Life is full of disappointment - business ventures go south, hoped for and prayed for healing does not occur, divorce papers are received. The list is unending. Is Jesus any different? Sterrett sums up his answer well by writing the following:
Even in moments of confusion and disappointment, Jesus Christ is still trustworthy. You may pray, “Jesus, this doesn’t make sense to me right now.” But remember that He backed up His offensive claims by coming back from the grave. We may not understand and know what He will do, but we do know what He has already done. He has revealed enough of His character to prove that He is worthy of our trust, regardless of the mystery.1
Sterrett reminds us that this is the answer Jesus provided to John the Baptist when he was in prison, for heralding Jesus as the Messiah, disappointed and doubting whether Jesus was indeed the Messiah. Jesus pointed to the evidence of His performed miracles and fulfilled prophecies.
Sterrett then provides three ways to respond while rotting in the “prison” of disappointment:
1. Focus on the goodness of God – This is the example we see in Scripture from Job to Paul. Both of these men suffered greatly but remained faithful to God.
2. Realize that the best is yet to come – Sterrett quotes Paul: For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!2 It is clear throughout Scripture that God’s purposes for mankind spill over into eternity.
3. Continue to joyfully obey God – Sterrett writes: When we feel let down or disappointed by God, we have a decision to make. We can either take steps away from Him by failing to trust him or take steps toward Him in obedient faith.3 He points to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as an example of this joyful obedience. They knew God was capable of saving them from an idolatrous king ready to throw them into a furnace yet even if God chose not to they would remain obedient.
This is the response Sterrett calls us to when facing deep disappointment. Lastly he calls us to remember that Jesus Himself faced disappointment when He was betrayed, deserted, beaten, mocked, crucified and above all became sin for us and received the wrath of God in our place. For those who trust in this Christ, their disappointment is only temporary!
Stand firm in Christ,Chase
1. Page 63.2. 2 Corinthians 4:17. New Living Translation
3. Page 70.
Forthcoming: A summary of Chapter Four: Why Should I Trust Jesus When Life Seems to Be Going Just Fine without Him?