Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Disappoint – fail to fulfill the expectations of (someone),
fail to satisfy the hope of
            When I finished my first book, it had been at the printer’s for what seemed a long time to me.  They had told me it would be ready on a certain day, and I was excited about finally getting it in my hand.  I received a call about an hour and a half before I was planning to leave to pick it up.  They were letting me know there had been a mistake and the wrong book had been finished.  Mine would not be ready until the next day.
            Was I disappointed?  Absolutely!  But I had just been sitting at my computer typing a scripture into a document when I received the call.  It said, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way.”  God reminded me He was still in control, and He was establishing my path.  As a matter of fact, He had prepared me ahead of time.
It may be tomorrow instead of today, or even next year instead of this year; but God will bring every word to pass in His perfect timing.  You can count on it.
Have you ever been disappointed?  What was the biggest disappointment you ever faced?  How did you handle it?  It could have been someone you trusted who let you down.  It could be that you failed to satisfy your own expectations.  But have you ever been disappointed in Jesus?  Be honest.  If you have, you aren’t alone.  Mary and Martha were.
Their brother Lazarus was sick and they sent word to their close friend, Jesus, Who often came to visit in their home.  Jesus received the urgent message and John 11:5-6 tells us what happened next. “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.  When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.” Does that sound like love?  It seems He didn’t care.  What was He thinking to treat their request so lightly?  Jesus’ thoughts were not following the same path of Mary and Martha’s.  Nor was his response the one they expected, because He knew what they didn’t know.  His love was strong enough to do the right thing instead of the easy thing or the expected thing even though He knew He would be misunderstood.  By the time He arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead for four days, was  bound with grave clothes and lying in the tomb.  Martha met Jesus in the way as He approached their house.  She said, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  Clearly a statement filled with disappointment.  Yet she said she still believed that whatever He asked of God, God would give it to Him.  We all say that, but do we mean it?  Are we confident that He makes no mistakes?  We all know the end of the story, but Mary and Martha didn’t at that point.  Jesus went to the grave and told them to open the tomb.  Then He cried out, “Lazarus, come forth”, and Lazarus came forth still bound in grave clothes.  Jesus commanded them to loose him, and Lazarus was indeed alive and well. 
Look at the prayer Jesus prayed just before He called Lazarus to come forth.  “And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”  Why did Jesus wait so long?  Because He was about to do a miracle of gigantic proportions.  He knew what would happen.  No doubt.  He knew when he decided to stay where He was that Lazarus was dead.  There was a greater purpose than Lazarus being healed from sickness.  Jesus showed that He could raise the dead even after Lazarus had been deteriorating for four days.
What are you stewing about that God hasn’t come through yet?  I will admit I have had my times, too.  It seems God is uncaring toward our needs, slow in keeping His Word, but He is waiting for the right time to bring it to pass, because He wants the best, not mediocre.  Mary and Martha expected a certain response from Jesus, and they didn’t get it.  It wasn’t what they wanted and it wasn’t in the time frame they had requested it.  But Jesus gave them what they needed at the right time.  If they had just trusted, they wouldn’t have been disappointed.  Neither will we if we will trust Him.  Jesus will never do everything just how we expect Him to, and He doesn’t work on our timetable.  We have to remember that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways, but His ways are perfect and His thoughts are omniscient.  Jesus will never disappoint us if we will trust Him even when we don’t understand.  Actually, Jesus never disappoints us.  We disappoint ourselves with expectations that are too small or too fleshly to allow His greater good.
As far as disappointing yourself, you are probably in the same boat with everyone else who has ever lived.  Peter was a total disappointment to himself.  He bragged to Jesus in front of all the other disciples how he would never deny Jesus, how he would die for Him.  And I believe he meant it.  He thought he could stand up to anything for Jesus.  Actually, all the other disciples said the same thing.  But a few hours later Peter denied Jesus three times and deserted Him in His darkest hour.  Die for Him?  Not even close. The best he could do was follow at a distance.  Peter was so disillusioned with his actions that he went out and wept.  He must have felt hopeless.  Even after seeing the risen Christ, he said to the other disciples, “I go a fishing.”  They all went with him.  Fishing had been Peter’s occupation before he was a follower of Jesus.  Now that he had failed, he may as well go back to the way things were.  But Jesus wasn’t finished with Peter.  While Peter and the other disciples were fishing, Jesus appeared on the shore and asked if they had caught anything.  They had not.  You can’t go back to your old life and be profitable.  Jesus said to cast the net on the other side of the ship.  They did and caught a record amount of fish.  John knew immediately Who it was.  He told the others, and Peter jumped into the water and swam to shore.  It was there that Jesus reaffirmed Peter’s call.  He asked Peter three times if he loved Him.  Each time Peter said ‘yes’ and each time Jesus told Him to feed His sheep.  Peter’s days of disappointment were over.  He was still a follower of Jesus Christ.  He was still a disciple in good standing.  All was forgiven.  After the Holy Spirit was poured out, Peter became a mighty leader in the early church, and eventually did die for Jesus.  It was only by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by the power or determination of Peter.
Don’t give up.  If you are disappointed in yourself, know this.  Things can be different.  They really can. You can’t undo it on your own, but Jesus can.  Take it to Jesus.  He will fill you with His Spirit and make you able to do what He has called you to do.  Peter was reinstated and empowered to do what he was not able to do before. You can be, too.     
Sometimes, it isn’t ourselves or God that we feel disappointment toward.  Sometimes it’s someone who was close to us.  Someone we trusted in, and they let us down.  When someone hurts us, it can be a devastating wound. 
David was chosen by God to be the king of Israel.  He had a son, Absalom, who was unhappy with David as a father and as his king.  So, he began to spread seeds of discontent among the people and let them know how things would be different if he were king.  Then, he did the unthinkable.  He usurped his father’s throne and, with all his followers, made himself king.  David, the king God had chosen, had to flee the city with those who were still faithful to him as his son forcefully replaced him on the throne.  A terrible battle ensued between Absalom’s army and David’s army.  Yet, as David’s men prepared for war, he commanded them to “Deal gently for my sake with the young man.”  (2 Samuel 18:5)
Absalom’s reign was short-lived, and David returned to his position, but only after Absalom was killed.  Disappointed?  Definitely.  David’s heart was broken.  He mourned for his son, the very one who had done such a treacherous, treasonous thing.  His mourning for Absalom caused his army to feel ashamed of the great victory they had won for him.  His general, Joab, told him he needed to snap out of it and commend his army for a job well done and for their loyalty.  They had risked their lives to restore order and bring peace.  Many had lost their lives.
We can be so disappointed in someone who has wronged us that all we focus on is our own pity and loss.  There are many others who are for us and try to encourage us.  We need to open our eyes to see them, and acknowledge their kindness.  Sometimes a broken relationship can be mended.  That is always the best.  But sometimes it is not possible, and we have to let it go.  Disappointment can turn into discouragement and depression that will bog us down and keep us from moving on with God’s plan.  We need to get past disappointment and get back to the assignment at hand. 
Whether you are disappointed because you can’t figure out what God is doing, or you have failed to accomplish what you desire, or someone has let you down, recognize it as a tool of the enemy to redirect you from the calling of God.  It is to undermine your trust in God.  Keep the faith, hope against hope and stand strong through the power of the Holy Spirit.

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  (Romans 5:5 NKJV)