Since I was 15 years old, I have been engaged in ministry. From my very first mission trip, I took as a young person, I was launched into a world of incredible opportunities and possibilities with God. One overseas mission turned into speaking to hundreds of churches, conventions, retreats, camps, and gatherings to thousands of encounters with the lost, saved, broken, disappointed, refugee, orphan, and hurting, to open doors that no man could shut causing me to stand in complete AWE of God!
This year will mark thirty years of walking in full throttle obedience to my Savior. It has been so fun, adventurous, awe inspiring, and in some ways, addictive. I have watched God blind Custom Officials while smuggling Bibles into Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Turn hearts of Government Officials from arresting me to giving me permission in remote villages to preach the gospel among unreached Muslim tribes. I’ve seen people fall under the power of God and get up completely healed spiritually and physically restored from sickness and disabilities. Sometimes, I pinch myself that I get the privilege to live this incredible life.
But on the flip side of all the joy, excitement and opportunity are also years of disappointments, struggles, “I don’t understands” and lots of unexpected suffering. I have set in the seat of struggle more than I have set in the seat of Awe. Betrayal in ministry, lost confidence in spiritual authorities, unfair loss of family and friends, unjust narratives, disappointment in how the story ended, you name it, I have been a firsthand witness to it. Honestly, it is easier to look at the valley of the shadow moments in life and ministry than the mountain and glory moments that feel far and few between.
Through the years I have learned that what I believe about the current circumstance I am walking is not always the true narrative God is writing. You see, in the backdrop of every hurt, betrayal and disappointment, God is always present. He is doing something that eyes set on this life and the circumstance cannot see. I am now a firm believer that every seemingly scripted disappointment is a Divine set-up into a God size appointment.
Airlines cancel my flight and I end up going to a new city only to meet someone that I would have never met and lead them to Jesus. (God Appointment) My car breaks down and I end up sharing the gospel and praying with a stranger that stops to help me. (God Appointment) A breakfast with a friend that confronts my unforgiveness, ends with reconciliation with another. (God Appointment) A betrayal from a friend, after years of process and letting go, ends with one letter of apology. (God Appointment) Walking misunderstood, by those I want to understand, to defend the integrity of the Scriptures, leads me to an encounter with Jesus that takes me to unpredicted places of deep intimacy, truth, and healing. (God Appointment)
We must come back to reality. Often what we FEEL lies to us. Our disappointment lies in the fact we believed God would perform differently than He did. But it was us who put an expectation or expiration on God – not that God failed us. He did not fail. We have failed to trust Him with what we don’t understand. It’s amazing how time has a way of revealing the WHY’s of God that we don’t understand in the moment!
I believe Disappointments are designed by God to:
· Confront The Lies I Have Come to Believe – Disappointment Confronts Where I Have Placed Trust in Something Other Than Christ
· Affirm My True Destiny – Disappointment Drives Me to Seek God’s Will and Not My Own
· Deepen My Intimacy with Christ – Disappointment Forces Me to Trust Christ in New Ways
“Disappointment is a middle-of-the-story phenomenon because it assumes an unhappy conclusion before we’ve reached the end of the story.” I love this! We shouldn’t give up at any point. Our story is still being written and the narrative is still on the screen. God cultivates faith in the waiting, not in the moment of asking. We live a crockpot life. When the season is right all things come forth. God help me to walk patiently in your plan and not run ahead trying to get an instant result. Give me grace for the waiting.
Disappointment is likewise designed by the enemy to trap us into a cycle of unbelief in the Goodness of God. If the enemy can steal our trust in God’s goodness toward us, he can take away our confidence in God. Don’t fall into the trap of the enemy. When disappointment knocks on your door, begin asking God what He has appointed for you instead!
Father, I pray for every disappointed heart. Wash over the unbelief that has stained the filter of their story with Your blood. Transform their thinking and replace their narrative with Yours. Heal doubts, affirm truth, and restore trust in Your goodness toward them. Fill them with faith to believe Your story is still the narrative being written. In Jesus name- Amen!