The key to a life well-lived with an unoffended and passionate heart before God is not in avoiding disappointments but in keeping our heart tender in the disappointments.
Jesus makes it clear that God has appointed us to have lasting fruit and satisfying communion with Him (bold-type added).
“You did not choose Me,
but I chose you and appointed you
that you should go and bear fruit,
and that your fruit should remain,
that whatever you ask the Father
in My name He may give you.” (John 15:16 NKJV)
The enemy’s plan is to dis-appoint you from God’s good intention for your life. He uses these unresolved issues to reinterpret your circumstances in order to disconnect you from God’s presence and purpose.
But here’s the deal…
You cast the deciding vote on whose purpose gets realized in your life.
Our problem is that we’re just religious enough that we dare not have it out with God at a deep heart level, so we stuff our anger and disappointment. Of course, it usually leaks out on everyone else who crosses our path. The point is, unresolved disappointment will never go away until we deal with this toxic poison to our soul.
How do we know we have undealt with disappointment? Some symptoms include becoming jaded, cynical, passive aggressive, and apathetic about the things of God.
Is your heart tender before the Lord?
Do you pray with the same confidence you’ve had in the past?
Do you have the fire and passion you once had for Him?
If you answered “no” to any of these, there’s most likely unresolved disappointment lurking deep within.
Where we usually struggle with God is in the area of unanswered prayer, unfulfilled personal prophecy or not being healed. I have personally dealt with all of these. The most painful for me being in the area of people I prayed that didn’t get healed. And what happens if it’s not dealt with is that it changes how you believe or pray the next time.
Unresolved disappointment always leads to unbelief.
Please understand, I have personally prayed for and have seen God miraculously heal hundreds of people, including those with terminal cancer, fybromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, broken bones, people being crushed in accidents and miraculously recovering when they should be dead. We have an elderly man in our church who suffered a massive stroke that the doctors told his family he wouldn’t last the night. A group of us went to the ICU and prayed for him that night. The very next day he started to recover. The doctor’s response was that this had to be a miracle! That was nine years ago and this man has been to China several times for his business and Israel twice with us.
So…does God still heal is no longer a question for me.
But I’ve also had people literally die in my hands as I believed for their recovery. I’ve had a young mother with six children die of cancer after I diligently prayed for her healing for months. It breaks my heart to think about it.
This one became so painful that I was tempted to say I’m not praying for another person. I had it out with God and screamed, “WHY!!!”
It was in this place of such pain and sadness that I felt the loving touch of a Father I had come to know under very different circumstances. Here’s what He said to my heart…
“Will you trust and believe Me even when you don’t have the answers? Can you find peace in the mystery?”
I could only say, yes, with all my heart. I just cried and cried in His warm embrace. I was finally healed of this terrible prison called disappointment.
Since this encounter, I’ve resolved never to ask God, “Why?” again. I will never again accuse or question God, nor will I dumb His Word down to my experience. Jesus is my standard and He healed everyone He prayed for, so I will lay hands on the sick expecting everyone to recover because that’s what God says believers will do (Mark 16:17-18). And since then, I’ve seen many get healed, but not all. I will keep my heart tender before the Lord and leave what I don’t understand in the mystery.
Beloved, as John Wimber said, faith is spelled R-I-S-K. Taking no risks requires no faith. You cannot live the life of a “believer” without walking out of the boat of your comfortable unbelief onto this stormy sea called life with Jesus and not risk great disappointment.
So, how do we stay unoffended and deal with our disappointment? The answer is found in the presence of God, not in trying to have it all figured out before we will believe.
Here’s what I’ve learned. If my connection with God is stronger than my need to perform (healing, prophecy, answered prayer, doing the “stuff”), then my performance will never disconnect me from my relationship.
In the same passage where Jesus talks about our appointment, the context is presence. It’s staying in that place of being loved with the same love that the Father has for Jesus.
“I have loved you even
as the Father has loved me.
Live within my love.” (John 15:9 TLB)
I will finish by including a short clip from Bill Johnson. He gives some great practical points on dealing with unresolved disappointment.
Let the Father of Love look deep inside your heart and help you rid yourself of this unnecessary baggage. He has appointed you for good things.