Those early disciples on the Emmaus road were given a new birth into a living hope when they realised that the story was true. And that same hope is available to us today; but it need not be just a hope for the future. It can be a fact today.
When their unknown, unrecognised fellow traveller joined them on the road to Emmaus, there faces were downcast, full of disappointment and lacking hope. But Jesus, still unrecognised, explained the scriptures to them, and eventually accepted their invitation to dinner. Then their hopes were fulfilled and all doubts were chased away.
My eyes will never see happiness again! Job is really having a bad time. Most of us can understand. But at the very end of the forty two chapters we read that Job got a new very long life, with more sons and daughters and a very successful farming career!
This is a good verse to remember when we are feeling down or disappointed, when what we had hoped for has not manifested. But the word of God has the answer for every emotion that could take us down the road to self pity. This is one of those verses!
Praise God that many respond and take seriously the call to pray for those in leadership. But we are so concerned with our lives and the problems of our family members, that we take little time to pray for people in authority. That world seems far from our daily lives.
On a personal level this psalm (37) spoke often to me during our early years living in France when we were having a house built. Unfortunately the builder was not the most honest of people, and certainly took advantage of us foreigners who did not speak the language very well.
This psalm is an accolade to the Lord, telling us that The One who created everything by a word is the only one to trust whatever the circumstances. Most of us know that in our hearts. But still we often trust in other people and things. Read Psalm 33 today.
Zechariah was from the tribe of priests and he began to prophecy about 520BC to the people who had returned to Jerusalem after the exile. There was much rebuilding to be done once the Jews had returned to Jerusalem, and the people soon got discouraged. They had started with enthusiasm.
Most of us, reading this today, can look back on life and think of things we have hoped for that have not happened. Our disappointments affect our future faith. We say to ourselves: God did not do that when I asked Him. How can I know He will do this?
The last words of this verse written by Paul to encourage Timothy in his pastoral work, surprise me a little. Paul is not really renowned for his enjoyment of life, and his letters often make us think he is a hard master. But maybe he took time to relax occasionally.