WE HAD OUR HOPES UP
"He said, 'What has happened?'
"They said, 'The things that happened to Jesus, the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed Him, got Him sentenced to death and crucified Him. And we had our hopes up that He was the Christ. And now this is the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn't find His body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women had said, but they didn't see Jesus,'" Luke 24:19-24 (The Message).
What sad words, 'We had our hopes up...' 'What a story! No wonder these poor disciples were confused! So many things had happened in such a short time that they could not make head or tail of them. If they had only taken note of Jesus' repeated warning, they would have saved themselves from all this confusion.
How many times had Jesus told them that these things would happen? He had explained to them in detail that He would be arrested, tried and crucified, and that He would rise again on the third day. Had they listened, it would have been a time of celebration and expectation instead of confusion and grief.
Jesus continued to play His little game of "hide-and-seek" with them. He listened to their story, perhaps with a touch of amusement because He was about to give them the biggest surprise of their lives, but also with some frustration because of their unbelief.
The disciples had walked with Jesus long enough to know that He was always in charge of every situation and that He always had a solution. Had they watched and listened, they would have realised that He was not a victim of an assassination plot but a willing participant in something much bigger, orchestrated to fulfil a greater purpose.
Time and again He had made it clear that He was nobody's pawn. He had often walked through a murderous mob unscathed. He had often declared, 'It's not yet my time.' The tale of woe of these two that morning made it obvious to Jesus that nothing He had said made sense to them and they didn't believe any of it. What a slap in the face for Him!
How like them we are! We have a whole Bible full of promises and reassurances but, when things don't go our way, we fall apart like the disciples did, and spend our time and emotional energy recounting the problems instead of trusting the promises. Has God ever failed? If He fails you, it will be the first time in history, His first lie and the first crack in His flawless character!
On one occasion, Jesus and His disciples met a man born blind. The disciples' reaction was, 'Whose fault was it that he was born blind.' Jesus' response was typically 'Jesus'. "'You're asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause and effect here. Look instead for what God can do.'" John 9:3 (The Message).
That's it! It does not matter what crisis we are in. Three facts are non-negotiable: God is there; God is good; God is in charge. No one can 'do' anything 'to' anyone without God's knowledge and purpose. How much better to wait and trust rather than expend useless emotional pain in fear and unbelief.
A simple, 'Let's see what God can do,' will wipe out doubt and replace it with anticipation of something bigger than we can imagine. After all, isn't God about putting His glory on display through us? He used the most impossible circumstances to do it through Jesus, and He will do it through us if we believe.
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