Just because it doesn’t look the way you think doesn’t mean it isn’t being worked out! Just because it is taking longer than you would like doesn’t mean that it’s not coming! In this world we will face trials, but we are to “consider it pure joy because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Remember the promises! Remember the promises God has given you! He is faithful and true! If you asked, He will answer! The answer may be Yes, No, or Not Yet. He knows what He is doing for His plans and His purposes are for good! He desires that we have hope and a future!
Don’t lose hope & don’t give up!
Today’s reading starts on a road with people who were losing hope because of what they had experienced rather than having hope because of everything Jesus had told and promised them…
The Walk to Emmaus
(Mark 16.12, 13)
13On that same day two of Jesus’ followers were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and they were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. 15As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them; 16they saw him, but somehow did not recognize him. 17Jesus said to them, “What are you talking about to each other, as you walk along?”They stood still, with sad faces. 18One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have been happening there these last few days?” 19“What things?” he asked.“The things that happened to Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered. “This man was a prophet and was considered by God and by all the people to be powerful in everything he said and did. 20Our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and he was crucified. 21And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened. 22Some of the women of our group surprised us; they went at dawn to the tomb, 23but could not find his body. They came back saying they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. 24Some of our group went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him.” 25Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said! 26Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and then to enter his glory?” 27And Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets. 28As they came near the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther; 29but they held him back, saying, “Stay with us; the day is almost over and it is getting dark.” So he went in to stay with them. 30He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. 32They said to each other, “Wasn’t it like a fire burning in us when he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” 33They got up at once and went back to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others 34and saying, “The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!” 35The two then explained to them what had happened on the road, and how they had recognized the Lord when he broke the bread. –from Luke 24
So just because it doesn’t look the way you expected, it doesn’t feel like you hoped, and it didn’t happen when you expected, don’t lose hope! Is there anything keeping you from being or accomplishing everything God is calling you to be? Is there anything that started as good but became and obstacle? Are there things that you need to stop or get rid of? God will instruct, direct, and correct the ones He loves! So let’s be obedient to His will and walk it out with Him close to us.
God Our Father
1As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. 2Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne. 3Think of what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up. 4For in your struggle against sin you have not yet had to resist to the point of being killed. 5Have you forgotten the encouraging words which God speaks to you as his children?
“My child, pay attention when the Lord corrects you, and do not be discouraged when he rebukes you. 6Because the Lord corrects everyone he loves, and punishes everyone he accepts as a child.” 7Endure what you suffer as being a father’s punishment; your suffering shows that God is treating you as his children. Was there ever a child who was not punished by his father? 8If you are not punished, as all his children are, it means you are not real children, but bastards. 9In the case of our human fathers, they punished us and we respected them. How much more, then, should we submit to our spiritual Father and live! 10Our human fathers punished us for a short time, as it seemed right to them; but God does it for our own good, so that we may share his holiness. 11When we are punished, it seems to us at the time something to make us sad, not glad. Later, however, those who have been disciplined by such punishment reap the peaceful reward of a righteous life. –from Hebrews 12
Do you need wisdom in what to do? Do you need wisdom in how to do it? Do you need spiritual understanding? Turn to God! Turn to His Word! Today’s reading continues into the book of Proverbs…
1If you get more stubborn every time you are corrected, one day you will be crushed and never recover. 2Show me a righteous ruler and I will show you a happy people. Show me a wicked ruler and I will show you a miserable people. 3If you appreciate wisdom, your parents will be proud of you. It is a foolish waste to spend money on prostitutes. 4When the king is concerned with justice, the nation will be strong, but when he is only concerned with money, he will ruin his country. 5If you flatter your friends, you set a trap for yourself. 6Evil people are trapped in their own sins, while honest people are happy and free. 7A good person knows the rights of the poor, but wicked people cannot understand such things. 8People with no regard for others can throw whole cities into turmoil. Those who are wise keep things calm. 9When an intelligent person brings a lawsuit against a fool, the fool only laughs and becomes loud and abusive. 10Bloodthirsty people hate anyone who’s honest, but righteous people will protect the life of such a person. 11Stupid people express their anger openly, but sensible people are patient and hold it back. 12If a ruler pays attention to false information, all his officials will be liars. 13A poor person and his oppressor have this in common—the Lord gave eyes to both of them. 14If a king defends the rights of the poor, he will rule for a long time. –from Proverbs 29