Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead...

Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Disappointment Is God's Framework For Teaching

Ever been disappointed?  Sure you have, we all have been discouraged when our expectations have been crushed.  How do YOU respond to those disappointing times?  Do you allow it to cause you to spiral into depression or do you stay attentive to the teachable moments the Holy Spirit is bringing to you through it?  We can build up our spirit with the truth of the Word of God so that when disappointments come we are equipped to see through spiritual eyes into the situation. 

God is our Potter and we are the clay.  It's important to keep this in mind because He is always at work in our lives molding us into the image of Christ.  We were never promised that we would be free from temptation or struggles when we became a believer in Jesus Christ.  As a matter of fact, it's quite the opposite.  Following Jesus can be the most wonderful experience, yet it is also a painful one.  It's painful because we are to "die to self, to take up our cross daily, to resist temptation..."  We can do this only through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Changing your framework or the way you think is NOT an easy task.  The Word of God tells us to renew our mind daily...  As we do, the Word is sown into our minds and hearts preparing us to face the day ahead!  Each of us has a story to tell about how we were disappointed by people, circumstances, companies, money, jobs, and even God.  We can read books, go to counseling, talk with other believers, and even reason within our own minds over the question "why".  However, only God holds the answer to the question "why" disappointments have come.  The answer lies within His Word and sometimes it may not even be revealed to you until you have entered heaven.

So, how do you press on?  By keeping your eyes on Christ and His Word!

Here are a few situational statements and how you could chose to move into God's framework and let Him teach you...

Disappointment in your company:
~Chose to be thankful that the Lord has provided you with a job.  Even if it isn't where you want to be at this time.  Look around!  Is there someone to minister to?  Is there a new skill to learn?  Are there some divine connections to be made?  Maybe you just lost your job with that company.  Could it be that God has a new and better opportunity ahead?  Is He strengthening your level of patience?  Does He want to teach you to trust Him?

Disappointment in people:
~If the person you are disappointed in isn't a Christian, could your situation be an opportunity to share the gospel?  Could it be an opportunity to model Christ before them by forgiving them, loving them despite their actions, showing kindness despite their rudeness...  When Christ hung on the cross He said to the Father "forgive them for the do not know what they are doing...". 

~If the person is a Christian and they have disappointed you it's still wise to remember that they are still human and able to sin.  It can be a hard pill to swallow when both of you understand the truth of God's Word and still hurts another.  It is still an opportunity to forgive and show love and mercy.  Why?  Because your Lord and Savior has first shown you love and mercy!  Could it be that you were also sinning?  Remember, "take the log out of your own eye first".

Disappointment in God:
~Maybe the hardest disappointment to overcome is disappointment in God.  When God doesn't answer your prayer in the way you believe He ought, it can be devastating.  Many are disillusioned by the "promises" they think they have because they are Christians or even if they aren't Christians!  The author of that deception is Satan.  Satan is very good at mixing the truth of the Word of God with a lie and making it appear real.  The only way of knowing what your true promises are from God are written in His Word.  They don't come from an emotional experience and they don't come from a motivational speaker's opinion.  The Word of God will change your outlook on God.  Remember, you can only trust God to the extent that you know Him through His Word.

~A fresh framework of God may look like this...  God permitted this disappointment to show me that my greatest desire needs to be for Him and Him alone.  God allowed this struggle because He foreknew that I would one day be able to help another.  God let this company terminate my job because He knew that it was evil to it's core and He had something better for me.  God allowed me to get sick because He wanted to demonstrate that He works all things together for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

Whatever you face friends, know that you CAN change your outlook to reflect a teachable heart...  However, it will cost you something.  You will need to let go of your bitterness, anger, fear, pride, and anger.  Is it worth it to you?  Focus on what it will be like if you can!  Pressing on is a lot easier with less baggage...