Hope In Christ Will Never Bring Disappointment

“The end of a thing is better than its beginning. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

I was listening to a friend recently who came very close to winning a promotion. His disappointment was understandable. As he shared his frustration, however, he also read some verses from the Book of Romans that comforted him. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith unto this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5: 1-5)

My friend realized that God is teaching him to be patient. In other words, when God knows the time is right, my friend knows that the promotion will come. As a Christian, he has hope even when the breaks don’t seem to be going his way.

While listening to his story, I admired the strength and quality of his faith because I was also disappointed by the some of the breaks that seemed to be going my way. However, unlike my friend, I thought God’s timing stunk. For the life of me, I could not understand why God would not honor the desires of my heart especially when I thought those desires were right in the center of his will for my life.

When I returned home and looked at the verses to which my friend staked his claim, God began to teach me a lesson about my attitude toward disappointment. Just one verse beyond the promise of hope that reminded my friend to be patient was God’s message to me: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)

When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have to learn how to empty ourselves. We must become selfless if we are ever to live a spirit-filled life. And most of all, we have to accept that if God’s timing was “right” for the ungodly, then it is perfect for his children.

When I looked in the mirror that night, I realized that I had not allowed that selfless quality to show through my disappointment. The only quality that was shining through my disappointment was a selfish Christian who would not submit to fact that God’s clock doesn’t work like ours. Indeed, when the time is right, God will respond.

By the way, the next morning I received a telephone call from another friend. He didn’t know anything about my disappointment with God, or the lesson that I had learned from my selfish attitude. He just called me to let me know that God had led him to open a door for me. I did not know it then, but that door was the beginning of God’s answer to my prayer.

Lord, forgive me for the selfish attitude I have shown. But most of all, for even that I could ever have a better sense of timing for my life than you. I am grateful for the door that you opened, and I know now that I never did deserve the opportunity to walk through it. Please don’t ever let me forget the empty feeling I had when I realized how much I had failed you. Fill that emptiness with your Spirit and may others be blessed by the lesson I have learned. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

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