When the Pressure is On
Bible Reading: Mark 14:32-42
Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine. Mark 14:36
Neal wanted his little brother Casey to be ready for the blast of evil awaiting him in middle school. “Some kids are heavy into drugs,” he said. Casey’s eyes widened.
“It was really hard to do what was right,” Neal admitted. “But I did what I knew I had to do. I still hang around with friends who don’t pressure me-but I do it at school, in a safe place. And some other friendships I ended. Losing those old friends wasn’t any fun at all.”
Talk about it: Have you ever felt painfully sad for doing what was right?
If you’ve suffered for doing right, Jesus knows just how you feel.
As Jesus walked into the Garden of Gethsemane after sharing the Last Supper with his disciples, the terror of heading to the Cross began to weigh on him. He was totally committed to doing the Father’s will. He wanted to give his life to save lost humankind. But he still knew his task would be difficult beyond imagination. The battle between wanting to do right and wanting to avoid the pain he would feel led him to the garden and to prayer.
The New Testament was first written in Greek, and the Greek word for “Gethsemane,” the place where Jesus prayed, means “oil press.” That’s a device for squeezing oil out of olives. Think about that picture. Jesus spent the evening before his death in an oil press. Like an olive, he was being crushed.
We can learn how to stand up under pressure by watching Jesus in Gethsemane. What we learn is this: Doing right isn’t always easy, even for the Son of God. It cost Jesus plenty to go through with God’s plan. In choosing to go God’s way, Jesus made the hard choice of going through pain alone.
You’re wise if you handle these tough situations the same way Jesus did. He prayed, “Please take this cup of suffering away from me.” It’s okay to ask God to change the unpleasant circumstances you face. Jesus did. But he also added, “Yet I want your will, not mine.” He told God that more than anything he wanted to obey.
Doing right nowadays isn’t easy. Sooner or later you’ll face a “Gethsemane moment.” That’s a tough choice to do what’s right even when it hurts. Be assured that God is right there with you. And he knows exactly what you’re facing!
TALK: When have you wanted to do what’s right—but had huge struggles because of the cost?
PRAY: Take a tough situation you’re in right now and pray about it using Jesus’ prayer.
ACT: Who do you know who is paying a price for doing right? How can you be supportive?