritual need: you can only point them to God, and encourage them to feed upon the Word of God. Don’t preach to them, and don’t promise them things that you cannot deliver: you are not God. Just try to be there for them as much as you can while continuing to point them to the Lord.
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