Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Grace for Gethsemane

Joel Osteen - Grace for Gethsemane

Joel Osteen - Grace for Gethsemane
TOPICS: Easter, Gethsemane, Sufferings, Hard times, Victory

I want to talk to you today about Grace for Gethsemane. The word Gethsemane means a place of pressing. It was an olive garden in Jerusalem, workers would put olives into a press. They were squeezed, and under that pressure the oil would come out. You couldn't have the valuable olive oil without the pressing. It's not a coincidence that before Jesus went to the cross, before he rose from the dead, he had to go through the Garden of Gethsemane. That's where he was so overwhelmed, and so distressed, knowing what he was about to face, that he sweat great drops of blood. He said (Matthew 26:28), "My soul is in agony, even to the point of death". He had this season of suffering that he had to endure. He could have given up, say "Father, I'm done here. This is too much". He could have called angels to come rescue him, but he made this decision, "Father, not my will, but your will be done". He passed the test.

We celebrate the resurrection, but the real victory was won in Gethsemane. That's where he refused to give up. He didn't get bitter because people betrayed him, didn't get discouraged because disciples fell asleep, didn't live frustrated because the plan wasn't fair. He was squeezed, he was pressured, he was uncomfortable, but he endured the suffering, knowing that the joy that was coming. Real victory is not won in public it's won in private, it's what you do in Gethsemane. When you're taking the treatment, your child's off course, when your dream is delayed.

Paul said in Philippians 3:10, "I want to know him in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering". You can't have a resurrection without some suffering. You have to have a strong will, a made up mind. Not a weak mentality, but a warrior mentality, "I am in this for the long haul. I will not give up, start complaining, blaming, doubting. I know on the other side of this suffering is the power of the resurrection. There's healing, there's abundance, there are divine connections, there are new levels". Peter said (1 Peter 5:10), "After you have suffered a little while, you will come out established". The suffering is not permanent. The squeezing, the pressing is not how your story ends. Gethsemane is just one stop, it's just a season. It's designed for you to pass through it, so you can come into the power, the fullness, the abundance that God has in store.

But the enemy would love for us to get stuck in Gethsemane. "Why did this door closed? Why is this taking so long? Why did my child get off course"? You can't reach your destiny without being pressured, squeezed. Thoughts telling you that it's never going to work out, "God has forgotten about you". The fact that you feel the pressure, that's a sign that a resurrection is coming. You wouldn't be in Gethsemane if you weren't close to something amazing. Not ordinary, but supernatural. Doors opening you never dream would open, business tracking you down, the right people showing up, healing from what looks impossible. When you're in a place of pressing, don't let it squeeze your faith out, squeeze your hope, squeeze your dreams. Turn it around and let it squeeze the doubt out, "God, I don't see a way, but I know you're making a way". Squeeze the bitterness out, "God, they hurt me, but I know you're my vindicator". Squeeze the discouragement out, "I lost this loved one, but God I know you have beauty for these ashes".

I can't promise you that you'll never have a Gethsemane, never feel pressured, overwhelmed, betrayed, but I can promise you there is grace for every Gethsemane. The apostle Paul had what he called a thorn in his flesh, something that he couldn't get rid of. Three times he prayed, "God, take this away. Get me out of Gethsemane. I'm uncomfortable". He couldn't pray it away. God said, "Paul, my grace is sufficient for you". God won't let you go into that pressure without giving you what you need to handle it. Quit telling yourself, "I can't take this anymore. Joel, I can't raise these kids. I can't deal with this sickness. These co-workers are driving me crazy", you're defeating yourself. When you're being squeezed, you have to talk to yourself the right way, "I can handle this. I am strong in the Lord. I can do all things through Christ".

In one sense it it was easy for Jesus to heal the blind man, easy to turn water into wine, easy to raise Lazarus from the dead, but now Jesus was in Gethsemane. He was so distressed that he fell to the ground, overwhelmed by pressure. You don't get to choose the road you travel. Sometimes God will take you to a Gethsemane, down a path that's uncomfortable. There's pressure, adversity, you didn't choose it. We like the favor, the blessing, the good times. This battle chose you. And Jesus already knew the outcome, he already knew he would rise again, be seated next to his Father. He knew the end, but in the middle the pressure was so great, he still questioned. He said (Luke 22:42), "Father, if you're willing, take this bitter cup from me". Three times he prayed that, but the heavens were silent. God never answered. He didn't hear a voice boom out, like when he is being baptized, "Son, I'm pleased with you. Keep going strong, it's all going to work out". He heard from his Father in the good times, but in Gethsemane, the most difficult time in his life not a word. But God being silent doesn't mean that he's not there. That's a test. That's when you have to show God, you're going to trust him even when you don't hear him. You're going to keep believing, even though nothing is changing.

When heaven is silent, you need to go back to what God already promised you. "God, I'm in Gethsemane, dealing with this illness, but Lord you said you're Jehovah Rapha, the Lord my healer. Lord, I thank you're restoring health back into me. God, I'm suffering from this child that's breaking my heart, but God you said as for me in my house we will serve the Lord. God, I feel overwhelmed with this situation at work, these people have done me wrong, but God I know you're my vindicator. You said: many are the afflictions of the righteous, but you deliver me out of them all".

Jesus said, "Father, if you can, take this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but let your will be done". It's okay to ask God to take something away, but you need to add the nevertheless. "God, if it doesn't happen my way, I'm not going to complain, live bitter, give up on my dreams. I'm gonna stand strong, endure, knowing that this suffering season is leading to a resurrection, to a new level of my destiny". God wouldn't have let you go to Gethsemane if he didn't have something amazing in front of you. There are levels of favor and blessing you can only see by going through a season of pressing, a season of suffering. Gethsemane is not the enemy, it's designed by God. It's a strategic place to launch you to the power of the resurrection, to see favor that you've never imagined.

But here's the key: before you see public victory, you have to win the private victory. Before you see your resurrection, you have to pass the test in Gethsemane. Had Jesus said, "Father, take this bitter cup from me, because I'm bitter, I'm not putting up with this suffering, it's too much", he wouldn't have seen the resurrection, he wouldn't be seated on the right hand of the Father. Are you missing favor, increase because you're stuck in Gethsemane? Bitter over what didn't work out, upset over the door that closed, angry over who left you? Try a different approach. If you win the battle in Gethsemane, pass that test, you will see what God is up to. This is not the time to be sour, this is the time to say, "I may not like it, but God, I trust you. I know your plans for me are for good. You wouldn't have brought me into Gethsemane if I wasn't on the verge of a resurrection, a breakthrough, a new level of my destiny".

When Jesus prayed that third time, the scripture (Luke 22:43) says, "Angels came and strengthened him". When you have an attitude of faith in times of suffering, you don't complain in the pressing, you're trusting God when the heavens are silent, when you're squeezed, instead of being sour, you're thanking him that he's working, that's when angels are going to show up. You'll feel a supernatural strength to endure when you should be overwhelmed, a power to keep moving forward when you should be stuck, a courage to believe when you should be doubting. That's how you pass the test. You can't pray away Gethsemane. Jesus asked his Father to remove this bitter cup, "Father get me out of this suffering, this pressure". God didn't say, "All right, I'll remove it. I'll change my plan". Gethsemane is a setup. That suffering is leading to a resurrection, to something supernatural.

We see this in the life of David. 17 years old, a teenager out taking care of his father's sheep, when the prophet Samuel showed up and chose him over all of his brothers as the next king of Israel - a destiny moment. David heard Goliath taunting the Israelites, they were all afraid. He went out with a slingshot and a few stones and defeated this giant. Overnight he became a national hero - another destiny moment. He was invited by king Saul to come to the palace and serve as his armor bearer. He went from no one knowing him to this influential position, the favor of God. Everything was going great, one good break after another, then king Saul became jealous of David, tried to kill him. Here David was honoring Saul, being his best, but David came in to a Gethsemane, a time of pressing, a time of squeezing. He had to flee for his life, he lived out in the desert, in caves, in hiding, on the run. Wasn't fair, he hadn't done anything wrong. David could have become bitter, "God, where are you? Why'd you let this happen"? But he understood this principle, that the suffering was a setup. It was a sign that a resurrection was coming.

David kept doing the right thing. At one point he could have killed Saul. He and his men snuck up on Saul while he was sleeping, David wouldn't do it. He knew God had anointed Saul, he wouldn't touch him. Even though David was suffering, he took the high road and did the right thing. Wasn't long after that that Saul was killed in a battle, and David was made king. On the way to your destiny there will be these moments of favor, God opening doors, bringing right people, causing you to excel, but there will also be some Gethsemanes, times of pressing, squeezing. How you handle Gethsemane will determine whether you get stuck there or whether you come into the resurrection. It's easy to get bitter when people do us wrong, upset over the medical report, sour over the contract that we lost. But when you understand Gethsemane is strategic, it's necessary for you to go to the next level.

You can't have a resurrection without a Gethsemane. You have to pass the test, and here's the key: in the pressure. Any of us can do the right thing when it's easy, when Samuel's anointing us, when we're defeating Goliath, when Saul's calling us into the palace. We all have a good attitude, song of praise, we give our best. That doesn't take much faith. The test comes when it's not fair, when people betrayed you, the medical report's not good, business went down. You're in Gethsemane. That's when many people give up, blame God, "I can't take this pressure". Don't get stuck in Gethsemane. It was never designed to be permanent for you to live there, it's a temporary season. If you'll pass the test in private, then you'll come into public victory. We celebrate Jesus rising from the dead, but without Gethsemane, without that private victory, we wouldn't be celebrating.

And sometimes we're waiting for God to change things. "Joel, when I get through this suffering, then I have a good attitude. When the pressure is not so much, when these people quit doing me wrong. God, if you'll take this bitter cup from me, then I'll start believing again". No, add the second part of the prayer, "Nevertheless, not my will, but let your will be done". You're saying, "God, I know your grace is sufficient, so I'm going to keep being my best right where I am. I'm going to have a smile when I could be discouraged, I'm going to have a song of praise when I could be complaining, I'm going to keep thanking you that things are turning in my favor when I don't see any sign of it. God, I'm going to be good to people who are not being good to me". When you know God in the fellowship of his suffering, like the scripture says, then you're going to know him in the power of his resurrection.

You may be in Gethsemane now. God's been good to you, you've seen his blessing, but you're in a time of pressing, squeezing. It's uncomfortable, people have come against you, strain in your finances, a child has an illness. You're on a road that you didn't choose, facing things you don't understand. God sees what you're dealing with, he knows who did you wrong, what wasn't fair. When he's not removing the pressure, that means you have the grace to withstand, to endure, to overcome. You may not be able to pray it away, but when you say, "God, I'm trust you. I'm not giving up on my dreams, I'm not backing down on what you promised. I'm going to stand strong, knowing that you're in control. That this season of suffering is a sign that a resurrection is coming", that's what allows the Creator of the universe to go to work. That's when angels are dispatched with healing, favor and breakthroughs. Don't get stuck in Gethsemane, that's not your destiny.

Earlier that evening, Jesus had dinner with the 12 disciples, we call it the last supper. He prayed over them, told them what he was going to go through, and washed their feet. He left that night with Peter, James and John. They went to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus felt so overwhelmed, he asked them to stay up and pray for him. He went over by himself, and fell on the ground, prayed that God would take this cup from him if he could. Little while he went back to check on his disciples, hoping to get some encouragement. He looked over and they were asleep. He woke them up and said, "Come on guys, couldn't you stay up for an hour and pray for me? This is the most critical time of my life"? He's kind of frustrated. He asked them again, even more emphatically, "Please, stay awake and pray for me". He thought for sure they got the message, and he went off for a little while and prayed and came back a little later, same thing. They were sound asleep.

Sometimes when you need people the most, they're not there for you. There's a temptation to think, "Man, if I had them, then I could get through this, then I could overcome", but the fact is: when you're in Gethsemane, it's between you and God. You don't need other people. If someone's always rescuing you, praying for you, keeping your cheered up, that's going to limit your growth. God will wean you away from people so you'll have to depend on him. He wants to hear your prayer. You have a direct line to him, he's always listening.

Jesus woke the disciples up again, and asked them to pray. And he went away, and came back the third time, they had fallen asleep. This time he didn't try to wake them up, he didn't try to convince them to pray. He looked at them and said (Matthew 26:45), "Sleep on". He came to a point where he didn't let it bother him anymore. He could have kept waking them up, being frustrated, instead he accepted that he wasn't going to have their support, and that was okay. He knew he didn't need them to fulfill his destiny.

When things don't turn out the way you thought, friends you were counting on weren't there for you, you didn't get that promotion you deserve, the medical report hasn't improved. You've done all you can, you prayed, you believed, you worked hard, instead of letting that frustrate you, you need to say like Jesus, tell it to sleep on, "You're not going to bother me anymore. I'm not going to try to control things I can't control. I'm not going to lose sleep over who's not supporting me, over what didn't work out. I know God is on the throne, he's fighting my battles, he will get me to where I'm supposed to be".

Real victory is not when God does everything you like, changes all the negative circumstances, fixes all the people that get on your nerves. Real victory is when all that happens, but it doesn't bother you anymore. You've grown to the point where you don't have to have all that to be happy. You're content while God is working right where you are, knowing that he's given you grace not just for the good times, but grace for Gethsemane. When there's pressure, people that fall asleep, doors that don't open, your attitude is, "I'm going to enjoy my life despite what's coming against me. Yes, there's a lot of pressure, but I'm still going to give God praise. Yes, I'm on a road I didn't choose, but I know God is ordering my steps. I wouldn't be in this season of suffering, unless a resurrection was coming".

"Well, Joel, I'm disappointed because these people weren't there for me. They let me down". People can't stop your purpose. If they weren't there for you, you didn't need them. If they walked away, they weren't a part of your destiny. If they were supposed to be there, they couldn't leave. If they weren't supposed to, they couldn't stay. Quit begging them to come back, tell them to sleep on. God has someone better for you, someone that you can't get rid of, someone that loves you, that admires you, that sees you as the gift from God that you are. That promotion you didn't get, how long are you going to be sour over that? Tell it to sleep on. It's a test God has a better position. That medical report that hasn't changed, you've done all you can: quit worrying, quit living frustrated, tell it to sleep on. One of the best things I've learned is to not fight everything I don't like: fight to closed doors, fight the person that did you wrong, fight the delays. We end up living in a fighting mode, where we're always frustrated. Two words can save you a lot of heartache: sleep on. "God, you're in control. I'm going to do my best, and trust you to get me to where I'm supposed to be".

After the third time Jesus found his disciples asleep, something rose up in him. He said (Matthew 26:46), "We have to leave right now. My time has come". They walked out of the garden, and there was Judas looking for him. The principle is: you can't stay in Gethsemane and reach your destiny. It's a place that you're supposed to pass through. At some point you have to rise up and say like Jesus, "I'm done being bitter over who left me. I'm done living upset over what I didn't get, angry over the company that hurt me, disappointed by who fell asleep, sour over this road that I didn't choose. I'm leaving excuses, leaving frustration, leaving self-pity, leaving guilt". You have to get out of Gethsemane. Enemy would love for you to get stuck there, stuck in blame, stuck in who hurt you, stuck in a bad childhood. This is a new day. Yes, it was hard, yes they fell asleep, they betrayed you, you're on a road you didn't choose. Can I tell you? None of that stopped your destiny. All Gethsemane did was get you prepared for the next level. That pressure caused you to develop more muscles, greater trust, greater faith, greater resilience.

The enemy thought it would squeeze your faith out, but it backfired, it squeezed out the doubt, the bitterness, the uncertainty. Now you're stronger, bolder, ready for the new things God has in store. You went through the suffering, now you're prepared for the power of the resurrection. I can imagine when satan saw Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, hands in his face, great distress, sweating drops of blood, saying, "Father, take this bitter cup from me", he thought he'd won, look like a picture of defeat like Jesus was giving up. But don't judge the rest of your life by season in Gethsemane. God wouldn't have let you go in, if he wasn't going to bring you out better. He's up to something. The next morning Jesus went to the cross, they crucified him, looked like it was over, but on the third day he came out of the grave. He said (Revelation 1:18), "I am he that lives. I was dead, behold, I'm alive forevermore".

All that suffering was a setup for a resurrection. That time of distress in the garden, that place of pressure, it wasn't random, wasn't just a bad break, it was all a part of God's plan that would launch Jesus into his purpose. Early that Sunday morning Mary Magdalene rushed to the tomb to check on Jesus. The stone had been rolled away, but Jesus wasn't there. And she was weeping, and confused, wondering who took his body. She heard a voice asking (John 20:15), "Why are you crying? Who are you looking for? She glanced back and thought it was the gardener. She said, 'sir, if you've taken him, please tell me where he is'". Jesus said to her, "Mary", immediately she recognized him. She went back and told the disciples that he was alive.

It's interesting that Jesus was dressed as a gardener. When he arose he could have dressed as a carpenter, as a rabbi, as a king, but he chose a gardener, maybe he was showing us the significance of the Garden of Gethsemane, perhaps he was saying, "I made it through my garden, stay in faith, I'm going to help you make it through yours". The last place Jesus appeared before he ascended to heaven was on the Mount of Olives, that's where Gethsemane is located. Few days earlier he was there suffering in agony, great distress. Now he's at that very place victorious, with the keys of death and hell. Not suffering, but reigning. Not in agony, but in victory. Not great distress, but in all power.

Yes, you may go through some Gethsemane, but like Jesus you're going to go back to that very place with great victory, great favor, great courage. The enemy doesn't have the final say, God does. He's ordering your steps. In those times of pressing keep reminding yourself: it's a setup. That suffering is a sign that a resurrection is coming. Now, quit being frustrated over the disappointments, who left you, what you can't control. Tell it to sleep on. You don't need that for your destiny. You keep doing the right thing when it's hard, you are passing the test. God sees your faithfulness, he has angels coming to strengthen you. I believe and declare: you're about to see the power of the resurrection. Because you won the victory in private, you're about to see a public victory, favor, promotion, healing, vindication, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen?
Are you Human?:*