Summary: Disappointment refers to sadness or displeasure from failure to fulfill ones hopes or expectations. Discouragement means loss of hope or enthusiasm as a result. It is possible to be disappointed without being discouraged.



Frequently, employers will ask prospective employees what their biggest

disappointment in life has been. The question probably gives employers a hint about

how these prospective employees handle times of stress and hardships in life. We all

face disappointments in life. Things will never go our way all the time. The question is

how do we handle disappointments? Do they cause us to lose confidence in ourselves,

becoming dishearten and less hopeful? In other words, do we become discouraged

when experiencing disappointments? Or do we bounce back and keep on going?

How can we combat disappointments without becoming discouraged?

In our passage, John the Baptist sent some of his followers to Jesus, asking the

question, "Are you the one to come, or are we to seek another?" John was disappointed

in Jesus. He had proclaimed the coming of Jesus by imploring all to repent of their

sins. He had told of this one who would be greater than him. He had baptized Jesus in

the Jordan, signifying the beginning of his Christ's ministry. Almost from birth, John

received his commission. However, now he finds himself in prison, sent there by Herod

after Herod had married his brother's wife, and probably soon be sentenced to death.

No wonder John is disappointed! Why Jesus hasn't even visited him in prison!.

John became disappointed, perhaps, when he misunderstood the purpose of Jesus, the

Messiah. The hope of the Jewish people was for a king, the Messiah who would cast off

the chains of Roman dominion and usher in a time of peace and hope. We do not know

if John too had this misinterpretation of Jesus' ministry. However, now Jesus

encourages John by telling him of his true mission to earth. He told John that " the

blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead

are raised, and the poor have good news preached to them".

John was disappointed, but Jesus encouraged him.

We can often become discouraged when we do not understand the workings of God in

our lives.



Many people become Christians and become disappointed because they do not know

God's purpose for them. They treat God like a vending machine and become

disappointed when God does not give them what they want. They pray for a promotion

on the job, and when it does not come, they get disappointed with God. A childless

couple prays for a baby, and when the baby does not come, they become disappointed

with God. They get in a prayer line at church, praying for a new car, and when the car

does not show up in their garage, they become disappointed with God. They pray for a

bigger house, and when they do not move in next week, they become disappointed with

God. They become disappointed when they fail to understand that God has promised to

give us what we need, not necessarily what we want.They fail to understand that God

wants them to love him with all their hearts and souls. Mark 12:30.

They fail to understand that God answers our prayers according to his purpose for our

lives. They will not be disappointed with God when they allow God to work his will in

their lives.

In my retirement, I am involved with a chat ministry sponsored by a Christian

organization. I asked one of the people I was chatting with if she had accepted Christ as

her Savior. She replied, "Oh, I did that, but it didn't work." I answered,"What didn't work?"

Evidentialy, she expected God to act as her Santa Claus, giving her whatever she asked.

However, God is not an errand boy, giving you whatever is the latest whim on your mind.

God does answer prayer, but according to his time and according to his will.

Arthur Blessit, famous for going around the world with a 12 foot cross on his shoulders,

says he is disappointed when people do not respond to his invitation to salvation, but he

is not discouraged because he knows God's purpose for him is to present the gospel.

Many pastors become disappointed because their churches do not grow and become

mega churches like the one cross town. However, they should not be discouraged if they

are preaching to the people God wants them to right where they are.

Joseph must have been disappointed with his brothers when they sold him into captivity

in Egypt. However, years later when the whole family was in Egypt, Joseph told them

what they did to him was made for evil, but God made it for good.

At times we will become disappointed, but not discouraged when we are doing God's

purpose for our lives.

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