By Russ Ramsey
How many of us gauge how close God seems based on how easy our lives feel? We presume His faithfulness is seen best when He gives us a life free of dependence on Him. When this is our doctrine and hardship comes along or when the bottom falls out on our lives, we think the struggle we’re in is proof that God has left the room. Not only is this bad doctrine, but it is also arrogant. It defies everything His Word tells us about the Christian life. Jesus tells us, “You can do nothing without me” (John 15:5).
When the couple Jesus had started walking with arrived in Emmaus, Jesus acted like He was going on, but they implored Him to stay. He obliged. As they ate, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them—and their eyes were opened, and they knew this was Jesus. And just like that, He vanished from their sight. But it was as if all the pieces fell into place, and they understood what Christ had been telling them. Luke tells us they rose that very hour to return another seven miles back to Jerusalem to tell the eleven. All was not lost! Jesus had risen, and that truth was rich in consequence.
Experiencing Jesus burned in their hearts, and they remembered what He said. We don’t need to rely on eloquence, debate, impassioned pleas, or notoriety for the Word of God to change people. It is powerful on its own. God’s Word brings people from death to life. Sometimes when we’re at our lowest, and a friend tries to encourage us with Scripture, we might say, “Please don’t preach at me. Not now.” Sometimes we even resent the idea that the recitation of a few verses could reach into our pain and heal what hurts.
But that is exactly what Scripture can do in your life. God’s Word is living and active. It is an anchor in the cliff face that holds, no matter what. It is true, independent of how you feel—so secure that your sorrow, pessimism, even narcissism can’t empty it of its power. It is the story and the doctrines of the truth of God. It is the story that tells us Jesus triumphed over death and satisfied the wrath of God by paying the wage for our sin.
Have you experienced Jesus? Are you drawn to His Word and what He has said? May the Word of God and the doctrines it holds burn in our hearts and compel us to testify that He is risen indeed.