Believing Through Disappointment
How I continue to believe in God, trust God, and follow God even through constant disappointment.
Have you ever done everything that you know to do and nothing goes according to plan? Worse than things not working out, your life implodes! Everything that could go wrong does so in extreme fashion. Embarrassing. Humiliating at best. If you have never found yourself in a situation remotely resembling this, this blog is not for you.
My life has been far from perfect. As a matter of fact, as far back as I can remember, it was met with extreme obstacles, abuse, and many disappointments. I, too, have been far from perfect. However, I did not believe that my lack of perfection justified the situations and circumstances that I have faced.
I am talking about disappointment that does not have any logical explanation. If you have not realized it, I am a very inquisitive individual. When I have experienced this level of disappointment, my first response was always "WHY?! What did I not do right? How did I miss the mark? Did I not pray enough? Maybe, I did not tithe enough! Maybe I did not volunteer enough!" The self doubt continued on a downward spiral. I began to compare my life to others' lives' and would often ask myself - or even other people:
How does a kid go to high school, graduate with a 4.5 GPA and not receive a full ride to an institution of higher education?
How does a person never smoke a cigarette and become diagnosed with cancer?
Why are loving couples unable to conceive while other individuals have abortions as if they were a form of birth control?
How does a hardworking individual get overlooked on jobs, while a lazy person is promoted?
NATURAL AND SPIRITUAL LOGIC ARE NOT THE SAME!
I think that it is our natural human nature to have an explanation for everything! It is our innate need to make sense out of nonsense. Perhaps there are situations that justify such inquisition. However, I am learning that many times, when we encounter situations such as this, we have been set-up by God to demonstrate (to ourselves) what we are made of. We are building spiritual muscles.
Take a trip down memory lane with me. Close your eyes and ask yourself the following questions: When _________(fill in the blank) happened, did I lose my mind? When __________(fill in the blank) happened did I survive? Did I realize strength that I never knew existed? Did it prepare me for greater opportunities and challenges in my life that had I not experienced ________(fill in the blank), I would never have made it through_____(fill in the blank)?
If you and I are remotely similar, your answer to that last question is a resounding YES! If you are reading this blog, you did not lose your mind and you definitely survived! To take it a step further, I believe that it is God’s way of showing us our weakness and inability to operate without Him. God does not put situations on us, neither does He cause them to occur for our growth.
In the Bible, in the book of Luke 22:31, Jesus explained to Simon Peter that Satan asked God to give all of them up so that he could sift them as wheat….Jesus prayed (especially for Peter) that his faith would not fail.
In the book of Job 2:3-4, The Lord asked Satan if he had considered Job and the Lord allowed him-Satan-access to Job, but not to kill him. There are many other examples in the Bible where God could have prevented harm, struggle, and disappointment, but he chose not to.
SEEK HIS WISDOM ON THE MATTER
When disappointment occurs in my life, I seek God for wisdom and understanding. He has instructed me in His Word to get wisdom (Proverbs 5-9). He has instructed me in Hebrews 12:3 to compare my trials to Jesus so that I do not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart, relaxing, and fainting in my mind. I renew my mind, and sometimes this is second by second so that I do not become conformed to the world’s standard of handling situations (Ephesians 4:23, Romans 12:2). Renewing my mind is seeing the situation as God has said it, not as it appears..
Equally important, I trust in Him! I believe that even when things don’t go according to plan and adverse consequences occur, i.e. losing a job, car breaking down and no money for repairs, a sickness that I cannot handle, the loss of a loved one, violation by a loved one, etc. I believe that He is working it out for my good.
He will give me the skills, talent, ability, and strength that I need to get through the storm. The test will become my testimony. I am honest with God and confess my true emotions about the situation as well as my fears. I am a naturally independent individual. I have learned to become independently dependent upon God. I seek Him for wisdom in all things. I take action, believing that I am being lead by His Spirit! Even if I take the wrong step, I believe that He is faithful to re-direct me and use the detour for my good! My gifts and talents are nothing without His direction. Dependent upon how He uniquely created you, we can face the same challenge and take a totally different approach and reaction to it. You have a purpose! I have a purpose!
What about you? Are you a believer as well? How do you handle disappointment in your life? Drop me a note in the comments and tell me your ways of handling life’s challenges.