“Abba, Father,” He said, “everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. — Mark 14:36
It’s complicated as I’ve wrestled between my faith and my feelings because I feel like, “God everything is possible for You. You could fix this and I’ve seen You fix this same kind of circumstance in someone else’s life… so why aren’t You fixing it for me?” ~ Lysa
Welcome to week two of the It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way Online Bible Study with Lysa TerKeurst!
Did (or do) you have a picture in your mind’s eye of exactly how things should go? Exactly the way you wanted the future to be? Smooth sailing, fun friends, loving marriage, happy family, healthy church connection, fulfilling career, thriving kids with good grades and sweet attitudes, vacations filled with adventure and citrusy sunsets…
It got complicated along the way, didn’t it?
Because perfection is etched into the DNA of every human, we know what perfection is. But, since we don’t live in perfection any longer, we will struggle with disappointment. ~ Lysa
As my Poppy used to say, “This ain’t Heaven yet… but Heaven’s comin’!”
Along the way there’s massive suffering for every person who walks planet earth.
That’s why I love Gethsemane. Not because Jesus suffered because I wouldn’t wish suffering on anyone. But… yes, because Jesus Himself suffered. He knows. He knows the ache of abandonment and bereavement, He knows the slap of betrayal, He knows the punishment of poverty, He knows the sucker punch of meanness, He knows the sting of mockery, He knows weight of injustice, He knows the oppression of threats, He knows the damage of lies and games. He knows!
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” He said to them. — Mark 14:34
Have you been there? I have. Sometimes we go through events or seasons so painful and devastating that we actually feel like we’re going to fall down and die from it. Can you relate to the prayer: Jesus, pleeeease, don’t let this be a part of my story. Father, pleeeease, don’t let it go this way. I cannot survive the anvil of agony on my heart.
Because everything is possible for You, I’m asking… will You change this? ~ Lysa
Jesus prayed that prayer, too. He had to live a story that was filled with hardship, rejection, unfair judgment, loss, difficulty, exhaustion, hunger, longing, loneliness, and heartbreak, too. Just like you and me. And in Gethsemane Jesus faced the ultimate suffering and the choice to obey or go His own way.
Remember those epic, self-denying words? Jesus said, “Not My will but Thy will be done.” (emphasis mine) Those words shook the foundation of the universe and they still do.
And, here’s the key to being able to obey like Jesus… it wasn’t the first time He made that decision. He did it over and over again over the course of His life. Just as we are called to do. Again and again. Our merciful and faithful Jesus cried when He prayed about deeply painful circumstances, too. He probably laid down on the floor sometimes, just like I do, and wept before His Father until He was all cried out. Then He stood and said, “Your will. Not mine. I’m following You.”
Even though some paths God chooses for us are as difficult and excruciating as our physical bodies can bear without us ceasing breathing, His way is the way.
It’s through choosing Jesus over self that we live the best life and have the most outrageously wonderful eternity that’s been promised to us. It’s choosing to lay down that perfect picture I had in my mind’s eye of exactly how things should go, my will, my way, my plan, what I think is best, what I want to do and saying instead, “Even though this is hard and painful, Father — in fact it’s the opposite of what I would choose — You know best. I pick Your way, Your plan. Every time.”
It is through the suffering that we are experiencing now that we will develop a perseverance to carry us forward then in what God sees coming our way. ~ Lysa
Fix your thoughts on Jesus. — Hebrews 3:1
This ain’t Heaven yet… but Heaven’s comin’!
This week in your study:
- Watch the video for session two on our study home page or live with other participants … Take notes in your study guide on pages 41-46.
- Go through the study questions and activity with your group or on your own on pages 46-54.
- Read It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Chapters 5-6.
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 55-66.
- Join the conversation about the study and get to know fellow participants in the private Facebook group!
Scriptures this Week
Prayer for the Week
Father, we choose You. Your way. Your will. Your path. Help us when we are exhausted and in pain to lay down our own wills and follow You. We want to be like Jesus. We love you, Lord. Amen.