We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. – Romans 5:3-5 NLT
A great many things in this life can leave us feeling hopeless and disappointed. People, institutions, and other life circumstances can easily seem to betray our hope. We can even have the thought, “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.” Whether these offenses are intentional or not, they can send us reeling. What are we to do with this disappointment?
No matter how wonderful our hopes and dreams are, life is full of unexpected results. It may be that despite your best efforts, your marriage is not what you want it to be. Or, no matter what you do, you’re losing with your kids. Do you feel stuck in a dead-end job or are your finances in disarray? Or do you feel betrayed by a close friend or relative? Your situation may be something much simpler or far worse—but while you’re in it, you can feel that you’ve been let down. If it’s not dealt with, this disappointment leads us to resentment, bitterness, anger, and apathy. The target of these emotions can become Jesus and His people.
Unfortunately, we see this play out far too many times inside the church (God’s people, not the building). Understandably, miscommunications occur or expectations go unspoken. I know firsthand what it’s like to inadvertently wound (and be wounded) inside the church family. I know the sound of that voice in my head that says, “It would just be so much easier to leave.” I can feel that way even when I know that (most times) the offense is completely unintended. I want to feel justified in my pain. I want to carry that hurt, rather than righteously deal with it.
But, of course, I know this is wrong. So what is the right way to deal with disappointment? Join me here tomorrow to find out.
The Rock Church
One-Year Bible Reading
1 Samuel 17:1-18:4
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