What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful? Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness. Lysa TerKeurst shares her own shattering circumstances and shows us how to live assured when life doesn't turn out like we expected. Our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God.
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Humans are very attached to outcomes. We feel very certain how things should turn out. We say we trust God, but behind the scenes we work our fingers to the bone and our emotions into a tangled fray trying to control our outcomes. We praise God when our normal looks like what we thought it would; we question God when it doesn't. Which aspects of life as it's supposed to be are you yearning for most...innocence, needs, confidence or vision?
Feeling the pain is the first step toward healing the pain. To progress toward healing, we must make some holy exchanges. We want God to take away our pain; God wants to develop our character. We want God to make our circumstances better for our own version of good; God wants to take our healing to help others. We want to quickly get out of our situation; God wants us to produce long-term fruit in our situation. We want to know all the reasons; God wants us to know Him more and develop deeper trust.
We can encounter a long season of disappointment because of problems placed on us (the hurts and pain others inflict on us), or problems within us (our own sins and failures). Both the problems placed on us and those that come from within us find their ultimate solution at the cross. Jesus offers healing and forgiveness for both. Having to endure a long season of disappointment isn't a cruel way to keep you from God's promise; it's the exact preparation you'll need to handle the promise.
Sin breaks trust. Therefore, we can’t expect God to entrust a calling to us before we go through the four steps of restoration: full confession, cleansing, having a new heart created in place of our broken heart, and calling. When trust has been shattered, it has to be rebuilt with believable behavior in our actions and reactions over time. When we go through a season like this, we can focus on learning about the compassionate nature of God and how to extend that compassion to others. In turn, it will be part of our calling.
The enemy wants us to have an eroded trust in God and an elevated trust in ourselves. Often it's fear that leads us into temptation regarding our perceived needs (lust of the flesh), misplaced desires (lust of the eyes), and things we think we deserve (pride of life). We fear God won't provide what we need, want, or deserve, so we justify getting these things our own way. Be careful about trying to be true to yourself...make sure you're not being true to your most unhealthy self, but to your most surrendered, healed, and healthy self.
Kingdom-minded means there's a purpose to your pain here and now that has implications for God's kingdom. You may never know the answer to "Why?" in this lifetime, but two of the may possible purposes for your pain are to make you mature and complete (James 1:2-4), and to equip you to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Eternally focused means we are headed to a restored Eden. There are unseen and eternal things at work in our lives that far outweigh the temporary and seen.