We’ve all been disappointed at one time or another. Disappointment is that gut-level feeling of just being sick over what might have been … what could have been … what should have been.
“We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:3-5, NASB).
Some of life’s holiest moments are experienced during times of unwanted and undeserved disappointment. Often, when you feel that your life has fallen apart, God meets you in the middle of the mess.
When you mistakenly believe that you have been defeated one too many times, He is there to pick you up and to encourage you. Your good, good Father is perpetually cheering you on.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28, NKJV).
We serve a God so powerful that He is able to knit together the mangled mess of our hearts into something breathtakingly beautiful. When we concentrate on simply and passionately loving Him, He is working behind the scenes of our lives to take every disappointment we encounter and work it to our advantage.
Although your heart may be hollow with the pain of aborted dreams and one downfall after another, hold on to hope. Rather than remaining in a place of penetrating disappointment, know that because of the power and love of God, nothing this side of heaven has the capacity to “dis”-appoint you.
You have been eternally and unflinchingly appointed for God’s purposes and His plans. His appointment for your life trumps circumstantial “dis”-appointments.
Paul, in his letter to the church at Rome, gave the early, persecuted church a divine strategy for coping with the disappointments in life: “We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that … hope does not disappoint.” The word “exult” that Paul and the Holy Spirit wisely used in this verse means, “to glory in whether with reason or without.”
Do you understand the power of this one definition? Rather than to weep and then wrap yourself in the flimsy comforter of discouragement, you are invited to glory in your disappointment! How can this happen? How does a common man or an ordinary woman find the motivation to live life in such a contradictory manner? You are able to make this defining choice and then glory in disappointment, because God is still on the throne of your life. He is still in control. You have not escaped His love, you are not “dis”-appointed and God is not finished with you yet! All of this is true because He is God and you are His beloved child.
When you foolishly begin to wonder if He has forgotten you, you are actually skeptical of and perhaps even doubting His love for you. If I have just described the condition that your heart is in today, possibly you can identify with Martha, who felt the need to confront Jesus about whether or not He was aware of what was transpiring in her stressful life.
“But Martha was distracted [overly occupied, too busy, cumbered] by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me'” (Luke 10:40, NLT).
What “big dinner” has caused you to be overly occupied, cumbered and distracted? Have you been cocky enough, and even unwise enough, to accuse the Lord of not caring about you and your life?
The truth is that I am guilty of it every single day of my too-busy life! While I am preparing “big dinner” after “big dinner,” I take my earthly grievances out on my heavenly Lord.
I often forget the joy of time spent in His presence. I have overlooked the fact that disciples must sit at the feet of the Teacher. Mary, the devoted sister of Martha, had chosen the very best part.
“Only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42, AMP).
I want to choose what Mary chose, even when I am frustrated with the life that I have created. I want to discover the importance of sitting at His feet when my world calls me to perform, to prepare, and to produce. Only in God do we discover our identity, our meaning, our purpose and our significance. So, linger today. Linger at His feet.
Spend time in God’s loving presence, and while you’re at it, forget telling Him what to do. He’s got it. He sees, He knows and He cares.
Jesus is waiting for you to choose what truly matters in life—time spent at His feet. It’s to your advantage.
Carol McLeod is a bestselling author and popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor.