Dealing With Disappointment


“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want”(1 Peter 4:1-2, The Message).

There invariably will come a time in our spiritual journey when the LORD will solicit our cooperation in permitting Him to guide us in a new way. His preference is that we would sense His leading, fully cooperate, and move in the new direction. However, as is all too often the case, God must intervene in the affairs of our lives due to the fact that we are comfortable in our present course of action.To secure our attention and point us in the way He desires, there are strategies the Lord employs that are very effective in dislodging us from entrenchment. As much as we are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11), we must be even more knowledgeable of the ways of the Lord (Psalm 25:4).

Paul had received an apostolic commission to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. In keeping with his mandate, he targeted key cities in the Roman Empire to visit. Yet, the New Testament narrative informs us that he was not able to fulfill his objective at this particular time because God saw fit to stop him! “Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to” (Acts 16:6-7, NIV).
Like the apostle, perhaps you have experienced something similar. You were heading down a certain roadway while attempting to do the will of the Lord and you ended up “hitting a wall” and you were stopped in your tracks. From that point on, no matter how hard you worked, you were incapable of making significant progress. Initiatives and projects that were originally inspired by a lofty vision and deep passion ended up languishing, some of them even terminating.
When stuck at an impasse, it is a natural tendency to return to familiar surroundings. We see this in the lives of the disciples after Jesus’ death. They went back to fishing even though they had clearly been mandated to forsake their vocation and follow Christ (See Luke 5:10-11; John 21:3). Because they were commercial fishermen, there may even have been economic motives behind their actions. Nevertheless, we see clearly that there was no lasting provision and no permanent peace in returning to past environments.

When God leads out of a place of familiarity and the way forward is blocked, what is the solution? 
A powerful key to such breakthrough is being absolutely convinced that your Heavenly Father knows what is best for you. “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you’” (Psalm 32:8, New Living Translation).
Those that wait upon the Lord and lean not on their own understanding will never be disappointed. Your present circumstances may seem like a dead-end to you. Far from it! The truth of the matter is that they are in fact a detour to your destiny. Will you you trust in the Lord in all your ways? Then keep praying! Dig deeper. Press into His presence. He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
Glenn Bleakney –

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