A priest was encouraging some young footballers on the need to involve Jesus in all they do and trusting Him to help them. Some of them agreed and soon the whole team made a commitment to the Lord. They started going to church and their performance improved. Some of them openly remarked: ‘Men! This ‘Jesus stuff ‘ works you know. See how our records have improved since we made a commitment.’
Not long after that, there was a house party to which some of the footballers were invited.
Unfortunately, some of these footballers let down their guard and soon they were not only drinking alcohol but got drunk and started vandalising the neighbours’ cars.
One girl who was sober and knew about their commitment challenged one of the boys about their behaviour to which one replied: ‘I don’t want you to bring the Jesus stuff here, I am not in Church and I don’t want Jesus controlling my life.’ If Jesus is on our side why did we lose our last three marches?’
Clearly, the boy’s reaction following a disappointment is typical and many of us can identify with him and his friends. We may be deceived into thinking because we have trusted the Lord we will not encounter frustrating failures. Certainly our faith will be tried despite like the three Hebrew men and Daniel. God did not prevent them from being thrown into the fire and the lion’s respectively, but He displayed His glory and power and turn what may have looked like a disappointment into an appointment.
Surely with Jesus we have a winning combination in life. With Him we have eternal life. Regardless of our past, we can be forgiven and given a clean slate to start afresh. He puts our sins in His Sea of Forgetfulness and posts a sign: No Fishing! His promise to us is: as high as the heaven is above the earth so great is His love for us and as far as the East is from the West so far has He removed our transgression from us.
He writes our names in His Book of Life.
Jesus is more interested in our character than in our comfort, hence the fact that we know Him intimately does not mean we would not have disappointments, failures or sufferings. God often allows such experience to build us up and make us into what He would like to see. He refines us like gold so that His image would be reflected in us.
We are involved in a spiritual warfare. We have an enemy who wants to kill, steal and destroy us. He is the accuser of the brethren who will come and lie to us that ‘if God loves you why did he allow you to go through this or that?’ We need not be ignorant of the enemy’s strategies.
So long as we trust the Lord He will use all we go through to glorify His name. Jesus Himself said ‘In the World you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. For, I have overcome the world.’ John16:33
Count is all joy when you come into divers temptation…
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. James1:2
20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. Matt13:20-22
And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. [ The Church Persecuted and Scattered ] On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Act8:1
But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. Acts13:50
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Rom.8:35
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2Cor.12:10
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.Rev.2:10
8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.2Cor4:8-9
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.Job13:15
10 But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. Job23:10
Naomi and husband Elimelech faced famine and left home for abroad you find greener pastures
Husband and sons who had married foreign women also died. She decided to return home alone but her daughters in law wanted to follow her home. She persuaded Orpah to go back but Ruth refused. Ruth1
Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.
17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me." Ruth1:16-17
They both returned home and God gave Ruth favour with Boaz and they were married later and she gave birth to Obed who gave birth to Jesse, David’s Father. And through that lineage, Jesus Christ our Saviour came. How about that for an appointment from a disappointment?
10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, "Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?"
11 And Boaz answered and said to her, "It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. Ruth 2:10-11
Joseph, in jail in spite of his integrity, righteousness and devotion had interpreted the dream of the butler and reminded him to remember him but the butler forgot him. God allowed it to happened until the time was ripe when Pharaoh dreamed and desperate for an interpretation.
The butler remembered and Joseph was summoned to the palace where he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream about the impending, prosperity and severe famine. The Pharaoh appointed Joseph as the Prime Minister, even though he was a foreigner. And so Joseph went from prison to the palace; from disappointment to an appointment. Gen40 and 41
Isaac stare famine in the face in Gerar. Many people were fleeing for greener pastures. It was the logical thing to do. Isaac wanted to follow suit but God intervened and told him, ‘Don’t go.’ Stay in the land, despite the famine. Isaac obeyed. In fact Isaac was led to sow in the land instead of eating his seed.
The result was a hundred-fold return. Gen26:1-6,12
After this breakthrough, Isaac was again faced with another obstacle. Digging the well that his Father had, it was blocked by the Philistines. He dug another one and they blocked it again. This continued but Isaac refused to give up and kept digging and trusting until God gave him room as the Philistines gave up. V15
Regardless of your opposition, keep digging in your field, in your land in your purpose in spite of your opposition until your enemies give up on you; until God gives you room. Yes, you may be disappointed by the backlash of your enemies. Trust God to turn your disappointment into an appointment. Stand still until God give you room- until you have your ‘Rehoboth.’ V22
Jacob had worked for 14 years before marrying Rachel, and was initially deceived and given Leah. He discovered the sinister plot the day following the consummation as Leah was brought to him in dark of the night. He was highly disappointed and was forced to work for another 7 years before marrying Rachel. To his dismay although Rachel was very beautiful, she was barren. He pleaded with God and God remembered her and opened her womb and Joseph, the fruitful bow was born. This is the son who became the saviour of his brethren in time of famine.
Even Jacob’s mother Rebekah was barren herself and Isaac was disappointed and cried out to the Lord who heard him and opened her womb by giving him a double portion- twins- Esau and Jacob. God gave him a pleasant appointment from the disappointment.
21 Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
So are you barren despite being endowed with beauty? Pray to the Lord and trust Him to give you a double for your trouble.
Israel, after being in the House of Bondage for over 400 years as prophesied, God sent Moses, who thought his ministry was over to tell Pharaoh to let His people go.
After resisting God many times we had the ten plaques which God to display his power, humbling all the gods of the Egyptians.Ex10
Eventually, they were allowed to leave Egypt after the death of the first born. They plundered the Egyptians as God gave them favour with the Egyptians as promised.
However despite the fact that they were led out by the pillar of clouds in the day and pillar of fire in the night they came face to face with the Red Sea and looking back they saw the Egyptians army in hot pursuit. They were greatly disappointed and wanted to eat Moses alive. They told him: ‘Is this not what we told you? Leave us to serve the Egyptians and you have brought us to kill us here. Are there no graves in Egypt? Ex12
Moses encouraged them, ‘Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. The Egyptians you see today, you will not see anymore.’
He cried out to the Lord and He asked him, ’What do you have in your hands?’
God: Use it!
He stretched his rod over the sea and it was parted for them to walk on dry ground. The Egyptians followed and they were drowned.
So the disappointment of the Israelites was turned into an appointment with God.
Israel Soon had another test: No water. All they had was bitter water. They murmured and God told Moses to cut the branch of a tree and throw into the water and it became sweet. This was a foreshadow of the coming of the Lord who was to die on a tree and through his sufferings our bitter water can be turned into sweet water as we accept Him as Lord and Saviour.
Hence despite the faithlessness of the Israelites, God still turned their disappointment into an appointment. Ex16,17
Lazarus was the friend of Jesus, so when he was sick, they sent a word to Him to come and help. Jesus was not too far away but He delayed and Lazarus died. Jesus arrived after four days and he now stank. Mary and the whole family were greatly disappointed but Jesus turned their disappointment into an appointment when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. John11
Your dream may have died and you may think there is no hope for you but, know that it is not over until Jesus says so. He has the final word and can turn any hopeless situation around.
Today, give Him a chance and see and let Him show you His glory.
Paul and Silas obeyed God and went to Philippi to preach the gospel but they met with not only opposition but brutality, battering which led to their bleeding. They were beaten with rods beyond recognition and thrown into the dungeon with their hand and feet in straight-jackets.
However at mid-night, instead of moaning and complaining that God had disappointed them, they saw through God’s eyes that it would work out for their good and it happened, Acts16
God was enamoured by their exuberance and overt and reckless praise and rocked the foundation of that prison. The doors and windows were flung open and their chains fell off. The prison-warder heard the commotion and thought the prisoners had escaped and wanted to kill himself.
Paul and Silas cried out: ’Do not harm yourself. We are all here.’
He was so overwhelmed by their boldness and surrender to God that he asked: ‘What must I do to be saved?’
Although Paul and Silas were not disappointed, nevertheless their ordeal was turned into an appointment with God.
You may have obey the voice of God and find yourself in a worse situation. God knows best and is not taken by surprise. Do not despair and you will see His wisdom.
Like it happened to Paul and Silas, your composure and trust and faith will lead to sinners coming to know the Lord as Saviour. That is more important than your comfort. If we suffer with we will also reign with Him.
The man who was born blind posed a question in some people’s mind who wandered whether it was his sin or that of his parents that he was blind. Jesus’ response was that it was neither his sin or that of his parent that he was blind. It was that the glory of God should be seen in his life. John9
That man’s parents and he must have been disappointed that he was born blind, but Jesus turned their disappointment into an appointment.
Jesus made a paste with his spittle, rubbed it on his eyes and told him to go and wash in a pool. He did and came back seeing.
Similarly the man who was born cripple must have been disappoint as wee his parents. He thought he would beg all his life. However one faithful day, Peter and John were going for a prayer meeting. The crippled man was hoping to get some money from them but Peter mused, ‘Did we not receive the Holy Spirit on that day? And were we not told,’ and ye shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you?...’ Acts3
Let’s put this power to work.
The man was still hoping to get his change from them, but Peter told him, ’Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and work.’
The man was still looking at Peter, wandering what he was all about.
Peter reached down and touched him and as he did the man’s ankle bones received strength and he leapt up, rejoicing and praising God.
His whole family must have been disappointed at the birth of the crippled man but it led to an appointment with God.
The man who was paralysed for 38 years and camping at Bethesda pool was disappointed year after year when the angel came to stir the pool. He was outrun by others with less infirmity and it looked hopeless until Jesus came on the scene. His hopelessness was turned around as it became an appointment with God.
You may have been paralysed by a situation and healing and deliverance from it may have eluded you for too long. John5
It is not over until Jesus says so. Reach out to Him today and you will not be disappointed.
Be comforted by the story of the woman with the incurable blood disease. She had spent all her more on various doctors yet matters got worse. She however got news about the Miracle Worker and she wandered how she would get in touch with Him.
To her surprise she got the news that He was in town.
She then pulled herself together and ventured out even though she was not allowed according to the levitical law. She was also financially bankrupt and physically drained.
As she approached where Jesus was, there was another barrier. The crowd was intimidating. But she persevered as she approached Him. She kept encouraging herself, ‘If I can just touch the hem of His clothes, I will be made whole.’
She reached down and touched the hem of His garment, despite possibly being trampled on her way. She received her miracle as she touched Jesus with a touch of faith.
Jesus knew that power had gone out of Him as a result of a touch of faith and He enquired, ’Who touched me?’
The disciples were surprised about this seemingly foolish question. But Jesus knew why He asked the question.
The woman confessed and Jesus told her ‘Your faith had made you whole.’
That woman’s long-running disappointment was turned into an appointment.
The same can be your portion. Reach out and touch him in faith, today!
Wrting about John-the-Baptist's disappointment, this was what Bob Gas wrote:
' Talk about unmet expectations! Jesus could have saved John, but He didn't. Instead He sent back word: 'Don't worry, everything's on target, the kingdom is being built. You did your job well' (Matthew 11:4-5). It probably wasn't the answer John hoped for. He was looking for solutions to temporal problems while Jesus was busy establishing an eternal kingdom. So next time God doesn't seem to meet your expectations, it's not that He doesn't care; it's that He sees the big picture and He's handling issues you can't even begin to comprehend. So trust Him!
So what is your disappointment?
Put it in the hands of the Lord and you will be surprised what he can do with it. He is able to do exceeding abundantly more than you can ask or think. He owns the earth in all its fullness. He decrees and it stands. Nothing takes Him by surprise and He is able to turn any hopeless situation around.
He has our best interest in his heart and what may look a disappointment can actually be an appointment with Him. Those who put their trust in him will not be put to shame. The expectation of the righteous will not be scuppered.
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