Disappointments

By | 17 Aug 2023

Introduction

Several years ago, our church’s guest speaker was a former pastoral staff member, a Calvinist-Baptist minister closely aligned with John MacArthur and John Piper doctrinally. His message centered on the events recorded in John 11: the illness, death, burial, and raising-from-the-dead of Lazarus in Bethany. His sermon remarks opened with the statement “God will disappoint us” and then continued with some proof-texts to cement his point before moving on to other concepts presented by the passage.

Believers and non-believers alike will never escape disappointments large and small this side of eternity, period, end of story. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to blow sunshine up your skirt. I cannot think of a single honest preacher/teacher of any doctrinal persuasion who teaches or has taught otherwise.

Disappointment is a given.

But I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to take issue with some of our former leader’s claims, hence this article. This is not the first time I’ve written in response to a sermon I’ve disagreed with. Truth be told, my entire writing career (this blog plus both books) was inaugurated when I took issue with a previous pastor’s sermon on the Book of Job back in 2010. Go figure!

My Target Audience

Please note my intended audience for this discussion is Christ-followers, not the lost. Unbelievers are obliviously living in complete bondage to the absolutely rule of their psychopathic slave-master (Satan) and are therefore exempt from anything I’m about to say on this topic. They are programmed by the world system, their flesh, and the devil’s minions to play the devil’s game using the devil’s ball and bat on the devil’s playing field according to the devil’s rules as enforced by the devil’s umpires — all of which are designed to be incredibly hostile to all humanity.

In summary, most of the misery experienced by the lost is self-inflicted.

Accordingly, the lost have no access to God’s grace, protection, provision, or any other divine resources promised to believers in God’s Word because they refuse to surrender their self-directed lives to the Most High, whether through ignorance or open rebellion. As a result, the only promises available to them are those concerning salvation.

Point-of-fact, however: there is a grace all mankind has received, Christ-followers and rebels alike: the general grace God affords every human soul by Him not instantly wiping us from the face of the earth for our rebellion against Him!

None of this implies we are to be callously indifferent toward their suffering — indeed we Christ-followers are called to compassionately help alleviate their plight whenever we are presented with the opportunity to do so. Nor do Christ-followers have any imaginary moral high-ground from which to judge non-believers for their wretched decisions. The only reason we do even one iota better than any of them is through the grace of God and Jesus’ finished work of The Cross — and no other reason! So us getting on our high horses as if we accomplished anything positive on our own spin or have spiritually “arrived” somehow are complete non-starters with God, not to mention such an attitude reinforces the world’s perception of us as self-righteous, judgmental purveyors of hate-speech. But I digress…

However, the heavenly floodgates of God’s blessings are open to all of us who surrender and bow our knee to Jesus, thereby receiving grace without measure — and all the promises packaged with that grace.

Which leaves us with these burning questions:

    • Who/what causes our disappointments?
    • Can disappointments be avoided and/or prevented and/or minimized in frequency/severity?
    • How we should respond to them — and to God! — whenever disappointments inevitably occur?

As I’ve stated in my series on critical thinking, ambiguity is a prime tool of deceivers, so let’s clearly define some terms so we’ll all be on the same page:

disappointment
sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations
sadness
the state of being sad, the feeling or showing of sorrow; unhappiness
displeasure
a feeling of annoyance or disapproval
hope
a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen
expectation
a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future
annoyance
the state of being annoyed, slightly angry; irritated
disapproval
possession or expression of an unfavorable opinion

So we can combine all these into the following premise:

Disappointment occurs whenever we feel sadness, displeasure, annoyance, and/or disapproval after our strong desires and/or beliefs have not been fulfilled for certain things to happen or be the case in the future.

Where Does Disappointment Come From?

Was there ever a time in history when mankind did not experience disappointment? According to the Bible, indeed there was a unique epoch when disappointment did not exist in any form — indeed the concept was completely alien to human experience at that time. I cannot imagine a single theologian, ancient or modern, who would disagree in the slightest with my next statement:

Disappointments are the result of The Rebellion in Eden. Before then, disappointment simply did not exist because all Adam’s and Eve’s hopes, desires, expectations, and needs were perfectly fulfilled in the Person and provision of God Himself.

While a previous article here on Miscellaneous Ramblings focuses on the aftermath of that rebellion specifically with the origins of poverty and financial hardship (major disappointments in and of themselves), the before-and-after comparison described there also applies here perfectly.

Every human ever born has a deeply ingrained racial memory of that sinless perfection experienced by Adam and Eve when they were intimately connected to the Most High in Eden. We call that subconsciously remembered state of existence “normal.” We then vainly attempt to measure ourselves and others by that selfsame now-impossible-to-attain standard. We judge those who deviate from this standard behaviorally as “abnormal” — especially ourselves.

As we have already covered, the Christ Event (His birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection) occurred to free us from our “abnormality.” Tragically, there is no cure to be found in a self-directed life apart from Jesus. We tend to addict ourselves to various idols through which we vainly attempt to psychologically and/or religiously medicate the pain of our abnormality through indulging in even greater abnormalities.

Based on all these truths, we can safely conclude disappointments come from:

  1. Us doing our own thing in our own particular idiom aka “doing whatever is right in our own eyes” — whether through selfishness, stupidity, carelessness, delusion, or malice — thereafter reaping the consequences of our own choices.
  2. Our being damaged in some way by someone else who is also doing whatever is right in their own eyes. In other words, they will not only reap the consequences for their own selfishness, stupidity, carelessness, delusion, or malice, but we, too, have the dubious privilege of experiencing the aftermath of their terrible choices, those consequences inflicted upon us with a complete disregard for our varying degrees of innocence in the matter.
  3. Our being damaged by situations/events outside human volition such as natural disasters, birth defects (apart from those arising from pregnant women drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, or abusing drugs, etc. — such babies fall into Category #2), and the like, what Calvinists and the insurance industry erroneously term “acts of God.”

While all of the list above happens in the natural realm (this planet), I’m convinced all three classes of events are perpetrated in the supernatural realm by our psychopathic enemy whose intentions Jesus Himself described are to “steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).” In the case of Categories #1 and #2, the mechanism in play is personal temptation offered to the person who is about to make a terrible choice in response to it. In the case of Category #3, our corrupted-by-sin physical environment (no, I’m not referring to so-called man-made climate change here!) as well as our own corrupted-by-sin bodies are the mechanisms used.

In other words, our bodies and the world in which we live are collectively and tragically flawed in and of themselves and will continue to be so this side of Jesus’ millennial reign on Planet Earth.

Let’s take each of these categories in turn:

Disappointments Caused by Our Own Choices

We frequently disappoint God, ourselves, and others, so much so it can be utterly discouraging.

Selfishness = sin.

Apart from God’s grace and the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit, we cannot help making selfish choices oftentimes even when it is in our own best interests to choose lovingly. Our innate cussedness keeps us from being able to save ourselves through our own feeble attempts at perfection. That’s why Jesus had to die for us — if we had even a speck of ability to do any better on our own nickel, then Jesus sacrificed Himself needlessly!

Even after the New Birth, we are all works in progress as we collectively stumble towards the light, making selfish choices despite our best intentions and firm resolutions to do otherwise. It is only by looking away from ourselves (and our wretched performance) and “presenting our bodies a living sacrifice,” “being transformed by the renewing our minds” (Romans 12:1-2) as well as appropriating God’s “exceedingly great and precious promises” (1 Peter 1:4) and “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2) that we can improve over time (aka “sanctification”).

Disappointing God

This also happens with what can be depressing regularity. That said, God knew this would happen from before the foundations of the universe; He didn’t fall off His throne in surprise. Indeed, He made provision for it to be dealt with so these temporary disruptions to our relationship with Him could be removed! Rather than our browbeating ourselves over our failures and wallowing in the shame of them, God gave us this promise to trust and obey:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Once we again abandon our selfish choice(s), surrendering to Him (repentance), and ask for His forgiveness, our relationship is restored as if that disruption had never occurred.

Disappointing Others

This, too, happens with what can be depressing regularity and again, we have a scriptural solution:

Confess (verbally admit) your trespasses (selfish choices) to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.James 5:16 (parentheticals mine)

The modern catch-phrase for this is “being transparent.” In this verse, God says we should: 1) do it, and; 2) be able to do so without any condemnation from those to whom we are making that admission. Tragically, the humility required to obey this verse and the relational safety necessary for such obedience to take place are both pretty thin on the ground these days, but that’s another article for another time!

Disappointing Ourselves

Usually, but far from exclusively, we disappoint ourselves through our disappointing God and others. That being said, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve disappointed myself through my own failure to meet my own expectations.

While there is no specific verse either commanding or exhorting us to forgive ourselves for our many failings, the principle in play here is this: if Jesus paid such a horrendous price to purchase our forgiveness, who are we to exalt ourselves above God’s throne by implying His grace and forgiveness are insufficient through beating ourselves to a pulp over our failures?

Disappointments Caused by the Choices of Others

Disappointments caused by others are equally endemic to our existence because all human beings are cut from the same damaged cloth. The only differences are each instance of that cloth presents itself in different colors, shapes, sizes, intellects, skills, and cultures. The damage inflicted upon us by the selfish choices of another human being ranges from the trivial (e.g., someone cuts in front of us in line at the drive-thru) to the heinous (e.g., murder, torture, rape, arson, terrorism, genocide, etc.)

The human race is capable of incredible barbarity and cruelty towards those deemed as “outsiders,” regardless of the ideology or other distinctives used to separate them from the “cool kids” (e.g., the Jews in Nazi Germany or the worldwide oppression and enslavement of dhimmi at the hands of Moslems for the last 1.5 millennia or so, etc.)

We also have situations where plutocratic demagogues commit treasonable acts like stealing elections and enslaving us with unjust laws and governmental regulations, all in the name of “the greater good.” The 2022 swearing in of a fraudulently-elected federal government was one of the hugest disappointments in my entire almost-70 years; I was attacked for several days with the blackest depression I’ve ever experienced and it was only by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit that I was able to overcome it. The remaining anger took longer (“the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” has been my mantra!). But again, I digress…

That same standard of what our human-racial memory calls “normal” we discussed earlier is very much in play here. We all expect:

  • Others to treat us fairly, equitably, and politely.
  • People to have integrity and honor their promises even when it costs them.
  • Quality products and workmanship in return for our hard-earned money spent on goods and services.
  • Competence and professionalism from those “experts” to whom we entrust the care of our body, psyche, family, and property.
  • Those we have elected to serve and protect us to be morally good, ethically just, and selfless in their actions and words concerning us.
  • And the list goes on…

Here’s the problem: without a single exception, we expect all these standards to be met by flawed human beings who are no better than ourselves, and are frequently worse. The inevitable result whenever some or all of them don’t meet those standards, whether through stupidity, oversight, or malice is — wait for it! — disappointment.

Our expectations of other people are typically boundless. There is actually a cognitive bias called “The Just World Hypothesis.” When this is in play, our preference for a just world deceives us into presuming such a place exists or can exist in the first place, which is actually a form of magical thinking. We all want everyone to receive their so-called “just reward” where the suffering no longer suffer (especially us), the bad guys get theirs (especially those who have wronged us), and the good guys (preferably us) ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after.

Those who somehow hang onto their hope of these expectations being met despite many disappointments are called “optimistic” while those who consistently expect otherwise are termed “pessimistic” or “cynical.” As some wags put once put it:

An optimist believes this to be the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears this to be true.

An optimist believes the glass is half-full.
A pessimist believes the glass is half-empty.
An engineer believes the glass was designed too large.

The bad news is there is only one divinely-provided process for us to deal with such disappointments. The good news is that, whenever we avail ourselves of that mechanism, He pours out His grace upon us without measure to make it stick.

It’s called “forgiveness.”

I know some of you reading this have been wronged on levels defying the imagination and have just exclaimed to yourselves, “I’ll never forgive him/her/them! They don’t deserve it!”

You’re absolutely correct: they don’t deserve it — and never will! What they did was wrong, dead wrong, inexcusably wrong, as wrong as wrong can possibly be, period, end-of-story, and they are completely without excuse. But forgiveness is never about them and whatever heinous deed(s) they committed, it’s about the space you’re allowing them to occupy rent-free in your head and how your thought-life is keeping you so focused on the past you cannot see any way to move forward.

I’ve already dealt with this topic in great depth elsewhere here on Miscellaneous Ramblings, so I will not re-invent that wheel here. But this is a must-read article if you are struggling with the aftermath of someone doing you dirt. My co-contributor Gail has also weighed in on this topic, detailing some of the real-life struggles she has waded through to get free.

Disappointments Caused by Natural Events Outside Human Control

Calvinists and Molinists alike are agreed on the erroneous concept that our God is a cosmic child abuser, although they would vigorously contest any such characterization of their beliefs while simultaneously attempting to present scriptural evidence proving my very assertion. As I have already written extensively elsewhere here at Miscellaneous Ramblings,“> I vehemently disagree with their idea God visits death, destruction, calamity, sickness, and the like upon Christ-followers in order to “teach” us humility, faith, patience, or any other virtue(s) listed in Galations 5 aka “the fruit of the spirit.”

However the fact of the matter is this: we are a corrupt race living under a corrupt world system ruled by a psychopath (Satan), so such disappointments are endemic to the human condition.

Sickness, Death & Birth Defects

I’m a firm believer in and a teacher of divine healing and will “go to the mattresses” debate-wise with anyone who proclaims otherwise. That being said, no matter how many times we are healed through medical science or supernatural miracle, we are still ultimately going to die physically, period. Fortunately for Christ-followers, however, that is not the end of the story! Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave through His death, burial, and resurrection. All who have trusted in Him to the point where they allow Him to rule their lives will also live forever with Him.

One of the many questions posed by skeptics of the Christian faith is “Why are we all considered sinners simply because Adam and Eve screwed up? How can that be fair?” The answer is brutally simple: when God created this world, one of many rules He put in place from the outset is everything within His creation reproduces after its own kind. Ergo, once Adam and Eve rebelled, the only kind of offspring they could produce were yet more rebels.

Because of this, death rules in our physical bodies and mental faculties. The farther you go down the family tree, the more corrupt, both physically and mentally, we vary from the originals. It’s like making a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy. If you’ve ever seen those ancient multi-generation Xeroxes of funny posters in office cubicles, the image so corrupted it’s barely legible, you begin to grasp the concept I’m trying to convey.

Science has discovered how our bodies regenerate themselves completely every few years, yet our innate corruption inevitably and irreversibly degrades our regenerative ability (aka aging) to the point where we ultimately end up as ashes or in a coffin. In the mean time, our bodies are prone to all the problems — including sickness and the potential for producing offspring with various birth defects — that death provides.

By the way, I personally detest using the term “birth defects” because it has been used so often to shame and discriminate against those having various congenital disabilities. Truly, all humans are “defective” in some form or fashion, but some of us have more visible and more intrusive-into-our-daily-existence physical and mental challenges than others, thereby requiring more care, treatment, attention, and accommodation than others. I use the label here simply because I cannot think of a better shorthand for the issue we’re discussing.

But in no way is God visiting judgment upon believers who fall ill or have borne such children nor are those children some kind of trial sent by Him to develop godly character in them. Such situations are simply, but tragically in many cases, the results of our corrupt bodies reproducing after their own kind. By the way, if the church you attend is experiencing revival, there’s an excellent possibility for complete restoration — there are many, many examples of such healings in both recent history and modern times.

Natural Disasters

Back before The Rebellion, the earth had no bad weather because everything was perfect. Once sin entered the earth, however, weather became an issue for all human beings worldwide as anyone who has lived in Tornado Alley or a hurricane/typhoon zone can attest. Again here, we see a corrupted world being run by a psychopath (Satan) who hates the human race, would love to destroy it, and takes every opportunity he can to do just that. Add to that earthquakes and volcanos.

Can and does the Almighty use weather and earth events to communicate His displeasure with rebellious human behavior? You bet! We see more than a few instances recorded by ancient Jewish religious leaders where He used such natural events to bring judgment upon rebellious human beings, the most notable example being Noah’s flood. But space here does not permit me to recount all the instances I’ve heard over the last 50 years of God protecting believers who stood in faith for such protection experiencing what they had earnestly prayed for. As of this writing, the most recent one I can cite was the miraculous preservation of a Pentecostal church building on Maui while the wildfire literally burned every adjacent building down to its foundation.

Who is the Author of Disappointment?

In the vast majority of situations, as Pogo said in the comic strip, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”

Let me explain, first by listing some relevant passages followed by my 2-cents-worth:

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
James 1:6-8

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.James 1:21-22

But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
James 3:14-16

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:1-3

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
1 John 5:14-15

Based upon the passages I’ve just cited, my own personal experience, as well as my personal observations of other believers’ lives over the last almost-50 years, in most instances God not “coming through” for someone was rooted in one or more of the following causes:

  1. The person was double-minded regarding God’s character, willingness, and/or ability to meet the need. (“…let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”)
  2. The person was not a doer of the Word. (“be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”)
  3. The person had a flesh-driven agenda (“if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts”)
  4. The person had sin in their lives and was unrepentant (“Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have.”).
  5. The person was in strife with one or more other people (“You fight and war.”)
  6. No prayer was expressed concerning the problem (“Yet you do not have because you do not ask”).
  7. The prayer was not prayed in faith (“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind”).
  8. The expectation did not conform to God’s Word (“…if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us”), or;
  9. The person praying had selfish motives (“…you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures”)
  10. The person demonstrated an arrogant sense of entitlement assuming God owed him something.
  11. The need was larger than the person’s revelation from God’s Word. Therefore, their faith was insufficient meet to the challenge.
  12. Other reasons not readily apparent to us, but accurately and completely known by our Creator. God has made it abundantly clear that we are not permitted to try figuring that out for others.

Let’s address each of these in turn:

1. Rebellion

Praying for Him to heal us or bless our finances — or anything else for that matter! — while living self-directed lives is not going to fly. Our authority over the powers of darkness is entirely dependent upon our humble submission to Jesus on a daily basis, rather than merely our one-time decision to surrender to Him as Lord when we received the New Birth.

I’ve addressed the necessity for us to be actively submitted to the Almighty as a foundational principle for prayer in another article, so I will not reinvent that wheel here.

2. Prayerlessness

This is almost always founded in scriptural ignorance. “God’s too busy to hear my prayers,” “It’s selfish to pray for my own needs,” or “God won’t answer because I’m unworthy” are but three examples of the legion of unscriptural excuses offered by religious folks for not praying. Frankly, all of them are sin and reek of unbelief.

3. No Faith in God’s Willingness & Ability to Meet the Need

Again, I’ve already dealt with this issue in depth elsewhere here on Miscellaneous Ramblings.

4. Unscriptural Expectations & 5. Selfish Motives

These two are extensions of #1 above because each is an expression of self-lordship.
God has no obligation to affirmatively answer any prayer violating His revealed will, the Bible, period.

Why?

Because it would be a violation of His character (holiness) to establish us in wrong-doing by giving us anything we request which conflicts with the letter and spirit of His Word. Examples would be prayers for Him to bless/overlook our fornication and/or adultery and/or lying and/or addiction(s) (aka idolatry) among others.

This not only goes for items clearly prohibited in Scripture, but also those prayers offered with the wrong motives. Praying for Him to bless our finances while living a selfish lifestyle devoid of a free-flowing generosity would be an excellent example.

Please read this linked article for an in-depth analysis of this issue.

6. A Sense of Entitlement

God owes us nothing, zero, zip, zilch, nada! We are entitled to hell and nothing else — anything other than that is granted by the limitless grace of our loving and merciful Heavenly Father. Coming to God with some kind of “You owe me” kind of nonsense is simply starting the countdown to experiencing one of God’s “humility through humiliation” lessons. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt!

7. Insufficient Revelation & Consequent Faith to Confront the Need

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

We cannot, by definition, have faith for God to honor His promises concerning any specific problem if we have not:

  • Heard from God’s Word as quickened by His Spirit;
  • Accepted His Word as supreme Truth trumping our circumstances;
  • Assimilated that Truth into our thought processes, and;
  • Acted upon the Word concerning that issue.

For example, if we have been erroneously taught God is no longer in the healing business or we are functionally illiterate concerning His healing promises, we will not have the necessary faith to meet a serious health crisis when it occurs.
I’ve covered this one elsewhere in great depth in my article on being a doer of the Word and my faith for healing article, so I’ll let them address this one in the depth it truly deserves and move on.

Unknown Reasons

Sometimes, after we have done everything we know to do — stood in faith believing His promises, repented of all known sin, checked our motives, confessed God’s Word, prayed, fasted, and everything else we could do under the sun to position us to receive something we badly wanted — and it simply did not “work.” The person we prayed for died anyway, the election went to a candidate we abhorred, the financial breakthrough we so desperately needed never happened, whatever, fill in the blanks.

I’ve addressed this issue elsewhere on this blog in my article addressing what if it doesn’t work from my healing series, another post on the blessings of God, and yet another one on divine mysteries.

No matter how well we may know God, His Word, and His Spirit, there are always going to be matters outside our spiritual and intellectual grasp, period, end of story. God reserves certain knowledge to Himself and it is a wise believer who acknowledges that fact and accepts his or her own limitations.

There are simply situations where we in faith have to throw ourselves on the mercy and the grace of God, believing He is a good God, He is for us and not against us, He has our best interests at heart, and, as we grieve our loss(es), He’s got our backs no matter how bad things may appear at the moment.

Whenever we are faced with such situations, Satan immediately comes to us with the standard 2 temptations he uses with everyone: “Did God really say?” and “Who do you think you are?” In the first instance, he is calling into question God’s goodness. In the latter, he is challenging our identity as Christ-followers. The first temptation is straight from the original one offered in Eden. The second comes from Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.

If he can lure us into questioning either, he’s got us right where he wants us.

We are then faced with 2 choices.

  1. Allow ourselves to question God’s goodness with statements such as, “If God is so good why did He allow this to happen?” and devolve into anger and bitterness towards Him like He owes us something more than Hell, eventually turning our back on Him, or;
  2. As we grieve, we lean into Jesus, offering the sacrifice of praise.

    Through Him, therefore, let us at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.Hebrews 13:15

    We Christ-followers will worship Him forever in heaven. That is another given. But there is no disappointment, tears, loss, or death in that place, so we literally cannot offer such sacrifices in that place — a sacrifice of praise can only occur here on earth -AND- can only brought by people who are experiencing disappointment or loss and the grief which accompanies either.

    When we worship so, we are embracing a childlike acceptance of divine mystery, trusting that He is good regardless of what we see, hear, or feel.

My Own Recent Disappointment

Nothing I’ve said here is mere academic theorizing on my part, but rubber-meets-the-road applied theology.

In October of last year, I was hired by a Christian-owned and operated company in Dallas, Texas as a business process analyst at over double my previous salary at the university I had worked at for the previous 15 years. The owners are great, they have an awesome staff, and they are doing amazing work. I was making more money than I ever had made before, learning all kinds of new stuff, developing new skills, making valuable contributions to the company, and enjoyed the respect of both my bosses and peers. It was easily my favorite job of my entire IT career.

I loved working there!

Then last June, they laid me off out of the blue due to an economic downturn at the company (it had nothing to do with my performance because they gave me an awesome letter of recommendation!). As of this writing, I’m still looking for a new position.

I have no clue why this chain of events transpired the way it did. Perhaps I never will. But I don’t need to know.

God didn’t slap His forehead and fall off His throne in surprise. He saw this event from the foundations of the world and He has a plan. It’s a good plan because He is a good God (Jeremiah 29:11).

So I’m practicing what I’ve just been preaching: examining myself, leaning into Him, offering the sacrifice of praise as I grieve this major disappointment, trusting His promises, and waiting on Him.

Simply described.

Difficult to execute, so difficult, in fact, I cannot do it successfully in my own strength.

But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] will gain new strength and renew their power; they will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not grow tired.Isaiah 40:31 AMP

My merciful lovingkindness and holy influence provide you with unfailing strength and defenses, and complete contentment because I freely give you My might, My power to perform miracles, My ability to produce moral excellence, My resources for financial prosperity, as well as the military might of the angels of heaven fighting on your side.

These gifts are all brought to fullness and completion in the midst of your moral, mental, and physical weakness, your inability to understand yourself and others, and your failure to accomplish goals, endure trials, and resist temptation.
2 Corinthians 11:9a (Willis Expanded Version)

God is good!

His grace is more than enough.

His strength is perfected in my weakness.

His mercy endures forever.

Amen!

Thanks for reading!