Pause for thought – Can you recall times when you have struggled as a Christian with the experiences you were facing or are facing right now? Jot down one or two and come back to them later.
Our passage today is Luke 24 v36-48. Take your time in reading it before moving on.
The disciples and other followers were gathered together in Jerusalem. They were listening intently to the testimony of the two disciples who had met Jesus on their way to Emmaus. The two shared how they had been joined by Jesus – though they had not recognised him at the time; and how He explained about the resurrection being the fulfilment of the Scriptures.
It was while the whole group were sharing together that Jesus appeared amongst them and blessed them with peace. They were startled, frightened and full of doubt – a whole mixture of emotions. This surely is no different from our situation in the 21st century. The answer is the same today as it was for the early disciples. It is His presence that we need to seek and acknowledge He is never far away from us and always ready to respond. “Does He really care?” you may ask. Look again at the scars he bears, the evidence of His love for me and you. He showed the disciples His hands and feet to help them believe that He was alive again and even ate some food in front of them to convince them too. Their fears turned to joy and amazement, even though they still had some doubts.
What does He do when we seek Him in the midst of our need? He helps us to open our minds and hearts to the Scriptures, just as he did with His disciples in v45. Why? – because they hold all the promises of God and the confirmation we need to help us stand firm with confidence in our faith, because they are the “Living words of God”. What else will he do? Look again at the passage and in particular v49. Jesus promised His disciples that they would receive “power from on high”. He was referring to the Holy Spirit, who was given to all believers from Pentecost onwards. Today, the Holy Spirit is available to us too and He longs to work with us, so that we can fulfil God’s plan and purpose for each and every one of our lives.
Now pause and take some time to seek God’s presence and hand over to Him those memories of past struggles or the emotions of present ones. Let Him give you His peace, let Him open your minds and heart to His word and let Him clothe you with power through the Holy Spirit to strengthen you in your journey of life.