When Others Disappoint You

When Others Disappoint You

August 2

"Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica" (2 Tim 4:9-10).

Adversity molded the apostle Paul into the greatest warrior for Christ the world has ever known. But there were times when adversity and disappointment took its toll on this rugged warrior. We can sense Paul’s hurt and discouragement near the end of his second letter to Timothy:

Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica… At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me… Do your best to get here before winter (4:9-11,14,16,21).

Do you hear the pain in those words? Twice he urges Timothy to come to him. Do you feel his anguish when he twice speaks of being deserted by his friends?

In most of his letters, Paul seems to have an invincible spirit. Yet he was a man who suffered, felt betrayed, and was at times very lonely. However, Paul chose to look at life from a heavenly perspective. That’s why he could write:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body (2 Cor. 4:8-10).

Paul had experienced a level of opposition and suffering that you and I can scarcely imagine. People said they would do things but did not follow through. He could not depend on certain people. Yet he was not crushed, and he refused to give in to despair. He viewed his life as a continual process of dying. His goal was to live in such a way that the life of Jesus would be revealed in his response to adversity.

Beware of placing too much expectation on others. Realize that people will let you down from time to time, but do not let that impact your faith. Trust God to work even through these disappointments.

Incisive Questions

Incisive Questions
For reading & meditation – Ecclesiastes 7:21-29
"So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom …" (v. 25) What steps must we take, when broken by failure, to ensure that we become strong at the place of weakness? Keep in mind that the principles we are considering are not only corrective, but also preventative. The first thing we should do, whenever we have failed in anything, is to analyze the reason for the failure. These are some of the questions you should ask yourself: Have I contributed in any way to this failure by such things as inattention to detail, lack of preparation, naivet?, wrong timing, disregard of moral principles, or insensitivity to other people?s feelings? Another question is: What does God want me to learn from this failure? It is difficult, of course, to sit down and question yourself like this when failure strikes; but, as soon as possible after the event, try to assess the lessons that can be learned by honestly facing your emotions – such as hurt, anger, anxiety. Remember, when we stop learning, we stop living. Yet another question to ask yourself is this: Has God allowed this failure so that His purposes for me might be made clear? I know a man, well-known in evangelical circles, who, when he was in his teens, mapped out a career for himself. Although a brilliant student, he failed the entrance examination into his chosen profession. When the news was broken to him, he simply said, "Lord, I just know You are involved in this: what do You want me to do?" This was the moment God had been waiting for, and He showed him a new path that has made him Christ’s ambassador to millions.

Prayer:
Father, help me to face my failure in the knowledge that some good can be wrested from even the most depressing circumstances. Show me that incisive questions can bring incisive answers. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

For Further Study
James 3 and James 1:5; Proverbs 2
1. What are the characteristics of earthly wisdom?
2. How are we to obtain wisdom?

Turns out, Cecil the Lion was no choirboy.

Photos have surfaced of Cecil in the act of killing and eating Gary the Gazelle. Gary was a favorite of both locals and visitors at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, where he delighted onlookers with his trademark leap, while clicking his heels. Gary was 12 years old and leaves his beloved wife, Greta Gazelle, and their 8 (unnamed) offspring. Gary’s long-time friend and confidante, Zeke the Zebra said, “A lot of people are crying over Cecil lately, but, let me tell you, I’ve lost a lot of friends and family to him. He was an animal. I won’t be crying no tears.”

What kind of freaking idiots are in charge of our Armed Forces — pardon me, our “unArmed Forces”?

What’s happening to this heroic Navy officer from the Chattanooga shooting will make your blood BOIL

At the time, Western Journalism wrote, Lt. Cmdr. White could face disciplinary action for violating policy about possessing a weapon on the facility that was supposedly a gun-free zone. The investigation into the attack is ongoing, and authorities will not know if White or the Marine hit the shooter until an autopsy and a ballistics report have been completed.

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