Life can be so full of disappointments and we all have them.
1. You take a new job only to find out that it is a terrible environment.2. You have a promotion coming - but someone else gets it instead who is less qualified and inexperienced.
3. You can be deeply disappointed in your children’s actions -- or youth, or after they left home and have fallen into deep sin.
4.You labored,prayed and fasted...yet you still failed to pass the exam!

I. HAVING DISAPPOINTMENTS IS NORMAL

The Bible tells us about a time of severe disappointment experienced by the Children of Israel. I think in this we see many lessons: (Exodus. 15:22-27)
1. They had just gone through the Red Sea that God had so gloriously opened up for them.
2. They had witnessed God’s great power and mighty hand in their deliverance. They had seen the many plagues on Egypt and were aware of the awesome power of God.
3. The first part of Exodus chapter 15 records their response to what God had done. The song is so full of ecstatic praise that you are sure they will trust the Lord even in the most difficult of situations.
4. But the heights of ecstasy did not last long in Moses day! Maybe that is so often true in our day as well? Tramping across the hot desert sand quickly reduced Israelite’ supply of water to a sip now and then and none at all.
5. For 3 days they looked for water and found none. Repeatedly the scouts had nothing good to report. It is clear from the narrative that anxiety was increasing. Let me assure you that this all was very real and what is often true of that part of the world.
6. A report came - we have found an oasis - there is water ahead -- wow - glory -- parents probably had encouraged their children -- just a bit further and we will be there. Yet when they arrived they discovered water so bitter they could not drink it.
7. Grumbling set in as doubtless they had experienced a tremendous feeling of exhilaration as they approached the oasis, convinced the need will be met -- Now it seemed as if God was playing games with them? He led them to an oasis and their hopes soared -- only to be dashed to the ground.


II. DISAPPOINTMENTS ARE TESTS:

The greatest test for your character is what it takes to stop you. Successful people realize that the door to the room of success swings on the hinges of setbacks and opposition. The most noticeable difference between those who achieve and those who fail is seen in the area of perseverance. Everyone has disappointments. Every person faces roadblocks. The one who succeeds is the one who will not quit.

CONSIDER:
a. Psa 73 -- The Psalmist  tells us that he looked at the rich, noticed they were often wicked people. He wondered why they had wealth. He wondered why they prospered when they were so wicked. He said, “My steps had almost slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant, as I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (73:2-3) He desired what they had experienced.

b. Then he went into the temple, God reminded him of the end of the wicked -- he quickly saw their end as Hell, and He stated , “Whom have I in heaven by Thee? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth.” (vs 25)

What he saw was obviously a test of the strength of his faith in God!

III. DISAPPOINTMENTS ARE OPPORTUNITIES:
Disappointment is an opportunity to pray. It is an opportunity for God to work a miracle!
1. Moses had listened to the grumbling of the people. You can take only so much of that, so he quieted them and he start talking to God. In fact He cried out to the Lord.
2. The Lord responded by showing him a tree that he cut down and threw into the water. Whether the tree was known for its ability to turn bitter water into sweet drinking water does not matter -- the fact is that Moses saw the tree only when he called upon the Lord.
a. Prayer is the mighty power that is swifter than an eagle, stronger than a lion.
b. Prayers puts you in touch with the resources of a compassionate and holy God.
c. And when Moses prayed, a miracle started unfolding. He saw a tree that turned their situation totally around, alleviated their disappointment.
d. God did a miracle -- God changed the bitter water into the sweetest drinking water Israel had known.
e. That is the way God responds to our disappointments. He changes the circumstances as we pray and look to Him.

IV. DISAPPOINTMENT HAVE REASONS
1. High expectation
Joseph expects a virgin wife and found Mary pregnant. You can just imagine the pain and disappointment in Joseph heart. But in a dream, God told Daniel about His plan redemption plan for mankind. There are millions of gentlemen in Israel during that time and what an honor for Joseph to be chosen as the care taker of God’s only Son. Sometimes our high expectation disappointed us only to find out later that God has a better plan.

2. Wrong Motives
Judas joined the band wagon of Jesus expecting him to build an earthly kingdom. In the corner of his mind is a thought that he will become somebody once Jesus becomes king. But later he realized that Jesus has no plan to build an earthly kingdom. Instead, Jesus is always talking about heavenly kingdom which in his limited understanding he cannot just understand. In the end, his wrong motives disappointed him that led him to his grave mistake of treachery and defection


3. Limited perception
Disciples did not understand why Jesus the Messiah should be crucified. In their limited understanding, crucifixion means defeat. Little did they know that it is part of God’s plan so that Jesus can redeem the world from the slavery of sin. Our limited perception disappointed us many times. But like the crucified savior, source of our disappointment could become our own redemption and blessing if we will just hang on and believe that God is in control. He has a plan and purpose even on our sufferings.

4. Mistaken priority
People often times looks for comfort and material blessings but God is more concerned in our character development. We hate testing and spiritual exercises to strengthen our faith. But God like an old Roman warrior prefers a broken horse for battle. God has different priority. He has no use of an untamed soul so he chooses to train us first through painful and hard experiences. We may never understand God’s way in time, but what we have to do is to cling and hold His hands.

5. False reliance
Connections, jobs, education and money are like sands. They are here at least for now. But the problem is that it is very easy to put our trust on these things instead of trusting on God. Our false reliance often times disappoints us.


V. YOU CAN LIVE ABOVE DISAPPOINTMENTS

What is it that you need when disappointment and discouragement have settled in your hearts and minds? What do you need when you have lost your zest and zeal because you think God  may have  disappointed you?
   1.Know that God has a plan which can never fail: In Luke 24:13-24:34 when the disciples were down and disappointed by the death of the messiah,Jesus appeared to them to remind them that everything that happen is in the plan of God from the beginning (verse 25-27)
   2. Take time to pray and hear God: Every disappointment is a pointer that God may be coming in a bigger way.Separate yourself into prayers so as to make the testimony come faster.In Luke 24 when Jesus spoke to them their disappointment melted and their heart burn within them The disciples were disappointed  at Marah(Ex.15:23)...they never knew that Elim,a place of 12 Springs of water and seventy palm trees(One spring for one tribe and One palm tree to provide shadow for one elder) is just few hours away...just 7miles.(Ex 15:27)
   3.Remain Faithful: Do the right thing not for the reward but because it is the right thing to do.
When facing the greatest trials and hardship of his life, Job hold his ground of faith and declared his statement of faithfulness to God no matter what happened. He said: Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him… Job 13:15 .We all find it very easy to compromise when danger comes, but to remain faithful is to invite God’s attention. God will never abandon a faithful servant.

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