Have we ever had our hopes shattered? Sometimes, even over a long period of time, we can be sitting on an issue that we don’t fully understand, holding on and trusting that everything will work out well in the end. Yet often the situation doesn’t change. In many cases it appears to get worse. We struggle on and do what we can to keep our hopes afloat, but then they begin to sink, and our faith and confidence in God sink with them. What is there to hold on to?
The disciples may have had similar thoughts as they walked along the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13). That day, early in the morning, the tomb in which Jesus had been laid was found to be empty. The women had gone to embalm the body of their Lord, but it had gone. Word spread fast that He had disappeared, and all their hopes and dreams were dashed. He had made so many promises of the Kingdom which was to come. They had witnessed unbelievable miracles and been assured of an eternity with the King of kings. His teaching and prophetic words had been powerful, and hope leading to excitement had encouraged them in their personal walk with Him. He was the One who was going to set Israel free from the tyranny of Roman rule. But it all went wrong.
In the end Jesus was captured by the soldiers and sentenced to death. All their hopes and dreams died with Him. Now there was nothing; an emptiness took over their soul. And to make matters worse, his body appeared to have been stolen. Some said He was still alive, but that was absurd. They had watched Him die.
When our hopes are dashed and our future looks bleak we can’t see beyond ourselves. We’re trapped in a prison of our own making, and the ‘woe is me’ syndrome takes over. People ask, “what’s the matter?” and we’re able to reel off all the circumstances that are holding us captive. Our perspective is inward and downward, and we can’t see a way out.
As the disciples walked towards Emmaus a stranger drew alongside, and they poured out their troubles to him (Luke 24 15-16) “How foolish you are,” He said, “and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” (Luke 24:25).
First came the promises, then the suffering, but after that the glory. He showed them all the scriptural truths of the promises of God. The pieces began to fall into place. Everything had to follow God’s order, to their completion. They realised He had not left them alone after all. He was working out their salvation – personally.
It was then ‘their eyes were opened, and they recognised him’ (Luke 24 31).
When all is dark and the way forward is obscured let’s look for Him. Because He alone is our Light in the darkness, and has already worked out the way we should go.
Prayer: Father, forgive me when I have taken my eyes off You and allowed circumstances to pull me down. With renewed hope I look to You today. You know the end from the beginning, and as I trust You, You will guide me through the storm into Your place of peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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