Sep 11, 2011

Hope in Disappointment

What do you do when disappointment crashes into your bright world and scatters your precious dreams?
Do you cry? Do you pout? Do you shake your fists at the sky? Do you try to make God tell you why?

When God removes something that is important to us, our first response is usually, "Why?" If no answer is readily given, our next response is often anger. Anger at God. Anger at the people who "caused"our pain. Anger at ourselves for having hoped.

Then discouragement sets in. Like a virus is sneaks in removing our desire to hope again. Leaving us numb, cold, lifeless. It steals our vision, causes us to react in fear and frustration, we become self-protective, and crawl into a metaphorical hole to hide from everyone. If the pattern of discouragement isn't broken, we are liable to stay in that hole forever--having dug ourselves a grave where we spend a living death locked away from the brilliant destiny we were made for.

Disappointment will come. That I can promise you.  Discouragement does not have to. One of the hardest battles any of us will have to fight is the battle of repeated disappointment. Some may deal with career failures--never being able to rise out of the cycle of business failures.  For some it may be relational brokenness. Perhaps it seems that your closest friendships always end badly. Perhaps you have a history of failed romances, or broken your heart repeatedly. Perhaps your dreams have been crushed by circumstance.

Discouragement is a deadly enemy because often we have to face it alone. Others may be aware of adverse circumstances in life, but seldom do they realize the deep emotion battle we face. Many times people do not realize it is our destiny--the rest of our life--at stake.

Joseph was a man who faced great disappointment.
As boy, God gave him a dream. He was going to be a great man someday. He would save thousands of lives.
But first, he had to be tested in the fires of disappointment.
He was sold as a slave by his own brothers.
He was taken to a foreign land.
He became a trusted steward to his master.
He was falsely accused.
He was thrown in jail.
He was forgotten.
He was left for dead.
...and the word of the Lord tested Joseph until the time came to fulfill his dreams. (Psalm 105:19)

In slavery Joseph was being taught by God. In prison, he was being shaped by God. God never once lost sight of Joseph's dream--it was His primary focus as He led Joseph through the different seasons of his life.
Walking out the dreams of God will require great strength.Disappointment serves to make us strong. Disappointment is not made to crush our dreams. It is made to test our dreams. It strengthens our dreams. It adds value to our dreams. Disappointment does not cancel our dreams; it simply postpones them until we can contain their full potential.

Recognize this. It will give you courage to face disappointment without despairing. Be excited that the Lord is preparing you for a time when the dream will be fulfilled.


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