Summary: We will all have disappointments this year. Can we trust God when they happen?
Can I Trust God With My Disappointments
1 Samuel 30:1-31 Philippians’ 3:7-14
Is there anybody here who had everything go exactly as they had planned it would go in 2011? Is there anybody here who had to make some unexpected adjustments to make it to 2011? Is there anyone here who is bringing in some disappointments over from 2011 into 2012. Well if you didn’t bring any in, that’s great, but I guarantee you, there will be some disappointments waiting for you in 2012. When they arise, the issue will become, can I trust God with my disappointments.
Most of the time, we do not set our lives on a course in which we plan to be disappointed.
We didn’t set our lives planning to get a felony conviction. We didn’t plan to become a teen mother. We didn’t plan to lose our job. We didn’t plan to fail in school. We didn’t plan to get cut from the team. We didn’t plan to have the person we love die. We didn’t plan for our spouse to leave us. We didn’t plan for the divorce. We didn’t plan for the crisis and the crime that happened to us. We didn’t plan to be betrayed.
We didn’t plan to lose our health. We didn’t plan to have to take care of our kids now that they are adults. We didn’t plan to lose our business or our jobs. We didn’t plan on our family turning out the way that it did. We didn’t plan to look the way we now do. We didn’t plan that addictions would hit us or someone we love. There are just a lot of bad things that happen to us and around us that we did not plan.
Somebody told us that if we just come to Jesus and give our lives to God, everything will be fine and the problems will be gone. Some even told us that God wants us all to be continuously healthy and wealthy, and if you have enough faith, you can name it and claim it and have it. Unfortunately some of us believed that and have discovered that it’s not true. Some have lost faith in God over this.
When Jesus called us to come and follow him, Jesus never said, his goal was to make us rich and to give us everything we wanted as a sign of his appreciation for us joining his team. What Jesus promised us was an opportunity to know God the Father as Jesus knew Him.
Jesus told us up front that following him was not going to be an easy task. He wanted us to know that disappointments were going to happen. As a matter of fact he told us our peace is going to have to be found in Him, because in this world we will experience trials, troubles, and tribulations. Nobody gets an exemption. If you live long enough, you will suffer either because of the sins of others or because of your own sin.
We make plans in our attempt to create a safe space for us. There’s nothing wrong with planning for the future as long as you know that plan is subject to change with our without your approval. Our trust has to remain in God and not in the plan. If I save enough money, I will have a safe space for retirement. If I get that job with that income, I’ll have a safe space for me and my family’s level of comfort. If I marry that person I will have a safe space from loneliness.
If I have kids, I’ll have a safe space for someone to help look after me when I’m old. If I make that team, I’ll have a safe space of acceptance at school. If I can get in with that group, I’ll have a safe space of friends. We’re all looking for some kind of safe space to live our lives.
Elijah was looking for a safe space. Elijah had stood up to two of the most wicked leaders Israel had ever had. They were King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. Jezebel had come in with her own religion and tried to wipe out God’s prophets and priests. She had the people worshipping Baal and the Ashterah. The people were wishy washy. One moment they’d worship God, the next the would worship Baal or the Ashterah.
Elijah challenged the people to put God to the test. He said bring on the 400 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the Asherah and let’s find out which God will answer. We will build an altar, put out the wood, and put on a bull. Let the God who is God answer by setting the sacrifice on fire. The people said, yes, that’s a good idea. The priests of Asherah were a no show. The priests of Baal got started and nine and cried out to noon. Elijah started talking trash at noon. He told them to call louder he might be asleep. He might be asleep. He might be traveling. He might be using the bathroom. The prophets of Baal, cut themselves with blood dripping and dance and screamed but nothing.