Life can be disappointing at times, but God wants a life of joy for you. Don’t let disappointment rob you of the Joy you can find with the Lord.
How To Have Courage And Trust God Through Disappointment
It is mid-morning and you walk past another co-worker, no smiles exchanged or words spoken. Instead, you both roll your eyes in understanding.
Today of all days was supposed to be a great day. You awoke diligently praying, whistling, in fact, about God’s goodness in your life.
Your drive to work was amazing. It was a full-on praise the Lord worship service. Heads were turning in your direction as you drove by other cars on the highway.
As they should have! You were belting out song lyrics and releasing all your worries into God’s hands.
Okay, let’s be real. You were screaming lyrics with some flaying hands and telling God you were done doing hard things.
So now you are left ruminating about something your boss said during today’s staff meeting. Your heart feels heavy and worries circulate in your mind.
“Budget cuts, including possible layoffs.” What does this mean? No promotion this year? What about my job? I am vested as well as most of my coworkers.
What happened between the time you woke up and this caustic correspondence?
It walked right in and took over your thoughts. In mere seconds, it replaced the joy you woke up with. Your agenda now stands completely shaken up and disrupted. You feel hopeless. Like you; I have found myself kicking the can of sorrow.
Each blow is more powerful than the last.
Questions and thoughts, including many “What if scenarios” on repeat. You just don’t know anymore. How are you going to have the courage to trust God through this disappointment?
When our expectations are not met, we rescind our point of view from contentment to focusing thoughts of disappointment.Jen Schreiner
A setback with a great comeback
In John chapter 11, we find two sisters disappointed in a decision they could not control but knew the person who could have changed it all: Jesus. Yet, in His decision not to help these two women, we find an important objective. A storyline pointing to God’s glory.
What we know is Jesus loved Martha and Mary deeply (John 11:5) and they were both committed to the cause of Christ. In walking with Jesus, they saw miracle after miracle. Their faith muscle was not lacking until their brother Lazarus became very sick.
They sent a messenger to Jesus to inform Him of the news. After all, they knew of a man with remarkable abilities. He could save their brother and fix everything. Jesus sent an unexpected message back to the sisters. He said; (John 11:4), “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
Uhh. Okay, Jesus! How is my brother’s death going to glorify God?
That would have been my first thought. However, the Bible clues us in on a few details about Mary and Martha. They were both true believers and women of great faith. Martha was older than Mary and Lazarus was their younger brother. So, in following what we know, we would expect a faith-firming response to understanding the message received from Jesus.
During Lazarus’s last moments, one might think; if Jesus loved him, why wasn’t he with him? God gave Jesus an assignment to glorify Him, which required Him to delay His visit. Makes you ponder about the assignments God gives us. Many times, we want to work quickly to get past our current circumstances, but the necessary next step is to keep our eyes on God and wait while He directs us.
Now Jesus traveled to the sisters’ home, four days after their brother’s death. On hearing the news, Martha met him as He traveled. She spoke distressing words through her disappointment and frustration; “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
To know the person who could have changed the entire outcome before it occurred is hurtful. They were grieving both the loss of their brother and the loss of a set of expectations.
How many times have we run to God and our problems, still remain our problems?
Here is a commodity we have, and Jesus doesn’t have; our lack of understanding. He loves us with compassion, grace, and mercy. He wants to see us thrive and grow.
He intentionally delayed his arrival to be with Lazarus and his sisters. Just as He intentionally has us wait on Him. Not because He doesn’t care or because He simply lost track of time. He did it, “so that God’s Son may be glorified.”
Jesus feels our distress and our pain. Through His love for us, He laments when we are sorrowful. God is not satisfied or relieved when we are stuck in a troublesome situation.
In John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” He cried alongside the sisters because He felt the loss of Lazarus too. Friend, Jesus closely relates to the struggles we are enduring. He knows our thoughts and our deepest desires, and what breaks our hearts – breaks His too.
Jesus asks an unconventional request
After undertaking a delay in Jesus’ arrival, Martha and Mary are presented with an unusual request. Jesus asked for the stone in front of Lazarus’s tomb to be rolled away.
I imagine Martha blinking her eyes and shaking her head in bewilderment. Before questioning the motives of Jesus; “But, Lord,” by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” (John 11:39)
They did as He asked and Jesus spoke; “Lazarus, come out.” (John 11:43) Next, as we read through John chapter 11, Lazarus came out of the tomb wrapped in strips of linen. Through this miracle, we see Jesus’ divinity. His ability to conquer death. Here, we see Christ being glorified.
Oftentimes, our Heavenly Father requests us to trust Him during a distressful setback or when we simply don’t understand. When we do, He will take our mustard seed of faith and grow it into a beautiful comeback that glorifies Him.
He calls us each by name, raising us up from death.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
What we have learned through the death of Lazarus
- Jesus is never late. His timing is always perfect.
- Jesus has compassion for us. We can go to Him with our sorrows.
- He requests us to trust Him, even when it doesn’t make sense.
- Jesus has called each one of us out of the grave. Through Him, we have eternal life!
- We can trust God through disappointment.
Let’s Pray Together
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank you for every difficulty we have walked through as it draws us closer to you. Forgive us for trying to tackle these situations on our own. Help us surrender every part of our lives to you. We want to glorify you in all our doings. Thank You for working in our lives, even in ways that look like failures to us. We love you, Lord.
All this we ask in your precious and Holy name – Amen!
Read more on moving past disappointment – Seeking God in Difficult Times – Trusting in His Faith
Read More on Jen Schreiner
- Turning Pain into Purpose: How to Find Meaning & See God in Your Struggles
- Why Being Perfect Will Never Satisfy
- Trusting in God’s Strength Instead of Your Own
- Your Pain Has a Greater Purpose
- Trusting God Through Disappointment