Summary: Have you ever felt the pain of being misunderstood and disappointed? How do you respond?
THE PAIN OF DISAPPOINTMENTS
"23 “Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. 25 For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand." Acts 7:23-25.
Years before God called him into ministry, Moses desired to give a helping hand to the oppressed children of Israel in Egypt. Even though he was a Hebrew like the rest, but he had been adopted in infancy by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses was conscious of his identity, and was willing to use his power, influence and position to change their situations. One day, he saw an Israelite being mistreated by an Egyptian. Filled with rage and a sense of justice, Moses defended the Israelite and killed the Egyptian. But they rejected him! The people he sacrificed his comfort and risked his life to help disappointed him. He was ridiculed, insulted, and misunderstood. His expectations that they would understand what he wanted to do for them were misunderstood. Moses motives was ill-received. The children of Israel in Egypt misread his actions and intentions. Indeed, feeling misunderstood hurts! It can be painful! David must have felt so disappointed as he kept trying to honor the King. Yet Saul viewed him as an enemy! He could not trust that David’s heart was pure. Nobody likes to be misunderstood. Hannah was misunderstood by Eli. Joseph was misunderstood by his family. Even Jesus was often misunderstood. It can be discouraging to be doing your utmost best and have others judge your message. You had good intentions and meant no harm, but somehow your words and actions have been misunderstood, or even twisted. Have you ever felt the pain of being misunderstood and disappointed by the people you love? Don't be discouraged. Be at peace. Refuse to be bitter. Don't give in to despair. Keep doing your best. Don't give up doing good. God knows your heart.
"16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion." 2 Timothy 4:16-17.
Apostle Paul is in Rome, imprisoned in a dark cell and is about to become a martyr. He is not in prison for doing something unlawful. Paul's only crime is preaching the Gospel. As his court case draws near, he remembered the previous hearing and discouragement overwhelmed his heart. When he was called before the Roman authorities to make his first defense, no one supported him. Although Paul had labored and given himself in service to others, he was alone! At a time when he needed to draw strength from the prayer of believers, especially those in Rome, no one came forward to offer encouragement. Paul stood alone! They all disappointed him when he needed them most. Yet, he was not resentful, because the Lord was with him all through the trials. "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." Isaiah 43:2. God's always near. You may not see Him or recognize His presence, but He's close to the broken hearted. You're not alone in your trials
HAS GOD LET YOU DOWN?
"22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Exodus 15:22-24.
It’s one thing to feel hurt and pained by the disappointment of others, but it is depressing when you feel God has disappointed you. After three days journey through the scorching heat of the desert, the children of Israel were tired, and thirsty. If they did not find water they were going to die! So you can imagine their joy when they found water. But their expectation quickly turned to disappointment when they tasted the water. It tasted bitter. So they called the place Marah! The word Marah means “bitter”. So the people grumble in a low voice. They murmur against God and Moses. Their hopes had been raised and dashed. Like a passing cloud, their expectations were shattered. The children of Israel complained when they arrived at Marah. So when you face your own Marah, how do you respond? When you are angry with God for disappointing you, do you murmur, complain and grumble? When God let you down, do you become bitter? The Lord is faithful! Trust Him. There is no Marah that He cannot heal. God heals broken hearts, too. Invite Jesus into your Marah.