We read in the Word of God that in the last days, sin shall abound and the love of many will grow cold. Who can deny that this is happening today? Society continues to spiral down into deeper darkness almost daily, and it can become easy to grow cold to every form of love. Eventually, many Christians will end up in discouragement; in fact, some already are disheartened.
The book of Luke tells us of a time when two disciples “were traveling … to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him” (Luke 24:13-16). These two were so engrossed in their own reasoning — their own assessment of what had just taken place with the crucifixion of Jesus — that they could not see when the Lord himself began to walk with them.
When Jesus asked the men why they were sad, they replied, “The chief priests and our rulers delivered [Jesus] to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping …” (24:20-21). Jesus had already been resurrected from the dead but what was actually a great victory was still nothing but defeat in their eyes.
This is the same dilemma we must guard against. We think we know what God is about to do, and we formulate in our minds the complete picture of how everything ought to unfold. Yet when it does not develop the way we think it should, we find ourselves batting discouragement.
The men on the road to Emmaus were ill informed but hopeful. That is when the Lord appeared to them and essentially said, “I’m not going to force myself on you, but if you desire I will open to you the Scriptures and show you things you may not have considered yet” (see 24:27).
Are you willing to let God unlock the Scriptures and show you his ways? Remember, God’s ways are higher than yours and what may look like defeat is actually victory! Like these disciples, ask Jesus to abide with you and show you how true strength is found.
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001.