Pray that you would accept the situation.
I recently heard these words in a sermon and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them. Pray that I would accept the situation? Doesn’t whether or not I want to accept the situation depend on the situation? For example, a good health report, a new job or the promotion I wanted, a secure and happy marriage—those are acceptable situations. But cancer, loss of a job, divorce, death of a loved one—those situations are harder to accept. I don’t want to accept them.
I decided to look up the definition of the word accept.
accept – to take or receive, to receive with approval, to tolerate or accommodate oneself to. (Dictionary.com)
accept – to receive willingly (NLT Study Bible, Tyndale)
I don’t know if I can willingly accept something I don’t want or something I know will be painful or final. On second thought, I know I can’t. Not on my own. I need God’s help.
When Jesus prayed in the
of Garden Gethsemane,
He asked God if there was another way…
“‘Abba, Father,’ he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.’” (Mark 14:36 NLT)
“Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, ‘My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.’” (Matt. 26:42 NLT)
Each time, Jesus expressed His feelings to God, but God’s will was of most importance to Him. Jesus accepted the situation and did what He had to do.
God will always listen to us. He wants us to express our fears, disappointments, and confusion. Sometimes He will change our circumstances, and sometimes, He will change us instead.
Accepting a situation doesn’t mean pretending I’m happy about it, but maybe it frees me from the anger, hurt, and resentment I feel. Especially if I’m feeling this way towards God, accepting it allows me to move on with what I have to do. Accepting it enables me to receive God’s guidance and His help in getting through the situation.
This is Part One in a three-part series. Stop back on Wednesday for Part Two—Pray for Strength.