Monday, January 16, 2017

When Hopeless Hearts Question Jesus

As I was making my journey through God's Book this morning, I came across this statement that first made me chuckle, and then brought tears to my eyes. This is what someone said to Jesus: "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?"[1]

After Jesus' death and resurrection he began appearing to people to show that he was truly alive. In this case, the men he was talking to did not realize it was him, partly because they knew that Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified, and partly because there was something keeping them from recognizing him until a particular lesson had been taught. From such a viewpoint, even when talking to Jesus in person, their response to his question about what was making them sad was that he must not know what was going on.

What struck me was the similarity of their lament to things I have heard from many church-folk. I'm thinking of scenarios where people relate to God as if he is the only one who doesn't know what they're going through. They have read their circumstances as having much greater authority than reading God's Book, and so they pridefully imagine that their interpretation of their situation is a greater declaration of truth than anything God has already told his children about his work.

In the midst of their continuing conversation with Jesus, the men explain their sad countenance by saying, "we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel."[2] Ah, there is the problem. The proverb says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick".[3] They had believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah, but they now believed that the circumstances regarding his crucifixion demanded the conclusion that this was not true. Their hope in Jesus bringing redemption was deferred, was denied, was dead, and they were grieving what felt like a very real loss.

Are you going through something so devastating that you are convinced that God made a mistake and something he has promised his people could not possibly be true? Can you relate to people who were positive Jesus was their Messiah but know he was crucified and think this means God is not working as they had imagined? Has something happened that made you believe that God cannot be trusted because something in your circumstances has proven him a liar?

I encourage you to read Luke 24 in God's Book for the full story of how Jesus ministered to these people who were talking to him from hopeless hearts. Just as he led them to see that their hopes were not dashed in the least, he will draw out of your heart the true condition of your soul, and make known to you the path of life which is every bit what he promised.

As the proverb says: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life."[4] Come to Jesus so he can change your "hope deferred" to "a desire fulfilled". Whatever God has promised to his children he will most certainly do. So wait for him in hope.

© 2017 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

[1] Luke 24:18
[2] Luke 24:21
[3] Proverbs 13:12
[4] Proverbs 13:12

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