“But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.”  Luke 24:21a
Scripture Focus:  Luke 24:1-35
The Scriptures tell us “in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  It is only in Christ Jesus that we can give thanks for everything, eventually.  When we experience hurts, disappointments, defeats, loss of expectations, and unanswered prayers, these can leave us feeling hopeless.
The disciples had lost hope when Jesus Christ was crucified and buried.  If that was not enough, the women who were at the tomb shared that Jesus had risen.  His body was not in the tomb.  In disbelief and in grief, two of the disciples left Jerusalem and the other disciples.  They shared their pain and walked along the road towards Emmaus.   As they walked, a stranger joined them and asked about their conversation.  Unaware that this was Jesus, they shared their disappointment.
These disciples give us a pattern to the road of recovery:
1. They took a walk - exercised.
2. They talked about what happened.
3. They expressed their pain and disappointment with one another.
4. They reflected on Jesus – the one they grieved.
5. In their interaction, they recognized Jesus.
6. They allowed the Scriptures to provide insight.
7. They allowed God’s truth to set their hearts aflame again.
8. They rejoined the other disciples - a necessity for full recovery.
9. They delivered the message:  “The Lord is risen indeed.”
I like the way Jesus approached his two disciples:  “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Knowing what the problem was, He did not approach them as such.  Instead, he allowed them to tell Him why they were sad.  This now provides a method for us to help those whose hopes have been shattered.
1. Allow the grieving party the opportunity to share their own story.
2. Give them the freedom to share their pain - again and again, if necessary.
3. Allow them to talk about the loss and what they expected.
4. Because of what they shared, Jesus was able to share the Scriptures with them. Allow for God’s opening.  A grieving person is not always ready to receive Scripture.
6. Be willing to spend time with the person in pain.
7. Help the individual to reflect on the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
8. Remember the Holy Spirit can bring real lasting peace and healing.
Giving thanks in a difficult situation can be hard for you and/or for the person you desire to comfort.  The healing process is different for each individual and they cannot be compared with you or other individuals who have experienced the same situation.   Thanks will one day become commonplace.