Friends

Have you ever been disappointed?  I know the answer is YES.  I don’t know anyone who has not gone through some type of disappointment. 

Maybe you have longed for healing, for a job, for a baby, or for a wife.  You have faithfully and earnestly prayed for weeks and months — even years.  But you are still sick, still unemployed, still childless, or still single.  And you are disappointed.  Most of all, you are disappointed by God.

Disappointment comes in all sizes, doesn't it?  Any time our hopes are not realized, or our expectations or desires are not fulfilled, we feel disappointed.  Disappointment can be a passing emotion over a temporary loss, or it may strike powerfully when something permanently changes our lives.  A major disappointment can remain within us all the time, shadowing our reactions to everything.

We all experience disappointment for different reasons.  Feeling disappointed is not a sin.  How we handle it is the crucial issue.  Disappointment is so common to humanity that it is difficult to choose which biblical characters to best illustrate it.  The Bible is full of disappointed people.

Think of the years of disappointment experienced by Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, and Elizabeth.  Month after month, year after year, they saw the evidence of their childlessness.  Job and Joseph had good reason to be disappointed, too, both in people and in God.  Elijah the prophet expected the great evidence of God's power on Mount Carmel would bring revival.  Instead, it only put a price on his head.  He was so disappointed he asked to die.

If anyone was ever faced with a repeated disappointment, it was Moses.  In infancy he was rescued from death by the faith of his parents and the ingenuity of his mother.  God arranged for him to be adopted by the princess of Egypt.  But he spent the first formative years of his life being raised by his own parents.  From them he learned of God's promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  He was taught that the Israelites were God's people, chosen to bless the world, and that God would make them a nation and give them a land.

Moses was never able to forget what his parents had taught him, even after he went to live with Pharaoh's daughter, his foster mother, in the palace.  This double identity must have caused him a great deal of tension.  As he grew, he saw the Hebrew slaves struggling under terrible bondage while he lived luxuriously, enjoying all the privileges of royalty.  Finally, Moses tried to do something to help his people.

"When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites.  He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian.  Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not." (Acts 7:23-25 NLT)

Many years before God called him to do so, Moses longed to be a deliverer of his people.  He was willing to use his power and influence to change their desperate situation.  But they rejected him.  In fact, he had to flee for his life from Egypt to live in the backside of the desert for another forty years after the murder incident.  Talk about disappointment!

Satan has a strategy to invade our spirits and bring us down until we are defeated.

satan pyramid.png

•The tip of the wedge seems so harmless.  It is simply disappointment.

•But if we let our disappointment fester, the wedge is driven in a little farther, and we experience discouragement.

•Unchecked, discouragement because disillusionment.

•Then the wedge invades even more territory as it proceeds to depression

•Ultimately, we end in defeat.

Disappointment is a hard pill to swallow.  Nobody likes it, but it’s something we will face throughout our lifetime.  We will face disappointment again and again in our lives, but how we respond to it should change over time.

In overcoming disappointments, it is important to keep them in perspective.  Even though we cannot eliminate suffering or disappointment this side of heaven, it can become less formidable when viewed from a different vantage point.  The first thing to keep in mind is this: no amount of suffering or disappointment we experience in this life can ever undo what God has done for us in Christ.  Apart from Scripture, it is very difficult to have a proper perspective on suffering and disappointment, and these things will rarely make sense to those unacquainted with God’s Word.  Neither psychology nor philosophy can offer a sufficient explanation for it.  No social science can work restoration on the soul; only God can do this (Psalm 23:3).  The truth is, our trials and disappointments, though we may not like them, do serve a purpose.  It is through trials that we learn patience and humility, endurance and trust—virtues that strengthen us and develop godly character.

I have learned three things about how to deal with disappointments

• Release your disappointment to God

• Evaluate and adjust your expectations

•Get moving quickly

It’s also important to remember that God didn’t disappoint you—life’s circumstances and people disappointed you.  When something bad happens in life, it’s not a time to blame God, it’s a time to run to Him.

Make Every Day Count!

Barry

Come Sunday and learn how to be an Overcomer!