Encountering Jesus in our disappointment
My friend, I truly believe that you can encounter Jesus in the middle of disappointment and let Him turn our disappointment into destiny. Let's read this story in the book of Luke, chapter 24.
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, 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?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
Luke 24:13-34 (NIV)
You know, life has many disappointments. It is easy to move from disappointment to disillusionment and disengagement. Disappointment is the gap between what we thought our future would be and what it has become.
The question isn’t whether God is with us during these times but whether we are able to engage and experience His presence during these times.
God is able to turn disappointment into destiny. When Plan A fails, God does have a plan B. Sometimes He allows disappointment in our lesser dreams because He has far greater dreams. God doesn’t want us to get stuck in our disappointment; He wants to come and open our eyes to new and beautiful things. He does turn ashes into beauty.
In times of disappointment, we can lose our vision. Trying to deny or escape, disappointment leads us away from hope. God sometimes becomes unrecognizable.
Sometimes God feels like an unrecognizable God, not because He has changed but because He is not who we imagined or expected Him to be. It was their wrong expectations that made Him unrecognizable. — Pastor Suzy Silk
Jesus, today wants to draw near to walk with you in your struggle.
God Himself wanted to become a part. God inserted Himself into their tiresome and exhausting journey and became a fellow traveler. When Jesus opens their eyes, He reveals that He is God with us at all times, in all places, to help us realize we are not walking in circles, but He is taking us somewhere to love, peace, and life. — Henri Nouwen
So, how does Jesus bring us from disappointment to destiny?
Jesus invites us to a dialogue, to honestly share our hearts. He asks us questions and wants us to ask questions of our hearts as well to help us grieve. He doesn’t confront or condemn us. He draws out our heart to open it to consider a new perspective of truth. Brings us to a place where we can see Him with us and the future He wants to prepare.
Jesus challenge our beliefs and expectations.
“You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering His glory?” (vs. 25-26 NLT)
The reason we get stuck in our old stories is because we believe lies from the world, the flesh, and the devil. The greatest threat of spiritual warfare is not the calamities of life that happen, but the lies we believe that become lids and chains that hold us back from our destiny.
“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps us from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT)
Freedom comes by removing lies and false assumptions and seeking to build our hopes and dreams based on God’s truth and perspective.
These disciples almost missed the greatest event in history because of the wrong expectations and beliefs they held.
Jesus helps them come out of their old story into the truth by helping them dig deep and apply the truth of Scripture to their hearts.
The Word is powerful and transforms us as we commit ourselves to go deep and live deep in its truth.
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)
“I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”
Job 23:12 (NIV)
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him. “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:31-32 (NKJV)
We are saved by believing in Jesus; we are transformed by believing His word and letting it change our minds and attitude towards every area of our life.
Jesus drew them to a fresh revelation of their purpose, by helping them move beyond revelation to relationship. We are on our way through disappointment when our hearts seek and receive a personal encounter with Him.
“Christ will only abide with us if our longings and love constrain Him.” — Alfred Edersheim