Turning your road of despair into a road of joy
Luke 24: 25-35
25 He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going further. 29 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. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 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?’ 33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, ‘It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognised by them when he broke the bread.
How did their road of despair change to a road of joy?
- The Scriptures. When the Bible is opened up and when we see truths that were once hidden a fire is lit within us, a consuming one. We may not know at the time the full extent of the work of God within us but the Bible is changing our despair into joy.
- The Invitation. Simple that it may be. An invitation to the stranger to stay. It looked like kindness but it was also their desire to be with this stranger, to possess what he had. A desire to learn, a longing for more, an inquisitive heart and a passion to pursue are all traits that lead to changing despair into joy.
- Was it the table and the way they sat down? Was it the way he took the bread? The way he gave thanks? The way he broke it? Or the obvious: the nail prints? Whatever it was they once couldn’t understand or recognise him but now the communion table turned their despair into joy.
- The experience of resurrection. They didn’t need an empty tomb. They didn’t need further conversations and worshipful moments. He was gone. But He had been there. The impact of His presence was still there after He had gone and it turned their despair into joy.
- They returned. It seems they had been going home to their village but this was not the moment for retreat but for return. You can return in the darkest of nights when you have the light burning within. They retraced their steps in the dark until they found the house where they had presumably come from. Their return unravelled the road of despair and created a new road of joy.
- ‘It is true’ exclaimed the Eleven. Finding someone who knows what you have gone through is so valuable. ‘He has appeared to Simon’. Finding someone who has also gone down a personal road of despair is also valuable. Finding the right people around you will lead to your own road of despair turning into a road of joy!