Hello Dear One!
How are you today? Is everything well with you? Are you going through every day with joy and peace? Are you pursuing your dreams? Are you believing for great things to happen in your life? I hope the answer to all of these questions is, “YES!” If you answered anything other than yes to these questions, don’t feel badly. We all have times in our lives when things aren’t going how we expected. And that’s ok! Life is full of ups and downs – I know – I’ve been around for a while.
It’s so important to live with great anticipation in everything we do. It’s really faith and hope in action. When we are expectant and full of hope, it pleases God. He likes to see us believing for wonderful things. He is the “God of the Wonderful” – everything good comes from Him. And as the ultimate Giver of good gifts, His desire for us is to walk in all that He has for us. This is REALLY true!
But what happens if good things are NOT going on for us? What if we fail a test we just studied hours for, or we have a fender bender in our brand new car, or we still haven’t found a job and our rent is due? Do these negative circumstances mean that God isn’t the good God that the bible says He is? And does this mean that we shouldn’t have hope or faith? The answer to these questions is, “NO!” Regardless of what is going on in our lives, we should still be walking in faith, having hope and expectancy that good is coming our way.
Faith has several enemies. One that I face often is disappointment. What an awful thing. Dictionary.com defines the word disappoint as: 1) to fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of; 2) to defeat the fulfillment of (hopes, plans, etc.). Webster’s Dictionary adds, to frustrate to the equation. Isn’t that the truth!
When we are expecting something to take place and it doesn’t, we become frustrated. Disillusioned. Discouraged. It’s not a fun experience.
God doesn’t want us to live like that! We were created to be hopeful and full of faith, with no negative thought or word inside of us. But throughout life, difficulties come our way and those character traits are greatly challenged. We are put in a position to make a choice – will we continue to be discouraged and disappointed, or will we walk with our head held high, determining to trust and hope one more time?
I know, I know. You might be thinking, “But it’s just too hard. I don’t see anything good coming out of this. God’s promises don’t seem to be taking place. I’m tired and I want to give up.”
I understand. When what you expected in life isn’t happening, it can be devastating. So much, that you experience a hurt that goes very deep. You feel like you’re drowning in an abyss of sorrow and pain. You don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. The smallest tasks become a chore. You may even find yourself having thoughts of ending it all – that horrible voice inside telling you that if you do, the pain will be gone and you won’t be missed. Don’t listen to it – it’s a lie!!
Dear one, if you are experiencing any of these thoughts or feelings, don’t stay in them. Do everything you can to stop them! If you don’t, you are living exactly where the enemy wants you to live. His desire is for you to live in a prison built with walls of hopelessness and despair.
So how can you break out of the prison you may be in? Don’t you just wish you could snap your fingers and everything would be ok? Now that would be nice. Of course, God can deliver, heal and restore at the drop of a hat. But that doesn’t always happen either. The reality is that sometimes it just takes work.
It really begins with a choice.
Let me ask you some questions. Who got you out of bed this morning? You. Who brushed your teeth? You. Who dressed you? You.
(Now, maybe you are bed ridden at this moment and in need of someone else to help you with these everyday tasks. So I understand that sometimes we actually do need help. But I’m referring to when we are physically able to do these things ourselves.)
You were created with a free will – an ability to choose. God gave you an amazing mind that thinks and reasons better than any other creature on this planet. Your mind and way of thinking holds the key to the prison doors!
Your mind sent a message to your feet to get out of bed. It signaled your hands to pick up the toothbrush and begin to brush your teeth. It told your eyes to look at your clothes and choose the best outfit for the day. If your mind can enable you to choose to do these tasks then it can help you choose to think differently too – to move beyond the disappointment and heartache and begin to hope again.
How can you think differently? Know what God says. And how do you know what God says? You spend time reading His words in the bible. You share your heart with Him and wait to hear what He has to say. You choose to worship Him in everything you do. You declare the truth of who you are over yourself everyday. When you begin to do these things, you WILL begin to see a change. It may be gradual, but it will eventually happen.
Your mind will begin the process of being renewed and transformed. You will be able to see things as they really are – the truth will come to light.
‘You WILL know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32
In the midst of my advice, I want you to know that I’m fully aware there are times when we fall so deeply into a black hole that we need more help. If you’ve tried again and again but don’t seem to be making any headway, please find good, healthy counsel from someone you trust – a close friend, family member, mentor or pastor. And get prayer from those you trust too. We were created to be in relationship with one another – God wants us to lift each other up when we are down and cheer each other on as we move ahead.
So when you are expecting something to happen and it doesn’t, please don’t be discouraged or disappointed. Instead, have faith – even if it is the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). Continue to say that God is good and His intentions for you are good. Remember to hope. Remember to have faith.
I leave you with the words of the psalmist – be encouraged as you read – and lift up your head!
“Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory! Selah.” – Psalm 24:7-10