… Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel….
How do you define a win? What does it look like for you to win? In sports it is easy to define a winner – it is the one with the most points at the end of the game or the one who crosses the finish line first. That’s pretty easy. But, when it comes to life defining a win isn’t always that easy. When we don’t find the win we have been looking for it is easy to fall into despair. When we let despair have its way in us we can miss the actual win God has for us.
Take for instance these two guys who were on their way to Emmaus after the death of Jesus. These guys were walking along talking about everything that just happened and Scriptures describes them as being sad. In this sadness they missed recognizing the risen Jesus! They were sulking in what they thought was a loss and missed the victory standing (literally) right in front of them!
They had decided that victory meant their political redemption. Jesus, if He really was King, would take over the Roman empire. He would defeat them and Israel would be set free. But, how can that happen when instead He is crucified and buried. Now, three days later they can’t even find His body! They were sad because what they wanted to happen didn’t. So, they assumed they lost.
Don’t let despair take over. Just because life doesn’t turn out the way you want doesn’t mean you have lost. When your prayers aren’t answered the way you pictured it doesn't mean God doesn’t care. God is King and has promised you victory. When things don’t work out the way we want, we just might need to redefine what victory looks like and be willing to see beyond our little boxes. God didn’t just want to redeem Israel, He wanted to redeem all of Creation. Victory was won, it was just a bigger victory than they expected. God has a victory for you, it just might be bigger than you expected. Keep hoping and trusting in Him, don’t let despair win.
Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.