Have you ever experienced something in your life that was so painful, so catastrophic, that it shook your faith to the core? In Luke 24, Jesus appears to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They’d just witnessed His trial, conviction, beatings, crucifixion, and death. They were confused, grief-stricken, and were probably wondering how God could allow such cruelty to befall on such a good person.
Jesus joined them on the road, and asked what troubled them, but their eyes were unable to recognize Him. Grief often muddles your perspective. These disciples were so shaken that they couldn’t see God looking them right in the face. There will be events in life that can push you down to where you can barely even imagine God, much less see Him.
“Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?’ And He said to them, ‘What things?’ And they said to Him, ‘Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.’” – Luke 24:18-21 (ESV)
Though Jesus, Himself, had foretold His death and resurrection numerous times, these two disciples struggled to see the promise on the other side of their problem. You can’t allow your problems or disappointments to become greater to you than God. No matter what tragedies may fall upon your life, God remains larger.
Jesus responded to their assessment of what happened, saying, “’O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” – Luke 24:25-27.
It was only when they recognized the truth of Jesus Christ in Scripture that the disciples were able to see Him. Once they clearly saw Jesus in the Word and that Word imprinted their heart, they no longer needed to see Jesus with their natural eyes. You can’t embrace the living Word without also embracing the written Word. Jesus takes the initiative and comes to us, but He only stays and blesses those who take the initiative to pursue Him.
No matter what you may be dealing with, Jesus has already provided you the strength to survive it. The death of a loved one, a failed relationship, unemployment, sickness, lack… Jesus gave you the power to overcome it when He rose from the dead. When you face a tragic event, you have to believe the Bible and know that God that will lead you to triumph. No matter how bad it may seem, and no matter what the devil tries to throw at you, God remains God and the devil can’t outdo Him. When you have faith and trust God, it will work out for the good, even if you can’t figure it out in the middle of your tragedy.
Accepting Christ into your life never meant that you’d never again have problems. It means that Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and He can get anything in your life to triumph. Your responsibility is to get through the three days without giving up on the resurrection. You have to get through your problem to the place of promise. There will be getting up again!
Living in Grace and Peace,
Dr. Derek Grier
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