I used to live thinking that I’d never let anyone disappoint me. Well, that eventually failed.
People will disappoint you. You will disappoint yourself. When we put our focus and our trust in man, even if it’s ourselves, we will always end up being disappointed.
That’s why a church should never focus its people’s attention on themselves or its leaders, no matter how smart, talented, sincere or God-honouring they are. Because when people get disappointed, which they inevitably do, they very easily end up becoming disillusioned and turning their back on church and God altogether.
Too often churches fall into this trap unknowingly by preaching dos and don’ts and using human examples to inspire others to do better.
It turns people’s focus back to works and a blessed relationship with God back to religion. And it commits the graver error of not showing people God for who He really is.
Only one Man will never disappoint: His name is Jesus.
Jesus came in the flesh, the Son of God as the Son of Man, so that today in heaven we have a representative who is both 100% God and 100% Man, who has felt all that we’ll feel and accomplished all that is required of us and everything beyond for us as a Man.
Everyone who came to Jesus with their need got fulfilled. Whether it was opening the eyes of the blind, healing a fever, a long term condition, raising the dead to life, providing more than enough food for the hungry, calming the storm, or casting out demons – Jesus did it all!
It didn’t matter if they were sinners like prostitutes and traitors undeserving of any goodness. It didn’t matter if they were poor and helpless with nothing to offer. All who sought Him as Lord received from Him.
The only people amongst whom Jesus had very limited effect on were the religious folks who boasted and obsessed about the details of the law, and those who didn’t see Jesus as God and Saviour. Let’s see that we don’t fall into either of these groups.
Today, as Christians, we don’t need to aim high and “hope for the best”. We don’t pray and “hope God will answer”. Christians have a different kind of hope – Bible “hope”.
In the Bible, particularly the New Testament, the Greek word for “hope” is the word “elpis“, which always means an expectation of good, an expectation that is both joyful and confident.
Bible “hope” is always sure and confident, an expectation of good things to come.
We can be assured of good because we have been justified and made righteous by believing in Jesus’s finished work for us and we constantly have peace with God (Romans 5:1).
We are joyful in expecting good to come because when we believe the truth about Jesus, we immediately stand on grace and favour ground, and good things can’t help but keep happening to us (Romans 5:2).
We can continue being confident of good to come even when life keeps throwing curveballs and trials at us, because through each trial we can expect a fresh revelation of God’s grace and a testimony to God’s glory of His deliverance and restoration, which causes our confidence to remain steadfast and not waver (Romans 5:3).
In time, we become steady and unfazed at tribulations in life, now being always certain that good will come, as we have already experienced previously (Romans 5:4).
And therefore God promises, and we know, that this Bible “hope” – this confident expectation of good – will not ever disappoint, because God Himself has assured and confirmed His love towards us by His Holy Spirit in us (Romans 5:5).
Do we know that God loves us? Of course we do. He sent the One most precious to Him, His Son, to die for us to save us, when we were hopelessly lost and didn’t even care that we were lost.
Not only that, He filled us with His own Holy Spirit to confirm that we are His, by which Spirit we’re able to call Him “Abba, Daddy”!
Is God for us? Of course He is. He came and did everything for us, even when we were warring and struggling against our own selves.
So today even when I face disappointments, they can no longer keep me down, because I know and am confident that it won’t be too long before a blessing and testimony is on the way. So can you.
Because when we encounter Jesus, we encounter grace.