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How Jesus in the Garden Gives Hope To Everyone Struggling with Anxiety

April 15, 2022

The church has had a difficult relationship with mental health. Some churches get it right, other churches like to treat it as if it doesn’t exist.

Both Christians and non-Christians alike struggle with mental health, and if you currently struggle with anxiety or depression, please know that this does not make you any less loved by God as those who don’t.

In fact, not only are you loved by a God who deeply cares about you despite your anxiety, He has actually felt it Himself:

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Matthew 26:36-39

The writers of the gospels describe Jesus using very strong language when describing his emotions prior to His death on the cross. Take a moment to read this section of Jesus’ words again: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”.

That’s not someone who’s a little sad and worried, those are the words of someone so deep in despair that He compares the emotion to the feeling of death itself. The only other emotions I’ve heard compared in that way are from those who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

To me, growing up, I don’t think I fully realized the importance of God sending His son, Jesus to be a human. I’m pretty sure I had some sort of ‘meh’ attitude about that that it was cool and all, but what’s the real impact here?

After realizing this moment, that Jesus felt anxiety, He felt a depression, He felt emotions, it made Jesus so much more real to me than He had ever been before. God was no longer just the “Man in the clouds” looking over us, giving us rules to follow. God came down Himself and has felt the emotions we feel. He lived a life just like us to show the impact His love can have on the world.

Knowing that He’s been here, done that, and been through everything I’ve been through has made God so much easier to pray to and worship.

To everyone out there who struggles with depression, anxiety, or anything else, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. God Himself has felt it and knows what you’re going through, and He knows how to bring you peace and comfort.

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