Luke 24:13–19 ‘He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast.’ (v17)

Caravaggio’s ‘Supper at Emmaus’ is a favourite painting. The dramatic moment when two disciples recognise the risen Christ breaking bread. Their walk offers a metaphor for Christian life. Two disheartened disciples, believing their hopes dashed, set off home. Dashed hopes can lead to despondency; literally to give up one’s soul. 

The Church Fathers prayed for God’s deliverance from despondency, recognising that it dilutes enthusiasm and drains energy. This offers a foothold to our enemy, for our mind now assumes only disappointment and defeat. The loss of focus, confidence and motivation is disabling and faith shrinks away. 

Unrecognised, Jesus falls into step alongside our despondent disciples. Their failure to recognise Him prevents them from finding faith. Life will present us with a series of journeys on which we discover more about ourselves and our surrounding landscape. Pilgrimage offers a great lens through which to comprehend our lives. 

We are always on a journey towards greater understanding of God. Understanding that can only ever be communicated through revelation. Despondency, like a heavy doom- laden blanket, traps us within an unrelenting circle of logic. We only see what’s not working, so disappointment and frustration overwhelm us. 

Our faith comes under severe pressure, a mere shadow of the conviction that once stirred our heart. Despondency, loss of hope and courage, is what we may expect on our walk of faith. But every setback is itself a crucible of fresh revelation for those with the eyes and ears to perceive God’s presence (Mark 8:16–19).


Josh. 1:1–9; Ruth 1:1–18; Acts 14:19–28; Rom. 5:1–11


When you feel despondent then acknowledge it and go and speak with someone you trust.
Diamonds are forged under pressure – maybe disciples too?


‘Lord, help me to walk in Your ways even when I appear to have lost my way,
and my confidence in You begins to drain away. Amen.’

Bild von bruce lam auf Pixabay
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.