Life can be disappointing sometimes. I mean anyone who eats anywhere outside of Chick-fil-A has experienced that moment when you order something and it just simply does not hit the spot. You know what I’m talking about. That moment when you forget that you just prayed for God to bless your meal…the meal that you are now suddenly ungrateful for!
If you are anything like me, then you’ve faced quite a bit of disappointment in your lifetime. You’ve probably faced tiny disappointments of things not working out the way you’d hoped, and perhaps you’ve even faced that gut-wrenching disappointment that feels like it’s going to be the one that will actually kill you. Yeah. That one hurts, it hurts so much that no one can say the right thing, no hug can dissolve, and not even Christian chicken can soothe (as shocking as that may seem).
This last year was a bit tough for me, mainly the second half. And I learned through many less-than-pleasant experiences, that perhaps the reason I was so disappointed in my life was because my hope was actually misplaced. Because according to scripture- hope does NOT disappoint.
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5
Did you hear that? Hope. Does. NOT. Disappoint.
The relationships and friendships that didn’t work out the way I expected weren’t because of the people I was in relationship with, that job I didn’t get or better yet the one I DID get, that joy I didn’t experience that one time, that affirmation I really wanted, all of it and none of it, was ever created to satisfy my soul. I realized in my desperation and in the most lonely of places, that my hope hadn’t been in God- the fulfiller of promises and the one my soul was made for. My hope was instead put on all these things and people, all of which just make awful gods.
So how do you come to the other side of those disappointments? Because a new year on the calendar and positive thinking certainly don’t get you there.
Repentance. I realized in my disappointments that I had put my hope on other things, other people, to fulfill and do what only God could do for my heart. Through repentance, I’m able to place God where He belongs in my heart and to put all the secondary things in their secondary place. Repentance causes my heart to realign and forces me to relinquish the false sense of control I tend to live my life by.
I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. Isaiah 42:8
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Cor. 7:10
Bear Fruit in Keeping with Repentance. Matt. 3:8
Read God’s promises. Isn’t it funny how we add to God’s promises and then get so hurt when He fulfills HIS promises and not ours? I think sometimes I read God’s promise to live in peace this way- my peace I give to you and you will never be in disagreement with anyone. Everyone will be nice and there will always be puppies. Well. There ARE no puppies! In fact there are sometimes cats like “pinky the cat” look it up on YouTube if you want to know why I hate cats so much(and the gravity of this statement). But seriously, READ God’s promises for what they are and you’ll see that they are more than enough.
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 2 Cor. 1:20
This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. Psalms 119:50
Grieve. In a world where everything is dying and fleeting- grief is going to be a part of your life. We grieve disappointments of things that never happened and at times things that did happen and we wish hadn’t. The best place for you and me to be is entirely raw in the presence of our loving and comforting Dad. You gotta learn the art of crying and we really need to stop apologizing for crying. Did you know your brain is self-soothing when you cry? If you’re interested in discussing the limbic system and how God wired our bodies to heal and protect itself, hit me up! Lol
Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. Psalms 119:76
In my distress I cried out to the LORD, and he answered me. Psalms 120:1
Surrender and re-surrender. God is doing a new thing in the situation you think is dead. There’s this song we sing at my church called “when death was arrested” and there’s a part that goes like this- Our savior displayed on a criminal’s cross
Darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost
But then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand
That’s when death was arrested and my life began”
And every time I picture this scene in an action movie- the main character has been beaten up so badly that we can’t tell whether he’s alive or dead and for a second your heart sinks because he (or she) might truly be dead…but oh man. As the camera zooms in, you can SEE their almost lifeless body beginning to breathe… IT’S NOT OVER!!! THAT right there is a picture of how God demonstrates His power in our life. Just when we think it’s over, I messed up too badly. Or this heartbreaking situation is going to literally kill me. We get to see God bring back to life and make new the very thing that WE had declared dead. The very dream that we had held a funeral for, the lifeless relationship we never thought could ever be redeemed. God restores. But you have to give it to him.
I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. Joel 2:25
So here’s to committing our relationships, gains, losses, and everything in between to the God of victory and to seeking all those things IN Him rather than having Him be an add-on.