Freedom From Discouragement
A Message by Dr. Tony Evans
(You can listen to this message by downloading the Tony Evans free app.)
Today, I decided to type my notes, then re-write them on the pages of a journal. I have to admit, these hands are becoming less fluid with arthritis and when I draw using my ipad and Apple Pencil, I get help! In the program I use (Procreate) it magically straightens my lines, creates perfect circles, & erases with a tap:)
So…today, you’ll see my shaky pen, crooked lines, and maybe even some misspelled words:)
I am often overwhelmed with GRATITUDE when I stop and think about the way Jesus uses EVERY detail for OUR good and His glory. It should not be lost on us…each deliberate step He takes is designed to show us up close, who our SAVIOR is…and in a way we can understand. <——that is such LOVE. The gentle way He walks beside His friends… to lovingly teach them AGAIN…the things He has told them many times.
The Message today is rooted in Luke 24.
On the Road to Emmaus
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
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 farther. 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 recognized 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 recognized by them when he broke the bread.
“The SOLUTION to their DISCOURAGEMENT was ALREADY WITH THEM, but until they had FELLOWSHIP with Jesus, they could NOT see.” -Tony Evans
As they walked and shared their disappointment with Jesus, (though they did not recognize Him) Jesus said to them: “How foolish you are and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken. DID NOT THE MESSIAH HAVE TO SUFFER THESE THINGS & THEN ENTER HIS GLORY?
WE WILL HAVE TIMES OF TROUBLE; for the disciples, this time must have felt like their greatest despair… BUT, as Dr. Evans shares
“It’s hard to rise if you haven’t died.”
Jesus was trying to tell His friends that they had selective hearing when it came to the scriptures. They didn’t want to believe there had to be death before there could be life.
THEY WERE DEPRESSED BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T KNOW THE WHOLE STORY
WE DON’T KNOW THE WHOLE STORY, AND CAN BE PARALYZED BY THE PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE. There is something right around the corner, that we cannot see.
TRUSTING God, means believing that in ALL circumstances He has ONLY our good in mind…believing that our Father goes before us and has purpose for all things. It can be hard to grasp these truths in the midst of great hardship and tragedy. In the Message “Living In The Light Of Eternity” (you can see my post on this here) Tony Evans says this: “I work down here, but I live up there.” This eternal perspective changes everything, but is not possible without the intervention of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 2)
The Disciples were no different than you and I…yet, they physically walked with Jesus and still had trouble believing!
“THEY DIDN’T RECOGNIZE HIM AT THE BIBLE STUDY (their walk with Jesus), & WHEN THEY GOT TO THE HOUSE, THEY KNEW THE SCRIPTURES BUT DID NOT KNOW JESUS…AND THEN…HE BROKE BREAD WITH THEM…
AND THEY EXPERIENCED THE RESSURECTION.” -Tony Evans
The disciples INVITED Jesus to stay with them, and through this INVITATION, HE manifested who He was as they gathered around the table, which removed the scales from their eyes. (Abiding)
Our responsibility is to send out the invitation daily. Inviting Jesus to be a part of everything we do. If we dwell with Him, we will find freedom from discouragement and we will experience His presence and provision.
We must all face trials in life, but our Good Father, provides what we need if we ask Him to “the table.” Our discouragement can either lead us to despair and death, or it can lead us to the one who writes our GOOD story.
He’s right here with us. Let’s remember to invite Him in!