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Dealing with life’s disappointments

This week we consider ‘Living the resurrection life’. Preaching from Nathan Gordon. Service led by Beverley Sills.

Sermon Notes

The Situation –
7 Miles of Frustration (The Road to Emmaus)

Disappointments in life are inevitable and unavoidable. However, how we respond to them is what defines us. Disappointments usually arise when our expectations are not met. Cleopas and his friend were travelling to a village that was 7 miles away from Jerusalem. They were disappointed and dejected as their hopes in Jesus were dashed.

Have you ever felt let down by God and disappointed that things did not work out the way you expected, just like the two men?

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

(Martin Luther King Jr)

The Complication –
Don’t allow disappointment to become life-consuming – v17-21

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopos, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

  • Sometimes, disappointments can be taken in stride while on other occasions, they can become overwhelming and consume our lives.
  • After Jesus’ crucifixion, the two men were clearly demotivated and dejected as their hopes in Jesus were shattered.
  • The news of his death and missing body had spread throughout Jerusalem. These men were unaware that the man they were speaking to was Jesus himself.

Challenge – It’s natural to feel let down when someone doesn’t meet our expectations, and it can be frustrating when God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we desire. But we should never allow disappointment to take over our lives. Instead, we should learn from our disappointments and move forward with hope.

The Resolution –
Determine to learn something new through the disappointment – v21-27

“How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

  • Adversity can often be a great teacher if we pay attention to the lessons.
  • The 2 disciples were so focused on their understanding of scripture and the law of Moses that they missed the bigger picture of the mission of Jesus.
  • The men were looking forward to the territorial liberation of Israel but would learn Jesus would offer life-changing freedom from within.
  • Most Jews held dearly to Old Testament prophecies of a messiah coming to implement a political and military kingdom, but Jesus came to bring salvation and offer the way to His spiritual kingdom.

Challenge – Even in times of disappointment, we have the opportunity to learn more about God and ourselves. The two men in this story discovered that death could not hold the Messiah down and they learned a valuable lesson through their disappointment. What lessons have you learned through your own disappointments in life?

The Celebration –
Don’t miss Jesus because of life’s disappointments.

But they were kept from recognising him.

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised him…

  • The two men were initially unaware, but they were actually in the presence of Jesus the Messiah, even though they felt disappointed and perplexed.
  • Life’s disappointments can make us feel alone and distant from God, but He is not absent in our problems. In fact, He is present within our problems to offer his peace and guidance, as Psalm 46:1 tells us.
  • If we focus too much on the problem, it can appear bigger than God, and we can forget that even in challenging situations, God is always near and willing to help.

Challenge – In Psalm 139:7-1, we can read about how there is nowhere we can go to escape God’s presence. The two men in the story thought that Jesus was dead, and his body was missing, but he was actually within touching distance and ready to communicate with them. God is close to us in seasons of joy and seasons of disappointment, do you recognise Him?

Questions

  1. During the sermon, it was emphasized that we should not allow disappointments to consume our lives. Do you find it difficult or easy to move on from disappointments? How does your faith and scripture help you in such situations?
  • If someone has been deeply disappointed with God, how would you counsel them? What should be their first step? Are there any specific scriptures that come to mind that can help them?
  • Regarding verse 16, what do you think could have prevented the men from recognizing Jesus? Do you think it was more than just the disappointment of Jesus’ crucifixion?
  • Christ demonstrated patience with his disciples’ moments of unbelief or lack of understanding. In what areas has Christ shown patience with you?
  • Jesus used the Old Testament prophecies to encourage the men in their disappointment. Discuss how the Old Testament prophecies can bring hope and assurance to our faith today. (See Genesis 3:12, Psalm 22:69; 110; Isaiah 53; Jeremiah 31)
  • What can we learn about witnessing from the example of the two men in this account?

Service Details

Sermon Title: Dealing with life’s disappointments
Bible Reading: Luke 24:13-32
Sermon Series: Living the resurrection life
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Beverley Sills

Service Audio here

View Service Video here

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