But We Had Hoped
“But we had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21a). These are the words spoken on the road to Emmaus by a follower of Jesus. Jesus was walking with them after His death and resurrection, engaging them in conversation, His true identity concealed to them.
“But we had hoped…” in reading this passage the other day, these words struck me deeply. How many times had I been there in my life, times of hoping so deeply, praying fervently, and getting to that place in my mind that I firmly believed what I was asking for was the best thing that could happen, so how could God’s answer not be “Yes”. But it isn’t. Have you ever been there?
But we had hoped…
- For healing, and it doesn’t come
- For restoration in marriage, and it remains broken
- For friends to have the kids they so desperately want to have, and the pregnancy tests still come out negative.
- For legislation to not pass, and it does.
And you are left questioning, “God, where are you in this? Do you not see what is happening?”
The Jews, even those that walked with Jesus during His ministry on earth, had believed the Messiah would be one who would come as a leader who would free the Israelites from all their oppressors. How could God not want that? And those who followed Jesus believed He was the one to fulfill that hope.
But then He was crucified.
They were left confused, disappointed, sad.
And then Jesus is raised from the dead.
The Jews had been looking for a Savior that would fix their problems in the here and now. Jesus’ purpose, though, was so much bigger and so much better. Bigger than their trials and tribulations here on earth was their problem with sin. Better than comfort and being released from hurt and hardship in this temporary world is a Savior who pays the price for our sin and opens the gate for us to be able to enter heaven and spend eternity with Him.
Is it wrong to ask God for deliverance from our hurts and trials during this life? Absolutely not. We should continue to pray for healing, for marriages, for those we love going through hardships, for God to work and move within our government. But as believers in Christ, our hope is not in things of this world. Our hope is in Jesus, who came to earth to die for our sake to spend eternity with Him.
As I look back through my life now, I am now thankful God didn’t always give me what I had asked for. Sometimes He gives me something better physically, but more often, what He gives me is change in my heart, a deeper understanding of Him, drawing me in closer to Him, preparing me for eternity with my Savior.