It’s no secret that we all face disappointment throughout our lives. Whether it’s with COVID, relationships, election results, loss, etc., we all have to deal with things not going the way he hoped they would. I think about how Mary and the disciples must have felt after Jesus took his last breath. All their hope and trust was in Jesus, and now he is gone. Even though Sunday morning was coming, it was hard for them to see anything except death and hopelessness.
I believe there are three things that keep us from moving past disappointment.
First, SPIRITUAL PARALYSIS keeps us stagnant and not moving into what God wants us to be. David had to be in position to be able to face Goliath, so he had to get off the sidelines and step into the battle. Luke 14:10 says , “ But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.” In other words, God wants to move us to a higher place spiritually, but we have to allow Him access to do this.
Next, I believe we have too much CRITICAL ANALYSIS as we can’t seem to move past disappointment if we keep analyzing and criticizing. There are movers and shakers in the body of Christ, and then there are those that just like to shake things up. I have found the ones that are criticizing and complaining are often times on the sideline doing absolutely nothing! We have a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks in the body of Christ that like to talk about what they would have done differently, steps they would have taken, etc… There is a story in the bible in Numbers where the children of Israel were griping and complaining, and God sent venomous snakes to bite their heels and many died. In other words, the gripers got vipers and Moses had to have the people repent and cry out to God and provided the healing. Never respond to shade coming from trees that don’t bear fruit. In other words, as Christians we are to live above reproach and we have to be careful not to criticize and complain. Sometimes we criticize ourselves or God and that’s not acceptable either if you truly want to be light in the darkness. James 5:9 says, “Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge(B) is standing at the door!” Just a friendly reminder that if we want to get past our disappointments, we have to stop being critical of others as this is not the example we need to set as a Christian.
Finally, UNTREATED CALLUSES keep us from moving forward. These are thickened layers of skin where friction repeatedly occurs. Spiritually speaking, many people have calluses due to rebellion and past hurts. Even Joseph Stalin was once in the ministry, but then something happened and he rebelled against God and every religion, and even died clinching his fist at God. In Isaiah 63:10 we read, “Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit, so he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.” What a reminder that we are to let down our guard and not be rebellious to God’s Word or his will for our life. Another reason for calluses result from wounds and scars that haven’t healed.
We hold grudges and keep unforgiveness in our heart, and we stay bound by that and can’t move forward. The story is told of a professor that let everyone draw a picture of someone they hated and put it over a dart board. They all threw darts at this person to help vent the anger they had towards them. When it was over, the professor removed the paper and there was a picture of Jesus. Jesus had marks all over him from the darts, and his eyes were punched out as well. The professor reminded everyone that what we do to the least of these we do unto Him. Before we can begin to heal, we have to believe that God wants us to heal. In Ninja Warrior training we get rips and cuts in our hands a lot, and many times we use a band aid to temporarily help. One day I discovered “New Skin” and although it burns like fire, it actually puts a protective layer on the wound and allows the skin to grow over it. It’s an amazing product, and a reminder that Jesus makes all things new.
Let him heal the calluses in your heart so you can move forward. In closing, I think about Coach Pittman and the Razorbacks being down 13 points at halftime. He encouraged the team, made a few adjustments, and they didn’t allow another point the rest of the game and scored 24 unanswered points. I believe we are at halftime, the Coach wants to make a few adjustments, including dissolving disappointments, and the 3rd quarter is about to begin! Let’s go be the light of the world and the salt of the earth in these final days. For the full message please visit Botkinburg Foursquare on Facebook.
Rocky Thomas is Pastor, Botkinburg Foursquare Church