Suffering and God’s Love: A Moving Works Study

Day 3 of 5 • This day’s reading


God’s Power

We all have areas we try to withhold from God—the number in the bank account (or on the scale!), the approval of a person, a desired job, the child we’ve always wanted. What are yours? What, in the secret places of your heart, are you unwilling to lay before God?

Today, the Manises describe their change of heart in these areas. Annie slowly shifted from feeling as if she had to be a mother to believing she could be satisfied in God without a child. Walt progressed from being adamantly against adoption to being open to any means God would use to make them parents. They experienced transforming power through prayer as the Spirit conformed them to Christ’s image.

Experiencing God’s Power Through Jesus Christ

How might you experience God’s power in untouchable areas? Today, in Matthew 26:36-46, you’ll see how Jesus conformed his will to the Father’s despite great difficulty. As the cross loomed ahead, consider how he prayed:

  • He was vulnerable with those closest to him—Jesus expressed his sorrow and turmoil to Peter, James, and John and asked them to come alongside him in prayer.
  • He was honest with the Father—Jesus fell on his face in raw emotion and confessed his desire to take a different path than the cross.
  • He was committed to the Father’s will—Jesus prayed three times for the cup of suffering to pass, but each time he qualified it with his resolve to do the Father’s will.

If you are a believer, you have the same Spirit Jesus had to help you submit to the Father’s will with an undivided heart. He’s able to teach and empower you to pray like Jesus:

  • Be vulnerable with those closest to you—Ask your trusted community to partner with you in prayer. Forget the independent spirit; you need their support!
  • Be honest in your prayers—Pour out your heart to the Father; confess your desires. Tell him what it is you honestly want.
  • Be committed to the Father’s will—Resolve to obey whatever the outcome. God may or may not answer according to your desires. Jesus prayed earnestly for the cup to pass, but joyfully went to the cross. We don’t know the eternal plans God’s working out for his glory and others’ good, but we trust they are best and, like Jesus, submit to his will.

Commit to Memory - 2 Colossians 3:18