Life is full of disappointments. I have had my own fair share of them even in the short while I’ve stayed on Earth (haven’t we all?) From a friend who promised to do something and didn’t come through, to your favorite team losing a game that seemed like a done deal, to our government who cannot keep a promise to save their lives; disappointments abound and life is never short of them. And from my experience, I can say this one thing for sure – disappointments hurt.
For me, sometimes it can even breed bitterness in my heart and I have to struggle to forgive. It may not have even been something very serious, and other times it has been quite serious, but usually, the mere fact that a person did not keep to their word or just was not considerate enough of me was hurtful.
But in learning to deal with disappointment, God taught me some things and the first of those was:
Where is your trust?
I’m sure you’d say, “God” without even blinking if you were asked. But you see, the thing about this trust issue is that you don’t really know how much you trust a person by confessions. Trust can only be called trust after it has been tried. That is the point.
And the truth is, many times, we don’t trust God. Oh too many times! A common example of lack of trust is when we sometimes borrow. Why? Because we are not so sure God is able to meet our needs.
When your trust is in humans, it is very easy to be disappointed. When you are expecting too much from people, you will end up being hurt. There are no two ways about it. Humans are such shifty creatures. Why do you think some wise man came up and said, “The only constant thing in life is change”? We agree to this without really understanding that this just simply implies, “Life is uncertain and humans change”. Sometimes, people don’t even set out to disappoint us and might have good intentions, but it JUST happens because everything on this side of eternity is about as stable as Nigerian electricity (for now though ;).
And when the good Lord wanted to tell us about how true, faithful and steady He is, He couldn’t find any other creature to compare against Himself than humans.
“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?” – (Numbers 23:19 – KJV)
When God began teaching me this matter, He started by addressing my trust. And boy do I have trust issues. He exposed me and made me see how I have leaned so much on the arm of flesh for the very things I was disappointed about. He made me see that I had shifted my focus from whom it is due. I saw that I had even trusted myself at certain times and God was not too pleased with it.
“This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:5 – NLT)
Because you see, trust in God is not a suggestion or advise from God to keep us from the bad guys, no, it is a command, it is a necessity for any soul that would come after Him. For our eternal salvation is hinged on possessing God alone!
And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! (Mark 10:24 –KJV)
(And I hope you understand that the riches spoken of here is not just money?)
So how did God teach me these things?
Set me up for disappointments!
God actually began to organize a string of disappointments specially for me. The arrangements would have been comical if it didn’t hurt so much. I began to see failures come from even the most organized and unexpected people and situations.
It was then that I learned the need to go on fuel from no other source but from Heaven. Here I saw that the strength I sought was not in horses and chariots, not in the vastness of my army or the skill of my advisors. I found that my joy and comfort cannot come from anyone but Christ. Yes, He may sometimes use men, but my mistake comes when I try to make the order myself. No! He is the one who makes the order, He orchestrates it.
This therefore means that we must look at our disappointments with fresh eyes – God’s eyes. We must see them as God teaching us trust. That’s right. He uses disappointments to show us where our trust is and where they should actually be. He uses them to glorify Himself.
So when a person gives their word to do something, your heart should not hold on to that but to God. He is the one who gives, such that even when the person doesn’t come through, you’re not bothered because your heart was never there in the first place. And even when they finally come through, you know it was God NOT them. However, our hearts can be very subtle, such that it may be hanging on that word or something without our even knowing it until it fails. That’s why it is important to allow God search our hearts constantly.
Besides, nobody owes you anything, no one is responsible for your care or joy. That is God’s job and He doesn’t take it lightly when we try to give someone else His place. Your life is in God’s hands and no one else’s.
Understanding this has also helped me to be forgiving because I have realized how much of a burden I place on people when I put my trust in them. And it is unfair. God did not delegate anybody His task of overseer in our lives, so why should we unjustly place that burden of expectation and trust on anyone?
Now, don’t get this wrong; God expects us to love people, to keep to our word (because integrity and honesty) and give to them whatever we can, it is in fact the greatest command – love – yet, it is not our place to DEMAND that people fulfil their ‘love duty’ to us. It is our duty to love and not expect anything in return – even gratitude. It sounds so counter culture, right? Good.
Truth is, this is a lesson we must learn every day, one I’m still learning myself, because our hearts are so accustomed to trusting in humans – for love, care, joy, provision, approval, validation and help in whatever form. That is why we must daily die to the flesh and allow Him teach us to trust Him alone because it is only then that we can finally enjoy the freedom, joy and rest that comes to those who place their trust in Him.
“O Lord of hosts, blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts in You [leaning and believing on You, committing all and confidently looking to You, and that without fear or misgiving]! (Psalm 84:12 – AMP)
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