“And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.”
Two words in the verse above show the grief that our Saviour endured on the cross. He said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful…” Jesus wasn’t just feeling the sorrow of what He was about to endure, but it was “exceeding sorrowful.” In other words, He was saying that His soul was experiencing the greatest amount of sorrow.
This phrase wasn’t spoken by someone who was weak; rather, it was spoken by the Son of God. This phrase wasn’t spoken by someone who had no power; instead, it was spoken by the One who had the power to calm the seas and create the world. This phrase wasn’t spoken by someone who whined about every little obstacle in life; rather, it was spoken by the One who faced the most opposition that anyone ever faced. It was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who said that His soul was “exceeding sorrowful.”
Have you ever been to the point in your life when sorrow affected your soul? Have you ever been to that point when your sorrow exceeded all sorrow to the point that your soul felt it could no longer make another day? Maybe you are at this point right now, and your soul is grieved and “exceeding sorrowful.” What do you do when your soul is exceeding sorrowful? There were five things that Jesus did to make it through the time of exceeding sorrow. Let me share these five actions you must take when you face exceeding sorrow.
First, don’t quit! The reason Jesus was praying was because He didn’t want to quit. Quitting in the day of sorrow won’t take the source of sorrow away. Whatever has caused your sorrow will continue if you choose to quit. When your flesh screams to quit in time of sorrow, let me encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit who encourages you to continue on.
Second, pray! Prayer was the first action you see the Saviour take when He was exceeding sorrowful. Prayer is the only thing that will help bring relief to sorrow. Prayer is the relief valve that releases the pressure to the soul in times of exceeding grief. The pressure of the sorrow may make you feel like you are about to explode, but you can find relief from that pressure if you will just pray to the LORD.
Third, expect the impossible. Jesus said to the Father, “…all things are possible…” Jesus didn’t pray in unbelief; rather, He prayed expecting the impossible to happen. Don’t let the great sorrow you face today take away the faith and trust that God can do the impossible. Great sorrow has a way of causing many to become negative and doubtful. Your sorrow may be great, but you must expect God to do the impossible and remove the source that is causing the great sorrow.
Fourth, accept God’s will for your situation. Jesus told the Father, “…not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Are you willing to accept whatever God’s will is in your situation? My friend, if you want to avoid bitterness, you must be willing to accept that God’s will could be for you to endure the source of sorrow. Yes, you should expect the impossible, but you must be willing to accept God’s will if He chooses not to do the impossible in your situation.
Fifth, pray again. It is never wrong to pray again when your prayer isn’t initially answered. Accept God’s will, but pray again to see if God will hearken to your request. When everything in life fails, let me encourage you to pray again.