By Dana Roberts
There’s no denying life brings disappointments. At the writing of this article, many are experiencing disappointments due to shut-downs, closures, and cancellations as we face a national health emergency. In everyday life, disappointments come in different shapes and sizes. Vacations and sports events canceled. Musical performances postponed. Business and work declines. Schools and store closures. As a matter of fact, our local church was preparing for a community outreach event for Easter. That, too, has been canceled. Disappointments affect everyone! The question is: How does a Christ-follower rightly handle disappointments?
First, we trust in the sovereignty of God. He is not surprised by any closures, postponements, or cancellations due to national health emergencies. In His omniscience (all-knowingness), He was fully aware that this health emergency would come to pass. His knowledge is total: past, present, and future. In His omnipotence (all-powerfulness), He is not required to act under the limitations set by man. God’s power is limitless! In His omnipresence (all-presentness), He is with us always, even in times of national health emergencies. God’s Word promises to care for and protect His people. All we are required to do is trust Him. “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” (Isaiah 26:3-4 NASB) When we keep our mind on the Lord, He will keep us in perfect peace. Our responsibility is simply to trust, even in the disappointments.
Second, we stand firm in the knowledge that God holds the ultimate plan. God knew His ultimate plan for Israel when they were captured by a foreign country, and He knows His ultimate plan for us within a national health emergency. “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13) We must hold fast to God’s declaration that He knows the plans He has for us! Even in the midst of disappointments, God plans to give a future and a hope. We are to live life as normal as we can while we watch and wait for God’s plan to come to fruition. We call upon Him, we pray, and we listen. By doing so, we will find Him, even in the disappointments.
And finally, we continue to run the good race that is set before us. “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) Jesus is our perfect example in how we rightly handle disappointments. Others may be in a panic or a state of fear over the national health emergency, but Christ-followers will keep their eyes fixed on Jesus. We will display joy and love during disappointments. Because we have many non-believers around us on a daily basis, we can be a witness to them during times of emergency and disappointment. We lay aside the sin of any panic or fear that may creep up and we run toward Jesus. We run with endurance, knowing He endured the pain of the cross, but also knowing the joy set before Him in the form of redemption.
So, as stated in the opening of this article, we can not deny that life brings disappointments. But even in the midst of disappointments, Christ-followers are able to rightly handle disappointing times so that God can be glorified. Every disappointing moment is a great opportunity to lean in and praise our sovereign God. In closing, let me encourage you to trust God and His ultimate plan, diligently pray, stand firm, and run the good race. May God be glorified, Christ be honored, and you be richly blessed.
Harvest Community Church desires to connect with you through their Biblical Counsel Ministry. If you or someone you know is struggling with any areas mentioned within this article, please contact the church office. 920.845.1463