|Posted by Yvonne Madison on July 16, 2010 at 9:34 AM|
Let's face it- disappointments are rough. They hurt. I have had my share lately. Several big things I had hoped for have turned out for the worse. What is hardest is that they are stiuations in which people have let me down or betrayed me. Friendships lost. Associations ended. And not by my own choice. Not something I would have done or chosen yet it happened. And it is disappointing, to say the least. So what do I do? Get angry? Find fault? Get revenge? Just stop trying? Feel sorry for myself? Give up? All choices that crossed my mind, I have to confess. But honestly, except for appeasing my flesh, what is the benefit in any of those reactions? Romans 12:17 reads, "Repay no one evil for evil". And in Romans 12:19 we see,"Vengence is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord." So much for revenge.
A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to practice Ephesians 4:26,"Be angry, and do not sin". Someone I was depending on let me down at a very important time. I was mad. I was hurt also and the combination certainly did not make for anything good. I excused myself from where I was, took my phone out to my car, and had this person's number up on my phone. I was going to let them have it good! Fortunately I hesitated just long enough to hear the Holy Spirit say, "Don't do it. Don't do it". Then this verse rose up out of my spirit." Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." (Romans 12:14). Then "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44). You mean I have to pray for them, God? So completely by the grace of God, I sat there and prayed for this person and forgave them. At least this time I was able to do the right thing and not make a bad situation worse.
I have to admit I am still dealing emotionally with the disappointment and rejection I have felt through this stiuation. And this is just the latest one. There have been at least three other big disappointments I have faced in the past year. Now don't get me wrong. My life is not a total failure. I have had many joys and triumphs the past year also. Why does it seem though, that the disappointments seem to stand out so much more? Could it be we have an enemy who wants to steal our joy? Who wants to distract us and make us feel there is no hope? Who wants to make us feel that the whole world is against us? Well, we do. But praise God, we also have a Savior Who has already defeated that enemy! John 10:10 reads, "The theif does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly".
What this means is that disappoinments do not have to stall us. They are not the end of anything and do not have to affect our vision. I like to remember Romans 8:28 at these times. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose". There is nothing God can't turn around for us if we just trust Him. In fact, if we allow ourselves to be moldable clay in the Potter's hands, we can even learn from these situations and come out better and stronger that we were before. There are lessons in everything we go through if we are just open to see them. In my case, there was a change I could have made months before that could have helped me avoid the sudden incident I experienced. This how we grow. And this is how we become more sensitive to the still, small voice Who is always speaking, guiding us along our way.
So how do we deal with the setbacks that often come with disappointments? God gave me a phrase a few months back that has greatly impacted me. He said, setbacks are nothing more that opportunities to overcome. See, it's all in how we look at it. We need to keep in mind that we are overcomers through Christ. He has already won our victory! I have found that when a setback comes, if I trust God and be obedient to Him, He not only beings me back , but He moves me past where I was before!
So yes, disappoinment hurts...but rejoice! You are positioned to advance in victory! And if it was another person who brought the disappointment...let God deal with them. He does a much better job than we could anyway. Forgive them, pray for them and let God work. Romans 8:31 reads,"What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" God is on our side. No matter what things look like, He will not let us fail! Hallelujah!