Dealing with disappointment

Dis-appointmentNot dealing with disappointment will shipwreck your faith and disconnect you from an awareness of His presence and love more than anything else in your life.

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.

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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10 Responses to Dealing with disappointment

  1. Lance says:

    Seems all of us have stumbled around in the dark, tripping over all our junk to find the same place, Him. There He is ready and waiting for me to have an honest, intimate and transparent conversation. In my vulnerability and humility I find boldness in His comfort and security to ask the right question. That is the one, the very one that sets me free. It is the one that we most often hide in our fallen-nature because we irrationally fear the one who has the right answer. What is “the one?” Isn’t the joy of this journey discovering that key that unlocks yet another door. Yay God! Thanks Mel you nailed it again.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Lance. Much appreciated. And amen. Good point. I stopped asking the wrong question, “why,” and started anticipating the “what.” It’s what He’s going to reveal in me that’s missing in my experience in Him. It’s a key that unlocks more of His wide-open spacious life! That’s the joy of the journey for me. 🙂

  2. paulfg says:

    “I will never again accuse or question God, nor will I dumb His Word down to my experience.”

    As I picked out that phrase I thought it rather wonderful. Yet now I have copied/pasted and added a few words I wonder if I might de disagreeing slightly! Because on reflection – I do that all the time! Knowingly – but more often unknowingly – until afterwards. And sometimes He is silent, other times He says no, and other times He shows me something I never knew.

    Yet always – always – He allows. He. Allows. Me. And I find I. Am. Allow. Him. – more and more and more!

    (And this all tumbled out as the keyboard “allowed these words”! Thank you, Mel)

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Paul. Yes, “allow” is a good word. Even in how we see things. 🙂

      There’s no question, for me, that His will is always for healing, salvation, good things, etc. But I also know that there are other forces at work in this world that we don’t fully understand because of what He does allow in all His creation. He does so because of love. Only free people can love.

      I realized that the problem with always needing an answer to the “why” is that I would be tempted to create doctrines based on failure, which people have done enough of already. We end up contradicting His word with our answers to the “why.” So I’ve landed on the tension between holding to His Word on one end and the mystery on the other. The most important thing being keeping my heart tender and finding myself in His embrace! Blessings.

  3. John Cummuta says:

    Love it. So necessary.

    You and I have talked, Mel, about how removing the “death” line between our experience in this body and what comes beyond helps me view answers to prayer, prophecies, and other “future result” interactions with my Father through a much longer lens. If he promises me something, who am I to say he has to deliver it while this body is still functioning? God sees me as an eternal being. What’s the rush?

    I will be living and serving God forever with the gifts he wired into me. Why can’t some of his prayer answers or prophesies unfold in my life and service a thousand years from now or longer?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, will any of this matter 1,000 years from now, right? 🙂 This is why I make sure that everyone I pray for knows that they are ridiculously loved by the Father and that they can know Him by simply receiving what He’s already given them. It makes ministry 100% successful because the greatest healing miracle of all is adoption! We will be His sons/daughters and live in His love forever and ever! As you said, continuing to grow in knowledge and using our gifts, knowing each other in a loving fellowship going on forever. Sounds like good news! You can’t lose!

  4. Mel, I hooked into a couple of things here: 1) never asking why. I learned that six months after I turned my life over to Jesus; I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I never asked why, because I was overwhelmed with that peace beyond understanding. Haven’t asked why since.
    2) John C’s comment about “removing the death line.” Profound. That certainly expands His answers to prayers to include the “not yet.” It also expands my thinking from transitory to eternal.

    Thanks to both of you.

    • Mel Wild says:

      There’s a great book by Paul Manwaring that I’ve mentioned before on this blog, It’s called, “Kisses from a Good God.” He talks about his journey through and surviving prostate cancer and how his community of faith helped him overcome the culture of cancer. I highly recommend it to anyone going through cancer. And I pray a mighty blessing over you, sister, as you continue to learn to live in His embrace. 🙂

  5. Cindy Powell says:

    Such an important message, Mel. And this, “Will you trust and believe Me even when you don’t have the answers? Can you find peace in the mystery?” – such important questions to answer. Although I know I have answered them, I find there are times in my life when I need to “revisit” my answer again (and again) to remind my soul to rest in mystery. For some things there simply are no answers – on this side – but His goodness and faithfulness endure forever. Blessings to you!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Good point on the re-visit. We do need to check out what’s going on in our soul from time to time. See what we’re glad, mad or sad about and let the Lord look under the hood. But even when we do know what it is, it must be looked at with the absolute confidence that He is good. That’s the one thing we can know for certain. Thanks for your insights here, Cindy. Blessings,

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