Lately I’ve been struggling with disappointment
Wikipedia defines the word disappointment as “the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest”.
The same source defines hope as “an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large”. Do you notice that both definitions have the word “expectations”?
Let’s face it – we all have expectations. While I constantly tell myself not to set unrealistic expectations, I obviously still have ones that I would consider realistic. And it isn’t hard to figure out that most of my expectations reside in people – human, sinful people – just like myself. Thus the problem. We humans will always disappoint.
For me, one of the greatest disappointments in life is watching people who I once admired or considered to be spiritual mentors make a drastic turn and reject the truth of God’s Word. How could God have used that person to point me to Him, when he/she would later openly deny Him? The same is true of people I have ministered to, seen changed by the Gospel, but who have later turned back to the vanity of this world. To know the truth, only to later choose the lies once again? Oh, the disappointment. Or to see the adult children of dear friends, who have been taught God’s truth from birth, choose instead what this empty world has to offer them. The heartache I see in their parents, the worry that one day my child may do the same. Disappointment.
What then? I cannot pretend that this life can be free of disappointment. So once again, I must return to the only source of true hope, one that will not disappoint.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
I Peter 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
You see the only true source of hope is Jesus. And that hope is based on the expectation of what is to come. And that expectation is true, and unchanging, and CANNOT disappoint. When I re-direct my thoughts to God’s eternal purposes and what awaits me someday based only on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, I can hope again. Not in people, not in this temporary life, but in Jesus. In heaven. In the glory to come. Someday there will be no more disappointment. And that is something worth hoping for.