Chris' Corner -- October 10, 2021
Life can dish out plenty of disappointments and discouragements. Jesus said occasions of stumbling would come (Luke 17:1). There are plenty of disappointments that come from the actions of others. But sometimes, we are our own worst enemy, inflicting offenses on ourselves. Either way, we decide how we’re going to handle disappointments before they turn into discouragement and even depression.
Jesus was overwhelmed with grief as He looked across the Kidron Valley at the city of Jerusalem. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37). Jesus’ heart was breaking because they rejected their Messiah. They had been looking for Him for so long. Now, as He stood before them, they would have preferred someone else.
Jesus didn’t wallow in self-pity or become discouraged and lose hope. Neither did He turn His back on them and walk away. Instead, our Lord forged ahead and finished His mission. He went to the cross and died for those very people who rejected Him.
Disappointments are unavoidable, but good can come from them. Paul wrote, “...but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2–4).
Discouragements will try to bring us down. They can be disheartening, but remember, they are temporary. Again, the apostle said, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
It is impossible to determine what the circumstances in life will be. We cannot control what others might do, but we can decide how we will respond. Rather than think of what we should have said or done after the fact, we can prepare ourselves by being more like our Lord when He faced disappointments. He didn’t harbor hatred. He didn’t lose hope and fall into despair. He loved. He forgave. He kept the faith, knowing these things would pass. He looked forward to the glory that would come.