Mondays with Sha

Yesterday, I delivered a sermon while shaking in my boots. Though I have been preaching since I was 16, I still get super nervous about it. How did it go? I don’t know. I was the one shaking like a leaf – remember?

disappointment

What I will do is share a few of the things I touched during my message.

The topic of the day was Disappointment.

We all have hopes, dreams and yes expectations. It starts from a very young age. That tooth comes loose and we place it under our pillows expecting a shiny new coin in the morning. On Christmas Eve we all go to bed either expecting a big jolly old man to come down the chimney or fire escape and put presents under the tree or we expect to find that present that we have been hinting at your spouse all year to be under that tree.

I’ve heard people say, have no expectations and you won’t get hurt. That is a bold face lie. The fact of the matter is, whether you expect it or not, life’s circumstances or people will disappoint you. What we need to remember at all times is that regardless of life’s disappointments, we still have hope.

Martin Luther King Jr. says it best when he says – We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

We unlike the world, serve a God who always has a plan. A God who constantly makes provision for us.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

We can rest assured that despite our current circumstances, He is still on the throne and will provide a way of escape.

We may not always understand why God operates the way that he does and the Bible says in Isaiah 55:8-9:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways
are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are
higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Because we serve an all knowing, all seeing and ever present God, we will NEVER be able to fully comprehend the things that does. God sees your future even from within your present circumstances.

-He knows that if he allows you to get promoted you will be the first to go when the company undergoes a restructure 6 months into your promotion.

-He know that if he allows you to buy that house, you will lose it all when the faulty boiler leaks and the house goes up in flames.

-He knows if he allows that relationship to grow, he will trample over your heart.

God knows and because He knows, he is working things out the way He sees best. We can’t see these things and so when we don’t get our way, we throw a tantrum and quickly find ourselves in a state of depression.

The reality is, we will face disappointment again and again in our lives, but how we respond is a choice.

The fact of the matter is when we are disappointed, it is not God who disappoints us. It is simply that things didn’t work out the way we wanted it to or when we wanted it. God never promised to follow your plan for your life. God never promised to do it your way. What he did promise is this:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
-Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He is sufficient for all of our needs.

My mom use to sing an old time hymn that I only know in French – maybe you’ll recognize the melody.

“Jésus m’entend lorsque dans ma détresse,
Avec ferveur j’implore son secours
Je sais qu’il a pitié de ma faiblesse
Et que mon cri parvient à lui toujours.
S’Il semble sourd aux appels de ma foi,
Je prends courage, car mon Roi,
Au temps voulu me répondra, me répondra.”

The part that catches me is the last sentence:
Even when it seems that he is deaf to my cries, I will remain steadfast because I know my King at the right time will answer me. He’ll answer me.

When we are disappointed, we must remember that God is still God even in our disappointment.

Psalm 34:18 says: The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 30:5 says: Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

If I had to sum up today’s message, it would be this, Don’t let disappointment keep you from your appointment. Yes disappointment is unavoidable, but we can’t let it keep us from our blessings.

All too often, we ask God for a miracle or a breakthrough and we walk away right when he is about to open up the door. The problem isn’t that God is late, but we as humans hate to relinquish control over our lives. We want what we want when we want how we want and where we want it and that’s that.

What we fail to realize is that God is sovereign. He doesn’t need our help, our guidance, our blueprint or anything else to fulfill what he already has planned for our lives.

What he needs is our unwavering faith and trust. God wants us to believe that he will, how he wants, when he wants, wherever he wants and that’s that.

God wants us to have audacious faith, that bold faith that causes you sing even when your heart is breaking. It’s that audacious faith that causes you to take another step even when you’ve been knocked down so many times that you’ve lost count. It’s that audacious faith that kept Christ on the cross even when he was being mocked by the very people that he was dying for.

I read this quote in my devotion a few weeks back and it states:

Audacity isn’t the absence of uncertainty and ambiguity. Audacity is believing that God’s promise is bigger than my perhaps.

Having audacious faith doesn’t mean that you know the outcome. It means that you trust the Man with the plan.

When you find yourself in the state of disappointment, it is not the time to point fingers at God or to blame everyone and everything around you. You have one of two choices, wallow or overcome.

I don’t know about you but wallowing never does me any good, i go into this pity party and depression mode and it’s like I can never get out of it.

So I choose to overcome.

As I sat on the train this week thinking about what useful tips can I share to help us deal with disappointment, I came up with this short list.

Speak Over Yourself!
When you’re disappointed, grab those verses that have always touched you and grab a hold of the promises God has made to you. Realize that people won’t always be around when you need them, but God is ever present. Don’t wait to get a hold of someone before you speak God’s word over you. Call on God first for yourself and believe me he was already present before you called.

Surround yourself with a genuine support system.
This is something you need to invest time in doing before the rough times come. Make it your business to build relationships and establish a support system that will be there when you can’t be there for yourself. There are times when the disappointment is so hard that you can’t do what mentioned in tip #1. You have no strength or desire to pray for yourself or speak over yourself. A genuine support system, won’t wait till you call or text them to pray for you or be there for you.

Sidebar – It is our CHRISTIAN responsibility to pray for the people in our lives. If we can share a drink with them, we should also be praying for them. If we make it our business to never miss a chance to hang with them, then we should always make it our business to never miss an opportunity to pray for them. Don’t wait till they ask, just do it because it is your duty! You never know what they may be going through when they are no longer in your presence. However, that prayer that you prayed on their behalf can be the difference between swallowing that bottle of pills or encountering God for the first time. It may not be the popular thing to do, they may never know how much you pray for them, they may never thank you, but do it because it is the right thing to do.

Realize that prayer has no expiration date.
There is no expiration date when you pray. Let God do what he needs to do and don’t put him on a timeline. I find it funny that finite people like us can tell an infinite God when to do things. God works on his own timeline and the sooner you accept it the better your life will be.

I’m about to tell you something else that might blow your mind. Don’t throw no rocks or stones at me up here! Don’t cut your eye at me either! This is what I was given, so this is what I will share.

Some of our prayers may not be answered while we are still alive.

Take that! Let it digest and come on back!

There are prayers that I pray for Keera that I may never see happen while I’m alive, but I know that my God will fulfill them long after I am gone. There are prayers that you as a leader may have for your ministry that may not come to pass under your leadership, but God will bring it into fruition.

King David had a strong and genuine desire to build the temple of God, but his son King Solomon fulfilled it.

The reality is that God works on his own timeline and there are many things that we are praying for today that will come to pass long after we’ve been gone. This is not meant to depress you but to remind you that God is faithful and he has infinite power.

Martin Luther King Jr, had a dream but Obama lived it. Our ancestors had a dream, but every time you get to sit in any seat on a bus you’re living it. We need to pray without ceasing and trust God to answer at the right time – His time.

See things as they are – Manage Expectations
If the carpet is red, trust and believe that when you walk out the room and come back it is still going to be red. Some of us, bring about our own disappointment because we refuse to accept that certain things are not going to change. There is no way that when you walk out of here right now and come back in 20 minutes the entire building will be have purple carpet.

It sounds silly but we do this all the time in our lives. If someone shows you who they are believe them and accept the reality. The longer you spend wishing on that star to zap that thing or person into who you want them to be increases the chance that you will be disappointed. This doesn’t mean that God cannot change a person, situation but don’t spend your life wallowing on when or why

Get back up and try again.
Disappointment is not an excuse for wallowing in your pain and throwing yourself a pity party. It doesn’t mean to dismiss the pain or hurt. I am simply saying to you that there is a lesson to be learned. Recognize it. Take note of it. Grieve. Get-Up and try again. Recognize that this is your story. This is your journey and you have a choice. End it here wallowing in disappointment or see what God has in store for you.

Don’t dwell in the past and don’t allow others to keep you there.
When you suffer a great loss, there seem to always be a chosen few who are notorious for helping you take root in the past. It is imperative that when you suffer a great loss that you make it your business not to dwell there. Dust yourself off, pick yourself up and keep going. You are NOT where you’ve been. So if anyone wants to take residence in your past or what what you have done, leave them there.

Mary Magdalene was what some would consider a whore {yes, that word is in the Bible so don’t stone me}. But God turned her into one of the very first evangelist spreading the news of his resurrection. David was a murderer, a cheat yet God calls him the man after his own heart.

Don’t wallow in your hurt. Don’t we’ll in your past. Take root in the promises of God and trust Him to finish what He has started in you.

You see what we fail to realize is that the enemy already knows what the Lord has in store for you and he intends to use every tactic available to get you to miss your appointment and his number one ploy is to mess with your mind.

Disappointment is the first step. If left unchecked, disappointment will turn into discouragement and before you know it discouragement will turn into despair. Once you’ve reached the level of despair, the enemy’s lies have now taken root in your life and He is one step closer to taking the very life that Christ died so that you may live.

The good news is that God is present even in the darkest of places waiting for you to call out to him. You may have strayed far away from him, but he has never strayed away from you. He is still waiting on you. He is still knocking at your door. He still has a plan for your life.

xoxo, Sha

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