Dealing With Disappointment

  • June 09, 2018
Saturday 09

Habakkuk 3:17-19

After I preached a sermon on disappointment, several men and women approached me with the same reaction: “I desperately needed to hear those words.” Many people feel defeated and let down by their circumstances. But the way a person responds can make all the difference. Frustrations can be either an opportunity for spiritual growth or a destructive blow.

A right response to disappointment begins with resisting the natural tendency toward bitterness. If someone else was involved in the situation, don’t be quick to judge his or her conduct. We can’t fully understand what is going on in others’ lives or what motivates them to act as they do. Our second step should be to ask the Lord, “How am I to respond?” God can guide us to a wise and righteous reaction because He has all the facts.

Third, follow His directions, even if they aren’t what you want to do. Oftentimes the Lord’s way contradicts our own desires and the advice of friends. However, His plan is the one that will bring about growth and result in our greatest good.

And fourth, keep your focus on God and His higher purpose in your life. People are prone to dwell on their hurts and the harm that comes to them, which is what makes disappointment so destructive.

There are many methods for dealing with being let down, but pursuing the Lord’s will is the only one that satisfies. Though human plans can be derailed, nothing alters God’s purpose. No matter how deep your hurt goes, He will shepherd you through setbacks and sorrows while growing your faith.

Bible in One Year: Job 35-38

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17 Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls,

18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

19 The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.

1 Then Elihu continued and said,

2 Do you think this is according to justice? Do you say, `My righteousness is more than God's'?

3 For you say, `What advantage will it be to You? What profit will I have, more than if I had sinned?'

4 I will answer you, And your friends with you.

5 Look at the heavens and see; And behold the clouds--they are higher than you.

6 If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against Him? And if your transgressions are many, what do you do to Him?

7 If you are righteous, what do you give to Him, Or what does He receive from your hand?

8 Your wickedness is for a man like yourself, And your righteousness is for a son of man.

9 Because of the multitude of oppressions they cry out; They cry for help because of the arm of the mighty.

10 But no one says, `Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs in the night,

11 Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth And makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?'

12 There they cry out, but He does not answer Because of the pride of evil men.

13 Surely God will not listen to an empty cry, Nor will the Almighty regard it.

14 How much less when you say you do not behold Him, The case is before Him, and you must wait for Him!

15 And now, because He has not visited in His anger, Nor has He acknowledged transgression well,

16 So Job opens his mouth emptily; He multiplies words without knowledge."

1 Then Elihu continued and said,

2 Wait for me a little, and I will show you That there is yet more to be said in God's behalf.

3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, And I will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

4 For truly my words are not false; One who is perfect in knowledge is with you.

5 Behold, God is mighty but does not despise any; He is mighty in strength of understanding.

6 He does not keep the wicked alive, But gives justice to the afflicted.

7 He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; But with kings on the throne He has seated them forever, and they are exalted.

8 And if they are bound in fetters, And are caught in the cords of affliction,

9 Then He declares to them their work And their transgressions, that they have magnified themselves.

10 He opens their ear to instruction, And commands that they return from evil.

11 If they hear and serve Him, They will end their days in prosperity And their years in pleasures.

12 But if they do not hear, they shall perish by the sword And they will die without knowledge.

13 But the godless in heart lay up anger; They do not cry for help when He binds them.

14 They die in youth, And their life perishes among the cult prostitutes.

15 He delivers the afflicted in their affliction, And opens their ear in time of oppression.

16 Then indeed, He enticed you from the mouth of distress, Instead of it, a broad place with no constraint; And that which was set on your table was full of fatness.

17 But you were full of judgment on the wicked; Judgment and justice take hold of you.

18 Beware that wrath does not entice you to scoffing; And do not let the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.

19 Will your riches keep you from distress, Or all the forces of your strength?

20 Do not long for the night, When people vanish in their place.

21 Be careful, do not turn to evil, For you have preferred this to affliction.

22 Behold, God is exalted in His power; Who is a teacher like Him?

23 Who has appointed Him His way, And who has said, `You have done wrong'?

24 Remember that you should exalt His work, Of which men have sung.

25 All men have seen it; Man beholds from afar.

26 Behold, God is exalted, and we do not know Him; The number of His years is unsearchable.

27 For He draws up the drops of water, They distill rain from the mist,

28 Which the clouds pour down, They drip upon man abundantly.

29 Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds, The thundering of His pavilion?

30 Behold, He spreads His lightning about Him, And He covers the depths of the sea.

31 For by these He judges peoples; He gives food in abundance.

32 He covers His hands with the lightning, And commands it to strike the mark.

33 Its noise declares His presence; The cattle also, concerning what is coming up.

1 At this also my heart trembles, And leaps from its place.

2 Listen closely to the thunder of His voice, And the rumbling that goes out from His mouth.

3 Under the whole heaven He lets it loose, And His lightning to the ends of the earth.

4 After it, a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, And He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard.

5 God thunders with His voice wondrously, Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.

6 For to the snow He says, `Fall on the earth,' And to the downpour and the rain, `Be strong.'

7 He seals the hand of every man, That all men may know His work.

8 Then the beast goes into its lair And remains in its den.

9 Out of the south comes the storm, And out of the north the cold.

10 From the breath of God ice is made, And the expanse of the waters is frozen.

11 Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; He disperses the cloud of His lightning.

12 It changes direction, turning around by His guidance, That it may do whatever He commands it On the face of the inhabited earth.

13 Whether for correction, or for His world, Or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.

14 Listen to this, O Job, Stand and consider the wonders of God.

15 Do you know how God establishes them, And makes the lightning of His cloud to shine?

16 Do you know about the layers of the thick clouds, The wonders of one perfect in knowledge,

17 You whose garments are hot, When the land is still because of the south wind?

18 Can you, with Him, spread out the skies, Strong as a molten mirror?

19 Teach us what we shall say to Him; We cannot arrange our case because of darkness.

20 Shall it be told Him that I would speak? Or should a man say that he would be swallowed up?

21 Now men do not see the light which is bright in the skies; But the wind has passed and cleared them.

22 Out of the north comes golden splendor; Around God is awesome majesty.

23 The Almighty--we cannot find Him; He is exalted in power And He will not do violence to justice and abundant righteousness.

24 Therefore men fear Him; He does not regard any who are wise of heart."

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,

2 Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge?

3 Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!

4 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,

5 Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it?

6 On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone,

7 When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

8 Or who enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb;

9 When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band,

10 And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors,

11 And I said, `Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop'?

12 Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place,

13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it?

14 It is changed like clay under the seal; And they stand forth like a garment.

15 From the wicked their light is withheld, And the uplifted arm is broken.

16 Have you entered into the springs of the sea Or walked in the recesses of the deep?

17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you, Or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?

18 Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this.

19 Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place,

20 That you may take it to its territory And that you may discern the paths to its home?

21 You know, for you were born then, And the number of your days is great!

22 Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,

23 Which I have reserved for the time of distress, For the day of war and battle?

24 Where is the way that the light is divided, Or the east wind scattered on the earth?

25 Who has cleft a channel for the flood, Or a way for the thunderbolt,

26 To bring rain on a land without people, On a desert without a man in it,

27 To satisfy the waste and desolate land And to make the seeds of grass to sprout?

28 Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew?

29 From whose womb has come the ice? And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth?

30 Water becomes hard like stone, And the surface of the deep is imprisoned.

31 Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion?

32 Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites?

33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth?

34 Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, So that an abundance of water will cover you?

35 Can you send forth lightnings that they may go And say to you, `Here we are'?

36 Who has put wisdom in the innermost being Or given understanding to the mind?

37 Who can count the clouds by wisdom, Or tip the water jars of the heavens,

38 When the dust hardens into a mass And the clods stick together?

39 Can you hunt the prey for the lion, Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,

40 When they crouch in their dens And lie in wait in their lair?

41 Who prepares for the raven its nourishment When its young cry to God And wander about without food?

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Publish Date October 22, 2018
God’s Blessing of Brokenness

God has a plan for each of us, but its fulfillment requires a broken spirit and dependence on Him.

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