The events of 2020 certainly attempted to distract us from the Lord. As followers of Christ, what do we do with disappointment, especially when cause for it seems to multiply on a daily basis? All too often we lose perspective and miss an opportunity to deepen our walk with the Lord and grow in faith, wisdom, and real knowledge of Him.
Amidst chaos, calamity, and uncertainty in our world, are we looking for a human being or a world system to solve everything? It is Him we must seek wholeheartedly. He is the Redeemer! He is the only One that brings beauty from ashes, restoration in devastation, vision in darkness.
Without disappointments in this life, we would not grow in faith. God uses them to refine us. It is His desire to do so. It is up to each of us to choose whether to grow angry and bitter or to allow His perfect work in our lives.
One of my favorite authors, teacher and mentor, Kay Arthur, gives and excellent perspective on disappointments:
What if the things you call disappointments are really His appointments – events He is using to make you more like Christ? What if your circumstances are actually the flames of His grace, intended to melt and burn away the undesirable elements in your life, leaving you pure and radiant – like refined silver? You can be defeated by life’s unavoidable disappointments, or you can become stronger because of them.As Silver Refined: Learning to Embrace Life’s Disappointments by Kay Arthur
I dare say that everyone can relate to being disappointed. Take the disruption of our calendars for example. No doubt things have not gone as planned since 2020. It’s been said that the most useless investment of 2020 was a calendar or planner. Or turn on the news any day of the week; It seems to give us either a fresh disappointment or feed one we are currently dealing with.
What do we do with the temptation or constant pull on our minds to get stuck in the mire of it all?
I would like to encourage remembering and acting on the truth we find in God’s Word. Every encouragement here involves prayer and the Word of God. It was a wise mentor who once told me, “There is no holiness apart from the Word of God.” (Thanks Dr. Joe Crider!) It is what Jesus asked the Father to use to sanctify us. (John 17:17)
God is Good – Seek Him!
Remember that what comes to us is first filtered through the hands of God, who is loving and good. And it is never without purpose. It often seems the deeper the disappointment, the greater the lesson. But oh, the richer and greater the beauty that comes from it! But where do we find the answers?
We must seek Him in the midst of it. Trusting in His lovingkindness, and asking Him to teach us and have His way in us, that we be made more like Christ. Sadly, we too often choose to gaze at the circumstances and barely even glance at God. And we have an entire Bible to remind us of who God is and how He is involved in every detail of life. Spending time in scripture and seeing His goodness allows hope to be renewed. He uses it to teach us His purposes.
Remember that it is also the goodness of God to discipline His children. If He shows something to repent, do so. There is much we need to be repenting about… and it may not be what the masses and media are trying to convince us. Remember the enemy will distort and twist God’s Word. We need to break away from the noise, get on our knees before God, and ask Him to open our eyes and hearts. And repent.
Repentance is not just a “sorry, God” and back to the same old thing. We cheapen His grace when we use it like a get-out-of-jail-free card. It means a change of mind and direction. Anything less is not true repentance. We need to be praying not only for personal repentance, but also as a church and a nation. God gives us great examples of this in the lives of Nehemiah and Josiah.
Walk in Faith
Ever heard this phrase?
“Every cloud has a silver lining”
Many a story could be shared of how God reminds us of this. Sometimes we don’t see it because we just don’t seek, wait, listen… and walk forward in faith. We get distracted with the only thing that is in focus and clear at the moment, usually a trial or disappointment.
Instead, chose to walk in faith. Remember, faith is not blind. Our faith is in a person. And He is trustworthy. Remember He has given us the Helper, His Spirit, and His Word to teach and guide us. Being in situations that show us where our faith is gives opportunity to grow in faith. Faith must be tried, tested as silver. Walking in faith is evidence of faith and trust. Each bit of encouragement in this post involves walking in faith.
Take up the Full Armor of God
Remember “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph.6:12). Scripture tells us that things will get worse as the day of the Lord approaches. We live in evil days. To resist the schemes of the enemy and stand firm we must put on the armor of God.
Stay on Mission
Remember, one of the tactics of the enemy is to distract us from our mission. Our mission is clear in Matthew 28:19. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…”
We may have to get more creative in how we do this, but our mission and His truth does not change. Stay connected to your local church however you can. Encourage and strengthen one another. Make disciples in your home, in your neighborhoods, work, and online.
Heaven is Our Home
Remember, we have an eternal heavenly home. And it is nothing like this one. We will one day be in the presence of the Prince of Peace and realize how miniscule our time here truly is. Live for the eternal, not the temporal. So, take heart and be of good courage. He is coming again!
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 15:58
I hope this has encouraged you to remember God. What is God teaching you in the midst of disappointment? I would love to hear from you.
Because ANY day is a day to start anew, read my post on 20 Questions for Personal Growth This Year. The questions are good to reflect on anytime of the year.
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