Even Jesus Got Discouraged

“For we do not have a high priest [Jesus] who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.”

Hebrews 4:15, CSB

If Jesus walked the earth today, how do you think He would react to the swirl of emotions and unrest that none of us can escape? Would scenes shake him on the evening news?

Maybe you like to imagine Jesus as a sword-brandishing knight on a white horse charging in to save the day. Or perhaps your mind’s eye pictures Him calmly strolling through chaotic city streets as the mere breeze generated by His steps turns pandemonium into peace. That would suit us just fine, wouldn’t it? 

We long to have our anxious hearts relaxed, our discouragement diminished, and our fears fizzled. But, would it surprise you to know that Jesus also experienced some low moments? He was tempted in every way we are! Yet, He found a way to overcome His negative emotions. 

He had spent three years trying to prove who He was and that He could fulfill every promise He made. Yet, there were still so many who didn’t want to believe that He was who He said He was and that He could do all He said He could do. His disappointment and frustration with the scribes and Pharisees escalated. It showed when He lamented, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37) 

By the time Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him into the garden of Gethsemane to pray, His soul is overcome with emotion. I’m not sure how far Jesus was from His three friends as He prayed, but they certainly knew the sorrowful condition of His heart. Luke tells us they could not stay awake because they were exhausted from their grief. (Luke 22:45) Having friends with such empathy surely strengthened Jesus’ resolve. Be thankful for friends who stand in the gap between you and God when your strength fades.

The angel sent to minister to Jesus in the garden was a direct result of God’s earlier promise to Him. Isaiah 49 records that promise: “This is what the Lord says: I will answer you in a time of favor, and I will help you in the day of salvation.” (Isaiah 49:8) As Jesus’ greatest trial loomed, God heard His prayer, felt His anguish, and fulfilled His promise by sending supernatural help. He will do the same for your fear, discouragement, and anxious heart. 

Unlike us, Jesus knew exactly what was coming. He knew the hill God called Him to climb included a cross. As He lugged that cross, I wonder if more of God’s words from Isaiah’s scroll might have scrolled through His mind: “When He sees all that is accomplished by His anguish, He will be satisfied. And because of His experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for He will bear all their sins. I will give Him the honors of a victorious soldier because He exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.” (Isaiah 53:11-12, The Message)

If you are going through a trial or are upset by the conditions of our world, just know that God sees your tears and hears your prayers. He has most likely positioned people in your life for such a time as this. Open your heart, and let them refresh you. Only then will you have the resolve to refresh others. “Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25b, NLT)

It helps to know that Jesus experienced the same emotions we feel. He understands us. He was tempted to give in to anxiety, fear, and discouragement for better reasons than most of us will experience. Yet, He surrounded Himself with friends, remembered God’s promises, completed His mission, and made God’s name great! 

This world is not our home. We’re only passing through. Because Jesus did His part, we are free from the penalty and power of sin. Soon, we will enjoy freedom from the presence of sin! That’s a promise you can count on!

“Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And, the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty, I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. (Revelation 21:3-7, NLT)

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Donna Jackson

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