Day 24: Read Luke Chapter 24
A Listening Heart
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Have you ever experienced a great loss or disappointment that puzzled you?
I went through a winter season in my marriage a few years ago. I felt discouraged, perplexed, and overwhelmed. I had so many questions and wondered whether we would make it.
Jesus’ death and burial left his disciples and followers puzzled, discouraged, and doubtful. Their hope that Jesus was the Messiah to rescue Israel was dashed.
But Jesus did not leave his disciples alone. He showed up and encouraged them in several ways.
What challenges or losses are you experiencing? How can Jesus help you to have joy in the midst of it?
Jesus will comfort you in your sorrow and pain.
After Jesus’ burial, some women went to anoint his body, but the tomb was empty. Two angels appeared to the women and reminded them of what Jesus had told them. The angels also said Jesus was alive and had risen from the dead (Luke 24:4-8). The women left immediately to tell the other disciples.
Have you ever had a season of loss, confusion, loneliness, and sadness? How did you experience Jesus’ comfort during that time?
This story in Luke 24 especially resonates with me. The women remembered all that Jesus told them when he was alive. But that didn’t take away their pain, grief, and sorrow.
I struggled with doubts, fear, and discouragement during a challenging season in my marriage 15 years ago. Yet Jesus met me in my pain and comforted me. I found joy in reading the Bible daily. And encouragement that he was with me in all my troubles, and I was never alone (Psalm 34:19, Psalm 23:4, Psalm 121:1).
You may be facing challenges in your finances, marriage, parenting, or health. Jesus will meet you in your pain and encourage you.
Jesus will provide deep insights into your questions and calm your doubts and fears.
Two of the disciples left for Emmaus, about 8 miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along, Jesus joined them, but they did not recognize him. They focused on their disappointments and problems with the events surrounding Jesus’ death.
Jesus got their attention when he asked them what they were talking about. The men were taken aback that Jesus wasn’t aware of the events in the area.
Of course, Jesus was fully aware. But rather than overwhelm them, he asked some questions. Then he gently opened their eyes to the truth about him from the scriptures (Luke 24: 13-31).
Like the two men on the road to Emmaus, I was on a 10-year journey of multiple trials, one right after the other. If Jesus did not show up, I don’t know where I would be. Oh, I had some very challenging days.
I, too, searched for help to deal with my fears, doubts, health issues, dysfunction, and homelessness. Jesus opened my eyes to the scriptures and made the Word come alive. It often felt like my heart was burning as the words leaped off the page. I couldn’t contain myself. Jeremiah’s said it best… “his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it” (Jeremiah 20:9)
My circumstances did not change overnight. Jesus revealed himself to me through the scriptures. He helped me to see that there was a bigger purpose for my many trials. His daily guidance and insights strengthened me. His presence filled my heart with peace and joy. And I had the desire to encourage others undergoing hardships.
Then I started a small group at church to support women facing challenges and trials. I shared with them what the Lord was teaching me in his Word. Today, many women from that group are helping others to find hope in Jesus.
Jesus transformed the two men’s disappointments and discouragements into joy (Luke 24:32-33). He also met me in difficult situations, gave me deep insights, and calmed my fears. He’ll do the same for you.
No trouble is too much for him to handle. No pain is wasted with him. He is patient in guiding you through even the fiercest storms. An encounter with Jesus will unlock the truths of the scriptures. It will give you joy and transform your life.
How have you encountered the resurrected Jesus? How do you experience him daily?
Jesus’ Victory over death and the Holy Spirit gives you Joy.
Jesus appeared again to all the disciples while the two men shared their experiences. The disciples were troubled, fearful, and startled when they saw Jesus. But he blessed them, “peace be with you.” He showed them his hands and feet and asked for food. Jesus did all this to assure the disciples that he was alive (Luke 24:35-43).
Then he gave insights into the Old Testament scriptures about himself. He reminded them about what was written that Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.
He said that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:44-47). Jesus asked the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit. Later, Jesus led them out to Bethany, blessed them, and then he was lifted up to heaven. The disciples worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy (Luke 24:48-51).
I look back over the last 15 years with great joy and worship. I praise God for sustaining me during severe testing and trials. I am grateful that Jesus continues to be the bedrock of my life.
Through this blog, he helps me to share the message of salvation, hope, and freedom with people in all nations.
My life is not perfect by any means. I still face challenges daily. The resurrected Jesus gives me hope, courage, and confidence to stand strong in him. For me, my personal experiences with Jesus make him real and alive. He is tangible and no longer just an abstract figure from the Bible.
Jesus doesn’t promise you and me trouble-free lives. But in our hour of darkness and crisis, he’ll illuminate the scriptures to us. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus will make His Word real to us and guide us. He’ll transform your sorrows into joy through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Because of Jesus’ victory over death on the cross, you and I can confidently face our trials and troubles. Perhaps, you’re dealing with a troubled marriage, the loss of a loved one, illness, a troubled teen, or any other problems. You’ll find comfort in Jesus with your doubts. You can trust him to address your questions and be with you in your sorrow, pain, and disappointments.
Friend, you and I are overcomers because of Jesus!
What doubts and fears do you have? How will having faith in Jesus and the Bible help you overcome?
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for your amazing grace and love. Thank you that my fears, sorrows, and disappointments are no barriers for you. I desire a deeper walk with you. Please open my spiritual eyes so I may understand and behold the wonderful things in your Word. Thank you for guiding me through these challenging times and giving me joy. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Thank you for studying the gospel of Luke together and Coming Away with Jesus. As we have spent 24 days together in the Gospel of Luke, I hope it blessed your heart and strengthened your faith. It certainly has blessed me. I’ve gained new insights and fresh joy. I’d love to hear about your experience. Share your experience in the comments.
Day 24: This is the final post in the Come Away with Jesus Christmas Challenge.
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