My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that … Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.—Philippians 1:20
Jesus is the supreme example of living without fear of being disappointed by others: “He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave…. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross” (Php 2:7-8).
Disappointed people sometimes find it difficult to move out toward others. After all, people—even Christian people—can be rude, uncouth, obnoxious, and sometimes downright disgusting. I sometimes think it might be helpful if we put a sign outside some churches saying: “Enter here at your own risk.” Forgive my cynicism, but I have lived long enough to know that Christians can hurt! What are we supposed to do when we know that to move toward another person in love exposes us to the risk of being disappointed? We move forward in love: easy to say, but more difficult to do. Making ourselves vulnerable to disappointment is frightening, but this has to happen if we are to love as we are loved.
Mature Christians are those who are willing to look fully into the face of disappointment and feel it, knowing that because they do, they will come to a deeper awareness that no one can comfort the heart like Jesus Christ. In the presence of such pain, one more easily sees the uselessness of every attempt to find solace in one’s own independent strategies. Facing and feeling the pain of disappointment underlies more than anything else the gripping truth that only in God can we trust.
Father, at times Your purposes seem to run diametrically opposite to my interests, but the more I ponder them, the more I see that You always have my highest interests at heart. Help me to trust You more—and myself less. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
What disappointments must Jesus have felt?
How often do you disappoint Him?
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