Summary: I’d like to give a few perspectives that will help us deal with divine disappointment. When we are less than thrilled about how or when God is working (or seemingly not working), what are we to think and do? Let’s take a look.
Dealing with Divine Disappointment
Luke 7:18-23 18 Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. 19 And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" 20 When the men had come to Him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, 'Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?' " 21 And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. 22 Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 "And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me." (NKJ)
Intro: Have you ever been upset with God? Sometimes when our expectations are not met by the Lord, we can become sullen or angry. I can think of a few examples in the Bible. Job, in his grief and misery, developed a chip on his shoulder against God. Think about the people of Israel under Moses. God didn’t meet their expectations the way they wanted Him to, so they would grumble and complain and threaten to go back to Egypt. Ever done that? “God, I had it better when I wasn’t even a Christian! I should just go back to my old life!” King David got mad at God when God struck Uzzah dead when he reached out and touched the Ark of the Covenant. David became afraid of the Lord and decided to leave the ark somewhere else and not bring it to Jerusalem. It feels as if David was almost being defiant by his decision to abandon the ark. After all, wasn’t he trying to do something good and bring God’s presence to the capitol city where it belonged? Well, if God was going to treat him that way, then forget it!
-How about Jonah? He got angry at God when God showed mercy to Nineveh. “God, I went to all this trouble of almost drowning, then getting half digested by a huge sea monster of some kind, then getting hurled up! What other person has ever been regurgitated and lived to tell about it? I finally did what you told me to do! I told these Gentile dogs that they’d better repent and turn from their wickedness or you were going to destroy them! I didn’t think they’d actually do it! I can’t believe it! This is NOT right!!!”
-It seems that God often misses our deadlines. We don’t read about his struggle, but what do you think Joseph was feeling when he was falsely accused and thrown in prison for a few years? This after being rejected and sold out by his brothers as a slave in Egypt. Why did God allow him to be put in such a dark situation, making him wait day after day, week after week, month after month, wanting nothing more than freedom? God had given him some amazing dreams and promises. Why drag him through all the difficulties?
-Noah might have wished that God had spoken to him a few hundred years earlier. After all, a 100-year building project is a lot for a guy who was half a millennium old! And changing diapers at that age? Abraham had it easy! He was only 100!
-As we can see in our text, John the Baptist is wondering when Jesus is going to start taking care of business and cleaning up the riff raff like King Herod Antipas, who stole his brother’s wife. John is probably no different from the disciples of Jesus in that He was expecting the Messiah to sweep in and set up His kingdom and overthrow the Roman govt. However, he isn’t seeing any strategic actions by his cousin, Jesus, so he sends this message to Jesus, asking Him if He is the Messiah, or if they should expect someone else. John’s expectations of a Messiah are not being met. Surely the Messiah would get him out of prison and bring true justice to the world.
-I’d like to give a few perspectives that will help us deal with divine disappointment. When we are less than thrilled about how or when God is working (or seemingly not working), what are we to think and do? Let’s take a look.
1. Realize that God knows more about your situation than you do.
-God sees the big picture and is working to accomplish His will in your life.
Philippians 2:12-16 “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life….”