No, we aren’t “so into encouragement” that we make weird stuff up. Like things that are bad and working to pass them off as good. Or living in denial when someone is walking a lonely path.

Rather, we’re taking an honest look at disappointment and the reason why letdown is, in actuality, a gift from God.

Hang with me, here, because disappointment is something each of us deal with on a regular basis and I think knowing the gracious work of God behind it is worth broadcasting to the world.

* * *

If you’re able, I encourage you to jot down a few things you’re disappointed about. I’ll start off with a couple of my own to prime the well:

  • While it’s a blessing to have a nice vehicle, its slowly accumulating nicks, scratches, and increase in miles don’t inspire happiness.
  • While fairly comfortable with the aging process, I admit to some disturbing parallels between the above vehicle scenario and myself.

More importantly, there are disappointments and letdowns in life that aren’t fodder for questionable humor. They cut to the core:

  • That person who failed to live up to your expectations.
  • Your own failures in life.
  • The procedure or event which didn’t improve things.
  • That cherished dream which clearly isn’t materializing.

If your list isn’t getting down to the nitty-gritty, please go deeper. What are some things—big and small—which dissatisfy you?

* * *

When our internal or written lists are examined in the light of truth, the reason for letdowns becomes evident:

We’re not living in paradise.

We live in a world suffering from the effects of sin.

(Genesis 3:23-24; Romans 5:12, Romans 8:20-22)

Even though I gave my life to Christ and am assured of a wonderful, unmerited eternity with Him (how I long to see His face!), there are times I need little or even sharp reminders that this world is not my home. Even at it’s best, life on earth can’t compare to what God has in place for those who love Him to experience and forever enjoy. (Hebrews 12:28; I Peter 1:7; Ephesians 2:6-7) 

Importantly, we aren’t being negative when we find ourselves disappointed. For instance, it isn’t wrong to experience a letdown when a worthwhile plan or hope doesn’t work out. Or wishing the wrinkles we knew would one day come weren’t there. What the person who belongs to God’s kingdom can do in such instances, however, is perhaps acknowledge the “bummer” of the letdown and praise Him for the fact that we’re glad we won’t be thinking about it a million years from now.

There are some disappointments, however, which I believe serve a deeper purpose. God uses these to expose our propensity for elevating the physical realm above the spiritual realm. As mortals, we are prone to treasure that which is temporary even though, at some point in time, the subject of that passion is going to fail, erode, or pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

Please remember that God gives multiple, good gifts for us to enjoy this side of eternity, including the people we love. And while we should delight in those blessings and express our gratitude to God for them, none were ever meant to bring us ultimate satisfaction. Only God has the capacity to do that for us.

 It is God’s compassion and faithfulness in the midst of the human condition which guarantees we will come up against disappointment any time the deepest affections of our hearts are fixed on anyone or anything other than Him. He gives us the gift of disappointment to redirect or lead us to Him: the only, true treasure for the soul.

* * *

You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

(Psalm 16:11)

* * *

Application thoughts:

If a friend, family member, spouse, or child is your all-consuming passion in life, don’t walk away from them. Commit them to the Lord and place each one under the umbrella of your trust, joy, and devotion to God. When He is our first and foremost love, we love others far better than we otherwise would.

Are you learning to bring your disappointments to God in one hand with worship and adoration of Him in the other?

Consider the things you’ve felt let down or disappointed by. Are you willing to look beyond them to the bigger picture of God wanting you to know the unending thrill of being declared righteous (accepted) in His presence? And to have intimacy with Him every day (no matter what a day brings with it)?

Is it possible God is allowing disappointments in life to shift your greatest love and passion to where you will find the most satisfaction: in Him?

* * *

Dear friend, please don’t think for a minute that God doesn’t care about our every disappointment and heartache. He does. And He has good and worthwhile purposes to accomplish in and through every one of them (and us) in this broken world (Romans 8:28-29).

Peter—like all of Christ’s disciples—experienced letdowns, disappointments, and failures. Like the apostle Paul, however, he didn’t try to sugar-coat them or live in denial of their existence. Why, then, would he go down in history as one of God’s great communicators of unfading hope and joy?

I suspect Peter learned to view letdowns as a gift from God.

His hopes obviously lifted above all that is temporary into the present/eternal realities of what it really means to be found in Christ. Any mantles of disappointment were laid aside and replaced by garments of praise:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:3-5, ESV)

* * *

No scratches, dings, or disappointments in the Christ follower’s future.

Oh, how He loves us!

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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