My son Greg and his family just moved back to Minneapolis from Austin, Minnesota after he accepted a Youth Pastor position with a local church. The past two months they’ve been looking for a house in a fiercely competitive market for buyers. They finally found the perfect one and had a purchase agreement signed. However, the inspection report revealed some things that they weren’t expecting, and they had to walk away from the deal. It was disappointing not only because they loved the house, but also because they had to go back to square one in their search. I’m sure it was also disappointing for the people selling the house.
It’s not a matter of if we will experience disappointment: it’s a matter of when. Disappointments come in degrees, from the little ones that sting a little to the big ones that threaten to crush us. Disappointments include someone forgetting to tell us about an event, or not getting the job we thought was ours, or even a spouse who let us down and walked away.
A man named Habakkuk once looked out over what used to be his homeland. He saw utter desolation, much of it caused by a ravaging enemy. Even in the face of this bleak landscape, he chose to acknowledge God and stand in the hope that God would give him the strength to move on. Here are his words:
“Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.”
Habakkuk 3: 17-19
In my book “The Isaiah Encounter” I wrote about the importance of focus in a life of worship. It’s a proven fact that you will veer towards the thing you set your eyes upon while driving a car. It’s the same in life: If we fix our eyes on the disappointments in our life, we will enter into a decaying orbit around them. When we set our hearts and attention on God, we may still experience the pain of a disappointment, but with God’s perspective and power that can ultimately heal and strengthen us. Here are a few nuggets to remember as you move through times of disappointment:
God is bigger than any heartache we experience.
The disappointments we encounter can pale and even melt away as we rest in God and reflect on His greatness and love. Remember and voice this Psalm as you move through trying circumstances:
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth”
The Creator and Holder of all the cosmos is infinitely capable of handling anything that challenges us!
God always goes ahead of us!
We will never go through anything that Jesus has not already overcome! Jesus said,
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus triumphed over every challenge—including death—for us. He is alive eternally and in control of all things, and holds our future in his hand.
God is with us: we are not alone
As he prepared to ascend to the Father, Jesus left this promise to his friends and us:
“…Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Allow this promise to sink into the core of your being: Jesus is ALWAYS with you. This week I’ve included a song I wrote and recorded to help you remember this Truth.
When we are in a relationship with God in Jesus Christ, it will all work out for our best.
Here is an abiding truth for those who are in Christ: What the enemy of our soul intends for our harm, God will turn for good. When given over to God, even the decades-old disappointments and hurts can be God’s fuel for our ultimate good. The apostle Paul put it this way:
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us… And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”
God’s promise is that someday we will see the full reality of how He used the disappointments of our life for our good. Until that day, God asks us to hold onto him and His word for us.
Worship God before you see the answer
When we ask, God will give us the faith to worship Him even before we see any resolution to the disappointments of our life. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can worship God above and through the circumstances of life.
The choice to worship God in the midst of disappointments reveals a heart and life fully given over to Him.
God bless you!
Thanks for checking out my blog! Each week I post new thoughts on worshiping God through a transformed life in Jesus Christ. I also invite you to check out my new book “The Isaiah Encounter: Living an Everyday Life of Worship” on Amazon and at selected bookstores (Published by Morgan James Publishing). I appreciate your help in telling friends and churches about this exciting resource!