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Where the Real Victory Is Won
By Joel Osteen - May 03, 2024

The Garden of Gethsemane is an olive garden in East Jerusalem. The word Gethsemane means “a place of pressing.” Here workers put olives into a press and squeezed out the valuable olive oil under great pressure. It’s not a coincidence that before Jesus went to the cross and rose from the dead, He had to go through the Garden of Gethsemane. That’s where He was so overwhelmed, so distressed knowing what He was about to face on the cross, that His sweat became like drops of blood. He said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38). He had this season of suffering that He had to endure and pass the test.

We celebrate the resurrection, but the real victory was won in Gethsemane. That’s where He refused to give up despite the coming betrayal, the unjust trial and beatings, the suffering on the cross, and the bearing of our sins. He was squeezed under great pressure, but He made this decision: “Father, not My will but Your will be done” (Matthew 26:39). He showed that real victory is not won in public; it’s won in private. It’s what you do in your Gethsemane, when you’re taking the treatment, when your child is off course, when your dream is delayed.

The apostle Paul says, “I want to know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). You can’t have a resurrection without some suffering. You have to have a strong will, a made-up mind, a warrior mentality. “I will not give up and start complaining, blaming, doubting, or worrying. I know that on the other side of this suffering is the power of the resurrection.” On the other side, there’s healing, abundance, divine connections, new levels. The pressing and suffering is not permanent. It’s not how your story ends. Gethsemane is for a season. It’s designed for you to pass through 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. “God, why? Why did this door close? Why is this taking so long?” You can’t reach your destiny without being pressured, squeezed, and having thoughts tell you that it’s never going to work out and God has forgotten about you. The fact that you feel the pressure is a sign that a resurrection is coming. You wouldn’t be in Gethsemane if you weren’t close to something amazing—doors opening that you never dreamed would open, business tracking you down, the right people showing up, healing from what looks impossible. You keep doing the right thing when it’s hard, and you’re about to see the power of the resurrection.

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