Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series, where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the meaning and value of disappointment. Our faith instructs us that the heavenly Father loves us. Though disappointments are not caused by God, the use of them has supreme worth because they allow Him to carry out his purpose for our lives.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
"And we know that all things work together for good for them that love God, to those who are
called according to his propose." Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 28.
The Meaning of Disappointment
Disappointments are an intimate part of our lives. Though we may like to deny it, disappointment overshadows everything in our lives like a fine mist. We respond to loss by feeling disappointed. We may have lost a job, our health, or a personal relationship; we may have disappointed ourselves or felt disappointment in someone we trusted. We may be disappointed about something beyond our control. We react to these disappointments on an emotional level with emotional pain and sometimes physical pain. Our emotional reactions to disappointment can send us into a tailspin of depression and suffering. Sometimes disappointment can cause us to lose our sense of self worth.
As we experience the inevitable suffering that goes with feeling disappointed, we seek to find out why we are subjected to these emotional challenges. Sometimes these disappointments are so severe that they cause us to turn to God for help. We begin to pray for solace, to try to find someway to reverse them.
In our lives it seems that everything earthly that we put our trust in eventually fails us. As human beings, we long for stability in the face of constant ups and downs. As we continue to experience disappointments and suffering, the desire and urge to seek stability also increases. But it takes awhile before we respond to these urges and desires for stability in the face of change. We are not quite convinced that we should build our hopes on things eternal and hold on to God's unchanging hand.
And so we wait and suspend our efforts at trying to understand, thankful that we have withstood another one of life's challenges until another crisis comes about. Then our search begins anew. In this way we gather bits and pieces of the spiritual meanings behind these disappointments. Too often,fear prevents us from looking at the truths concealed in these experiences. If we could maintain our search constantly, rather than every now and then, we could certainly arrive at a consistent and satisfactory answer.
If we wanted to go to some beautiful but unknown place, we would have to eventually leave the well traveled roads and turn to the road less traveled, a road that will probably not be as comfortable to travel on. We might even have to make the final leg of the journey on foot since there may not be any paved roads available. Because we place such a high value on getting to the beautiful place, whatever inconveniences we experience become insignificant when compared to the joys we will experience once we reach our destination. Likewise, our heavenly Father wishes to take us on a beautiful spiritual journey of becoming like His son Jesus. He wants us to develop a spiritual character, one that is unselfishly loving, compassionate and merciful. These qualities are a part of Jesus' character. But how do we acquire these spiritual qualities? How do we change from being selfish to being an unselfish spiritual individual who loves God with all his mind, heart and soul and loves his neighbor as himself?
The secret to acquiring a character like Jesus is through prayer and worship of the Heavenly Father. In order to become true worshipers we must enter into a personal and constant relationship with the Father. We must dedicate our will to doing His will. When we pray we begin to recognize what the Father's will is and how to do it; when we worship we get a clearer vision of the Father's character.
We begin to understand, then, the importance and meaning of disappointments. They are simply one of the Father's tools for getting us to pay attention. They are our wake-up call that tells us it is time to shift our loyalties from earthly things to eternal values. Without disappointments, we would never embark upon the journey to know the Father and become like Him in the process. We would keep on pursuing the same course of action. It is a fact that we do not learn anything new as long as things are going smoothly. We do not become more than we are unless we are challenged. A spiritual character is not developed unless there is a desire and need for them to develop. And there must be an environment of disappointment to stimulate the process.
The task of shifting loyalties from the material to the spiritual, from the earthly to the eternal, is not achieved easily, and this is why the Father uses disappointment. Earthly loyalties are like shifting sand: they cannot withstand the ravages of time. Only eternal loyalties are able to endure the storms of life. Gradually the tools of disappointments reshape and remold us. Our disappointments actually begin to inspire us.
We will continue to experience disappointments, but as we do, our souls sense the purpose of it all. We begin to discern the truth concealed within these experiences, begin to appreciate the beauty of it all, begin to detect the goodness in the making, and even begin to grasp the essence of the Father's love for us. And while the material mind may never learn to welcome disappointments, our souls eventually recognize them for what they are. They are the most powerful external stimuli for growth that we have.
Finally we begin to see the opportunities for acquiring wisdom and understanding. The way grows brighter, the joy sublime. The understanding becomes profound. We begin to understand that the night might be dark, but the day is full of incredible light. We begin to glimpse the truth that through disappointments we learn to seek, to know, and to do the Father's will.
And we know that all things work together for good for them that love God, to those who are called according to his propose. This concludes today's message on the meaning of disappointment. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day. Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.